Reading and discussing the Great Books has made me see the few underlying worldviews from which the writings of any time period spring. This has helped me figure out some of the key questions to ask of anything I read, whether Plato or the newspaper. Everyone is writing out of some vision of the world, and to be able to see through the words used to the worldview beneath is the first step in understanding and evaluating the claims of the writer.
~Brian Julian, Class of 2004
It is difficult to write of my school—to pin it like a butterfly on velvet and say, “This is the species of my education.” The difficulty is that Gutenberg has been so much more than a school to me and so defies description as such. Gutenberg has been an invasion of my life, an event that has colored my soul. The piece of paper with two certain initials [B.A.] on it will mean so little to me in comparison with the ‘sea-change’ that the cast of my life has taken. Gutenberg is not about the mind, but rather the soul. Thus, education is but a springboard to life, and Gutenberg seems to embrace this truth with a unique force.
~Axon Kirk, Class of 2002
Understanding that other people have asked questions similar to mine, that not everyone has spent their lives chasing Dow Jones averages, and that some people have come up with compelling answers, different from the ones we have now, is invigorating and encouraging.
~Scarlettah Schaefer, Class of 2006
Gutenberg allows people to run as far as they want within the confines of reason, trusting that truth will be found by those who search.
~Marianne Scrivner, Class of 2006
What I thought was the best difference [between Gutenberg and other schools] was the tutors’ personal attention to the students. Also, the interaction between the upper and lower classmen. In short, I suppose, what I liked most about GC was the community I walked into…
~Camille Stallings, Class of 2005
A letter to my tutors:
When I saw my friends earning their practical degrees from prestigious schools on the East Coast, I wanted to quit. They would be making $150,000 a year as lawyers and computer programmers, while I would be stuck with an unaccredited degree from a school that sounds like a cult. I wondered if I would even make minimum wage. But God changed me. It took three years to grasp the life that the little brick building on University Street offers. It doesn’t promise a job. It doesn’t secure a career.
But it teaches truth. While this switch came in my junior year, the last two months of my new life in the nation’s capital has made my love for Gutenberg grow even stronger. Granted, I enjoy working at The Washington Times as a culture reporter and studying for my master’s degree in journalism at the University of Maryland.
I am learning how to apply my faith to my work, to connect the good news with the daily news. But I miss truth. In Washington, there are only facts. Truth for the journalist is the correct number of deaths in Iraq and the scientific polls that show Bush or Kerry in the lead. It is the exact date that Christopher Reeve died and the proper spelling of al Qaeda.
In this cold world of pulp and ink, thought has no haven. The rollers of the press want to grab the writer’s tongue and suck him into its monotony, making him spit out facts, facts, facts, every hour, every minute, every second. The journalist has no time to think. He cannot stop to ask, ‘Why am I here?’ ‘What is my purpose?’ because the clock keeps counting and the printers keep rolling. Deadlines don’t move.
Although you tutors taught me how to put facts in context and think, write, and read well—skills that every journalist needs—more importantly you gave me a passion for truth. God burned in my heart the desire, but you forged in my hand the tools I need to read the Bible, reflect on life and ask the difficult questions. But I usually wait until after deadline.
Because of your commitment, I have been able to live, study, and work in Washington while keeping my soul. I may never make $150,000 (journalism isn’t known for its six digits), but I will always live for—and write about—the truth.
~Christopher Stollar, Class of 2004
Gutenberg College is excellent academically, but even better personally. This is the best place I could have been for the last year and a half, during which I experienced several private crises. Gutenberg continues to facilitate my healing. One of the ways it does this is through the atmosphere of the house, creating a space for individual reflection as well as a strong community to return to when I am ready. The second and more significant way that Gutenberg facilitates healing is through the tutors, both in and out of the classroom. The tutors are earnest listeners and caring advisers. The word ‘magnanimous’ is from Latin roots which mean ‘great soul’ . That’s what our tutors have and what I seek for myself. Having them as friends and examples is invaluable, and I feel very fortunate to spend these years with them at Gutenberg.
Something magical happens as students journey through Gutenberg: the experience transforms each student into a new thinker. Although I’d heard people say this, somehow I didn’t think it would happen to me and my class. But it did. We’re growing our wings and beginning to fly! For instance, we (the new juniors) had our best Great Conversation discussion ever this past week when we considered Thomas Reid’s ideas on morality. The five of us were so engaged in the material that we drove the conversation and soared on our own; the tutor leading the discussion didn’t speak until the last five minutes, a sign that we were doing something right. Our conversation got personal when we banked around moral responsibility and whether sin lies in actions or intentions. At the end of two vigorous hours, I hadn’t recruited others to my position–that’s not the goal; rather, I gained a deeper understanding of both my own position and those of my classmates. Saint Francis prayed, “Lord, give me the desire to understand more than to be understood.” That’s the goal. We mounted the heights, and it was beautiful.
~Emily Dunnan, Class of 2019