Gutenberg’s History

Gutenberg College admitted its first class of four students in September 1994 and held its first commencement exercises in June 1998. Gutenberg’s history, however, has a much earlier beginning. The college was the culmination of many years of thought and experience by the staff of McKenzie Study Center (MSC), founded in 1979 as a Christian ministry to Eugene-area college students.

After years of teaching students to interpret and apply the Bible, MSC teachers saw a need for giving students a broader education, one that would provide the learning skills essential to understanding the Bible and other writings and to understanding life. Discussions as to what would constitute such a program and, more generally, what would constitute a quality undergraduate education resulted in a program largely consonant with the Great Books colleges.

In October 1991, the MSC staff called a special meeting to discuss the idea of forming a liberal arts college. A committee convened later that month and held weekly planning and development meetings. In December 1993, the founding faculty applied to the State of Oregon for authority to grant the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, which the State granted after evaluating the college’s application and making a site visit. Gutenberg’s first classes opened in September 1994. On June 18, 1998, the Board of Governors formally adopted the mission statement of Gutenberg College.

In 2001, Gutenberg College, Inc., became the “umbrella” organization under which the undergraduate program operated along with two institutes, McKenzie Study Center and Art Project. Gutenberg College Press came under the umbrella later, publishing its first book in 2004. Gutenberg College continues to exist to educate individuals and to foster both an understanding of the biblical worldview and a desire to pursue truth conscientiously.

The faculty of Gutenberg College, like the staff of McKenzie Study Center before it, have earned a reputation for intellectual integrity, commitment to teaching, and professional and ethical conduct. Gutenberg College—a Great Books college in the spirit of classical education that seeks to foster a love for learning and a desire to follow the truth wherever it leads—was built and exists on a solid foundation.

Gutenberg’s Name

Gutenberg College is named in honor of Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the moveable-type printing press in the mid-1400s. Many of the great writings of Western culture were among the first books to be printed and made available at an affordable price. The Bible was the first book to be printed on the Gutenberg press. Much of the influence enjoyed by the books in the Gutenberg College curriculum is due to the fact that the printing press made them available to a much larger readership than would otherwise have been the case.