Jim Stump was raised in Alaska and is the second of seven children of missionary parents. He graduated from Wheaton College (IL) in 1966, where he participated in Football, Baseball, Wrestling, and was a Basketball cheerleader.Â He also reigned as Wheatonâ€™s Table Tennis champion during his four years.Â Upon graduation he joined the staff of Athletes in Action (AIA), a newly formed division of Campus Crusade for Christ, and served two years as their European Director.Â During his time right outside London and traveling to set up the Athletes in Action program with the European Olympic Committees, Jim was struck by the impact athletes had when discussing their personal faith with others and noticed that more were inclined to listen due to their sports background.Â Jim realized that the greatest impact he could have for spreading the teachings and principles of Jesus was to invest and devote his life to the lives of athletes who have a natural platform from which they can speak.
In the fall of 1970 Jim was assigned to the Stanford University campus.Â After serving four years as the campus director, Jim left AIA and founded Sports Challenge to follow his passion and focus of one-on-one mentoring and counseling among the student-athletes at Stanford.Â Though Jimâ€™s focus has always been on mentoring Stanfordâ€™s student-athletes, he was asked by Bill Walsh to come with him to the San Francisco 49ers to serve as their chaplain in 1978.Â Among many of those to whom he ministered there was Tony Dungy, the future Super Bowl winning coach of the Indianapolis Colts and author of the best-selling book Quiet Strength.Â Also in 1978 he was asked to serve in that same role for the San Francisco Giants.Â He led weekly Bible studies for both teams involving the players and their wives, while still maintaining his relationships with Stanford student-athletes.
Jim has also partnered with some close sports ministry friends on projects taking several NFL players on trips to England, Germany, Chile and Argentina to speak to professional soccer teams in those countries about a personal relationship with Jesus.Â As a follow-up, he co-led historyâ€™s first pro sports ministry conference for athletes from Chile and Argentina.Â Many new believers were given a solid foundation from which to grow in their faith.
Jim has mentored student-athletes at Stanford for over 40 years.Â Jim currently serves as an advisor for two Stanford ASSU recognized student clubs: Sports Challenge and Cardinal Life.Â He and his beautiful wife, Linda, were married in 1976.Â They have three grown children who are all married and living out their faith in Jesus Christ.