The Blog

Good News from Gutenberg!

Chris SwansonPretty exciting and important news arriving at Gutenberg. See the note below for the latest from Chris Swanson, Chairman of the Transition Committee and the new President of Gutenberg College.


Dear Friends of Gutenberg College,

I’m writing with very good news. Actually, two pieces of good news.

In March, Gutenberg’s board invited faculty members to reconstitute leadership at the college. I gathered a group of faculty, staff, and friends to form a Transition Committee. We had several tasks to accomplish, but the primary goal was to raise $150,000 by August 31, the end of Gutenberg’s fiscal year.

The Transition Committee was hopeful, but $150,000 was a lot of money to raise in a short amount of time. Yet, for the board to hand off leadership, the Transition Committee needed to find a way. We began contacting supporters. We told them about the transition. We asked advice. We invited them to join the Gutenberg transition. One of those contacts was with a donor named Frank Batten. During our phone call, Frank expressed a willingness to offer a substantial gift toward the transition. In May, Tim McIntosh and I flew to meet him in Virginia. We sat in Frank’s office and described our situation. After this chat, Frank said he wanted to support the transition. The Aimee and Frank Batten, Jr., Foundation contributed $50,000 plus an additional $50,000 as a matching donation. In other words, if Gutenberg can match the foundation’s matching donation, we will have hit our goal of $150,000.

We are overjoyed.

Since receiving word of this donation, Gutenberg supporters have already pledged $26,000. Thus, only $24,000 remains for the college to reach its goal of $150,000. The financial support we received during the past month accelerated our momentum. The transition is occurring more rapidly than we dared hope.

Here’s a second piece of big news: Because of our progress, Gutenberg’s board has agreed to begin transferring leadership to the Transition Committee. This means that the members of the Transition Committee have accepted responsibility for the leadership and operations of Gutenberg College. The next chapter in Gutenberg’s story is happening.

We’re grateful for the opportunity to invigorate an institution that has changed so many lives. And we’re thankful that, during this process, the outgoing board has demonstrated dedication and integrity toward the transition. Changeovers like this can easily be stymied, but we’ve received plenty of grace and support.

More hard work lies before us this summer. Here’s what we hope to accomplish before welcoming our next class of freshmen:

  • Deepen engagement with alumni, friends, and supporters.
  • Raise the outstanding $24,000 to complete our $150,000 fundraising goal by August 31, the end of Gutenberg’s fiscal year. The match applies to gifts received by the end of August that are in addition to regular monthly giving to the college. We are seeking 100 Donors to meet our goal. If you’d like to be one of our 100 Donors, the easiest path is through the Donate Online button. You may also contact the college.
  • Enlarge our incoming class. We’re aiming for six to ten freshman next year.
  • Seat a new board, a new president, and new office-holders.
  • Bolster our faculty roster with teachers who are dedicated to the biblical faith and to helping people pursue the deepest questions of human existence.
  • Host Summer Institute on August 4–6.

We owe many of you deep thanks. We’ve solicited your prayers, encouragement, donations, and labor—and you’ve responded. Thank you. Now, onward!

Sincerely yours,
Chris Swanson

P.S. We hope to see you at the Summer Institute in August.


Summer Institute 2016

2015 Summer Institute
We all recognize the polarization that plagues our current political and religious discussions. Communication is hard. Christians want to stand for the truth but are often unsure how to obey Paul’s command to speak the truth in love. In the end, we all have a lot to learn about speaking as we wish to be spoken to and hearing others as we wish to be heard.

Gutenberg College Summer Institutes are an opportunity to explore a topic while getting some of the “Gutenberg” experience. That is, we discuss readings from important works in our culture and also listen to talks related to the topic. This summer we will read selections from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Plato, Kierkegaard, and the New Testament, all related to our topic of hearing and being heard. (A PDF file of the a readings for the Summer Institute will be emailed to you after you register.) Attendees can also choose between several talks relevant to our topic.

Join us at Gutenberg College on Thursday and Friday nights August 4th & 5th and all day Saturday August 6th to explore the nature of communication within the context of loving our neighbor.

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the Summer Institute. Having been a loyal but internet-only student of Gutenberg College/McKenzie Study Center for over 20 years, I was very grateful for the opportunity to have finally met and been taught in person by the tutors and instructors of Gutenberg. After 35 years in the education field, I have had a lot of exposure to educators and classes. This faculty and these classes were top notch. The teaching and the discussions were first-rate; full of thoughtful, interesting, and challenging conversations. The Summer Institute far exceeded my expectations.
–Robin Jarvis

Institute Details

(More details coming soon.)

Format: Short talks, small-group discussions on selected readings, and a choice of longer lectures.

Venue: Gutenberg College, 1883 University Street, Eugene, OR

Cost (includes 2 light suppers on Thursday and Friday; continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday; and snacks):
Before July 4 — $40 individual; $60 couple; $25 student
After July 4 — $50 individual; $70 couple; $35 student

Registration: Call the Gutenberg College office, 541-683-5141, or email.

(subject to revision)

August 4 (Thursday night): • Opens at 5:30 for check-in and light supper • Events: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Introductory remarks by Chris Swanson
Group discussions of the reading: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, Chapter Four, “Ministry.”
Talks (choose one):

  • Communicating the Art of Natural History and Agriculture to the Next Generation (Charley Dewberry). This talk examines how one generation passes on information and skills to the next generation. The passing of information is largely accomplished by the process of education. However, the transmission of arts and skills from one generation to the next is much more problematic. Examples will include Wendell Berry’s discussion of communicating the art of farming to the next generation and Aldo Leopold’s discussion of communicating the art of natural history.
  • Listening (Larry Barber): Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships. Without the ability to listen effectively messages can be easily misunderstood, with the result that communication and understanding break down. In the process of human interaction, listening is more critical to the process than speaking. Listening is not the same as hearing. Listening requires intent and focus. Listening means paying attention not only to the story but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body in the communication of the words. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. It involves seeing. This talk will explore the various components of becoming a good listener.

August 5 (Friday night): • Opens at 5:30 for light supper • Events 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Introductory remarks by Eliot Grasso
Group discussions of the reading: Plato, Gorgias (excerpts).
Talks (choose one):

  • Socrates on Rhetoric (Kasey Macsenti). In Plato’s Gorgias, Socrates asks whether rhetoric, the art of persuasion through speech, is in fact a moral endeavor. This talk will explore further the issues raised in the previous group discussions of Gorgias.
  • Proof or Dialog: The Role of Knowing in Communication (Chris Swanson): Knowledge impacts communication. Knowledge is a set of interconnected beliefs and concepts built over time in an attempt to make sense of the world.  Every individual builds their own personal set of beliefs and concepts. As we encounter new information, we actively construct a meaningful interpretation through the filter of our personal knowledge. As we communicate, it is important to keep this view in mind. We should respect listeners and strive to understand their conceptual framework, or we will be misunderstood. Communication is a dialog between people who jointly wish to pursue understanding. The contrast to dialog is proof. The goal of rational proof is to remove personal beliefs from knowledge. A proof attempts to make knowledge purely objective such that every hearer must agree. It ignores the active role of the listener in understanding.

August 6 (Saturday, all day): Opens at 9:00 AM for continental breakfast • Events 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM • Dinner 6:00 PM

Group discussions of the reading: Kierkegaard, selections on indirect communication.
Talks (choose one):

  • Indirect Communication (Ron Julian). Kierkegaard had strong opinions about how people should talk to each other about the most fundamentally important issues of life—about Christianity and faith. His call was for indirect communication, but it is quite challenging to understand just what he meant. This talk will explore further the issues raised in the previous group discussions on Kierkegaard.
  • Bridges From Art to You: How Art Works and Its Significance (Wes Hurd). In this talk, Wes will present his view of the dynamics at work when art communicates in its unique and often peculiar ways. He will explore how art has changed in the modern and postmodern eras. He will also present his view of how human endeavors in art making change and unfold in human culture over time yet hold the potential to remain “classical” in new ways.

Lunch (provided)
Group discussions of selected New Testament passages:

  • Romans 14:1ff,
  • Galatians 1:6ff,
  • I Corinthians 8:1ff;
  • II John 4ff,
  • James 3:1ff,
  • Ephesians 4:1ff,
  • II Timothy 2:22ff

Group Q & A
Dinner & final comments by Tim McIntosh


Presenters / Discussion Leaders

Larry BarberLarry Barber (M.A., Counseling Psychology) is a pastoral counselor who has worked for Charis Foundation since 1994.

Charley DewberryCharley Dewberry (M.S. Stream Ecology; Ph.D. philosophy) is the dean and a tutor at Gutenberg College. He is the author of Saving Science and Intelligent Discourse: Exposing the Fallacious Standoff Between Evolution and Intelligent Design.

Eliot GrassoEliot Grasso (M.A., Ethnomusicology; Ph.D., Musicology) is a Gutenberg tutor and an internationally known musician.

Wesley HurdWesley Hurd (M.A., Biblical Studies; M.F.A., Painting; Ph.D., Educational Policy) is an artist, lecturer, mentor, and the Director of Education for Watershed Arts Foundation. He founded McKenzie Study Center in 1979 and, until he retired in June 2012, was a tutor at Gutenberg College and the director of Gutenberg’s Art Project.

Ron JulianRon Julian (M.A., Religion) is a tutor at Gutenberg College, the author of Righteous Sinners, and a co-author of The Language of God: A Commonsense Approach to Understanding and Applying the Bible.

Kasey Pilcher MascentiKasey Pilcher Mascenti (B.A., Liberal Arts) is a graduate of Gutenberg College and the Director of Process Improvement at FDH Velocitel.

Tim McIntoshTim McIntosh (M.A., Theology) is a tutor at Gutenberg College. He is also a playwright, screenwriter, and actor.

Chris SwansonChris Swanson (M.S., Physics; Ph.D., Physics) is a tutor at Gutenberg College.

2015 Summer Institute


Did You Know?

You can give to Gutenberg without donating your own funds. Here are two great ways:


eScripAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Gutenberg College every time you shop—at no cost to you.

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets you enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The shopping experience is identical. You use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, wish list, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the eligible charitable organization of your choice. 100% of the donation amount generated from your eligible purchase will be donated, and there is no cost to the charitable organization or to you.

If you shop on using an internet browser on your desktop or laptop computer, your mobile phone, or your tablet, then your purchases of eligible products (tens of millions of them marked “eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on the detail pages) will result in donations. Purchases that are not made using an internet browser (for instance, using the Amazon Shopping App, Kindle Store, FireTV, Amazon Dash, or Amazon Echo) are not currently eligible for donations. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are also not currently eligible. The donation amounts generated by your purchases are combined with the donation amounts from all other customers who selected the same registered charitable organization, and each quarter the AmazonSmile Foundation gives them to the organization by electronic funds transfer.

On your first visit to AmazonSmile (, before you begin shopping, select Gutenberg College to receive donations from eligible purchases. AmazonSmile will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation. Go to for more details about this great way to support Gutenberg College.

The eScrip Program

eScripThe eScrip fundraising program coordinates with local and online merchants to help non-profit organizations. Up to 8% of what you spend on groceries, clothing, airline tickets, dining-out, and other items can be donated to Gutenberg.

For example, if you shop at Market of Choice, the store will donate 2% to 4% of the amount you spend on your monthly purchases. The larger your grocery bill, the higher the percentage that the store will donate.

For more information and to participate, go to, where you can register to participate in eScrip by selecting the “Sign Up!” button. The website will take you through a few simple steps to register. When you are asked to “Select your school or nonprofit,” simply type “Gutenberg College.”

On the website, you will also find a list of participating local merchants or be able to shop online.

The eScrip program is administered by Electronic Scrip, Inc. (ESI), a registered corporation in the State of California. If you have questions about privacy and security, please read ESI’s privacy statement on the eScrip website.


“Righteous Sinners” Now an E-book

RS_Final“This book was born twenty-five years ago on a very bad night. As a young Christian (I converted at nineteen) I struggled greatly with the sin that was all too noticeable in my life. Some of my teachers at the time believed in the “victorious Christian life” theology. Victory over sin was mine, they taught, if I would just walk by the Spirit, if I would just “let go and let God.” I tried, with all the faith I could muster, to do just that. It didn’t seem to work. However I tried to “let go,” I found myself just as much a prisoner of selfishness and lust as I was before. One night—the bad night—I confessed this frankly to one of our leaders and asked for help. His answer changed my life.”

Thus begins the introduction to Righteous Sinners by Gutenberg tutor Ron Julian. Originally published in 1998 by NavPress, Righteous Sinners is now available as an e-book from Gutenberg College Press at

J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College,  commends the book: “Biblically exact and pastorally profound, this book is a gem!”

Paperback copies of the original book are also available from Gutenberg College.


“Capella” Courses

Five courses are being offered by Gutenberg tutors. Students in Gutenberg College’s Caps Program can earn a “Capella” upon successfully completing the courses, but the courses are open to all interested individuals.

Dr. David Crabtree Dr. David Crabtree is offering three capella courses this fall. These courses will begin in October, but the exact starting date and class time will be negotiated with participates. (Participation via Skype is an option.) Courses will meet once per week for about 90 minutes. To participate in these courses, contact Dr. David Crabtree through the Gutenberg office:

  • Translation of Acts. The class will translate through the book of Acts at a rate of about 30 verses per week. One or two years of Greek or the equivalent is a prerequisite.
  • Deuteronomy. This capella will take students through the whole book of Deuteronomy over the course of the year. Participants will study a chapter each week in preparation for class, and they will take turns presenting their work to the rest of the class. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.
  • Josephus’ The Jewish Wars (Part 2). This capella is a continuation of one that started last year. Participants will take turns teaching the class sections from Josephus’ work. The capella will begin with Book V.

Dr. Jack CrabtreeDr. Jack Crabtree is offering two capella courses this fall though Sound Interpretation Project.* Both courses involve individual study outside of class (homework). The location of the courses has yet to be determined. For those outside of Eugene who want to take the class by way of video-conferencing, that will be possible. If you are interested in the courses below, contact Dr. Jack Crabtree through the Gutenberg office:

  • Introduction to Understanding New Testament Greek (SIP Course #99). One of the challenges to learning Greek is all the memorization required. Fortunately, modern computer technology has made it possible to translate the Greek New Testament without actually gaining fluency in the N.T. Greek language. This course is for people who want to learn how to study and translate the Greek New Testament without having to learn how to sight read Greek and be able to recognize all the grammatical forms. If you know absolutely nothing about N.T. Greek, this is the course for you.
    • The course will probably begin November 5, but this is subject to change.
    • The will be no fees charged for this course. However, you will need to invest in some computer software and resources (about $300) and perhaps a textbook.
  • The Content of Biblical Philosophy (SIP Course #1 and #2). For anyone who would like to digest a coherent, systematic presentation of the message and worldview of the Bible, Sound Interpretation Project is offering a course, beginning this fall, on The Content of Biblical Philosophy. The course involves studying Jack Crabtree’s notes on the subject and then engaging in dialogue about the content of those notes in a seminar environment.
    • The course will probably begin November 8 and continue throughout most of the school year (with appropriate holiday breaks, but this is subject to change.
    • The course will probably be held weekly on Sunday afternoons from about 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., but this is subject to change.
    • The will be no fees charged for this course. However, Dr. Crabtree’s notes will be emailed to you, and you will have the expense of printing them (a couple hundred pages), if you want a paper copy.

*The Sound Interpretation Project (SIP), a non-profit organization begun by Gutenberg tutor Dr. Jack Crabtree, is committed to promoting a sound understanding of the Bible and its message. In pursuit of that mission, SIP is offering a comprehensive series of courses in Biblical Philosophy and in the New Testament.


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