Gutenberg College is distinctive in its approach to academic freedom. We simultaneously hold two seemingly contradictory views: we are unabashedly committed to the truth of the Bible and, at the same time, we have profound respect for the freedom of every student. Gutenberg’s first president, David Crabtree, writes: “For genuine believers truth is sacred. Our response to truth determines our response to God, and our response to God determines our eternal destiny. To treat truth lightly is to take God lightly, and to take God lightly is to take truth lightly. Thus coming to know the truth is ultimately a spiritual struggle more than an intellectual one. Truth is not simply a set of propositions to be memorized. It is, at its heart, an understanding of who we are as human beings and who God is. It is an understanding to which we are by nature resistant. Coming to know the truth means freely deciding to bow our hearts to this reality. The decision to embrace the truth in this fashion happens only by the grace of God.
This understanding of truth has significant implications for anyone who attempts to teach truth to others. A teacher is, to a very large extent, a spectator to the process of learning. To try to manipulate or coerce the student into acceptance of the truth is an act of disrespect and a violation of his personhood. The teacher can gently and patiently try to point the student in the proper direction, but the student must decide where he will go. A faculty that truly understands that this is the nature of truth will not violate the student’s freedom to freely form his own beliefs. To do so would be to disrespect the God who is there.
Ultimately the only sure safeguard of academic freedom is an ethos in which everyone has genuine respect for the truth and for one another. To try to secure it by any other means is futile.”