Maximilian started his academic career at College of the Sequoias in his hometown of Visalia, Ca. He went on to earn a BA and MA in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge, where he taught public speaking and argumentation, was president of CSUN Communication Association and a member of CSUN Performance Ensemble. During his masters program he also taught performance poetry at Los Angeles County Prison, Lancaster with the Prison Arts Collective. Prior to starting his doctoral studies at Annenberg, he spent a year in Israel on a MASA English teaching fellowship.

His primary research interest is in American evangelicalism. From a humanist perspective, he seeks to answer questions regarding the various dimensions of contemporary Christian religiosity, ranging from the personal (the experience of faith and practical role of religion in the lives of individuals), to the institutional (the derivation of religious authority and the rhetorical ecology of churches), to the political (especially how Christian nationalism interacts with public policy and elections). He's also interested in prison education theory and practice.