James Nauta began working as a layman with The Salvation Army following graduation from Asbury College in 1966. In 1972, he received a Masters of Social Work degree from Indiana University School of Social Service. He was admitted to the Academy of Certified Social Workers in November of 1978. In 1987, the Western Michigan unit of the National Association of Social Workers selected him as Social Worker of the Year.
After becoming a Salvation Army officer in 1989, he has served as Divisional Social Service Secretary for The Salvation Army Western Michigan Northern Indiana (Grand Rapids MI) and Western (Omaha NE) Divisions. In 1994, he was assigned as Divisional Secretary – second in command – for the Western Division, serving Western Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.
James served as Territorial Social Service Secretary for the Army’s USA Central Territory from 1995 to 2003. As Social Services Secretary for the Central Territory, he was responsible to give policy, planning and administrative oversight to the Army’s vast social services in 11 Midwestern states.
In July 2003, James was appointed as Divisional Commander for the Western Michigan Northern Indiana Division of The Salvation Army, with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In this capacity, he served as the administrative and ecclesiastical head of the Army’s work in 28 corps community centers and a variety of social service programs throughout the division.
In July 2008, James was appointed as Secretary for Personnel in the USA Central Territory, and promotion to the rank of Lieut-Colonel followed. In this appointment Lieut-Colonel Nauta was responsible for the care and oversight of personnel – officers and employees – serving throughout the Midwestern states.
Following retirement from active officer service in 2010, Lieut-Colonel Nauta has been serving as a Project Specialist Consultant for The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers.
James Nauta is married to his wife Jan, who is also a retired Salvation Army officer. They currently reside in the Greenville/Belding area of West Michigan. They have three children and six very special grandchildren.
- Lieut-Colonel James Nauta presents a paper on the subject 'How do we measure the impact of our work?'