Gutenberg College Workshop Series

The Gutenberg College Workshop Series is an educational outreach program designed to serve classical education communities, homeschooling communities, and independent learners. The workshops offer participants hands-on, high-quality educative experiences delivered by knowledgeable instructors that help participants develop skills, understand the world they live in, and cultivate their intellectual acumen.

Schedule your workshop today by contacting Workshops are available nationally—pricing will vary by region. Limited scholarships are available based on need.

Workshops currently being offered:

Summer 2019 Workshop Pass

The workshop pass lets you choose four of the summer workshops to attend at a discounted cost. The pass is $165 for individuals and $200 for families.

Register: Summer Workshop Pass



Drawing: Knowing, Thinking, Creating

This daylong class will explore "drawing in the modern mode" through concept and hands-on experience. The workshop will meet in the Puccinelli Gallery art space at Gutenberg College. Students will learn a variety of drawing and mixed media (water-based) approaches to drawing. Through these different approaches, students will experiment and explore ways that contemporary drawing can be experienced as "knowing and thinking." Family friendly (ages 12+).

Upcoming Workshop: June 20, 2019 • 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Gutenberg College

Cost by May 30: $47 (single student); $77 (family)
Cost May 31 to June 20: $57 (single student); $87 (family)

Instructor: Dr. Wesley Hurd
Wesley Hurd is the founder of McKenzie Study Center out of which Gutenberg College emerged. He retired as a tutor at Gutenberg college in 2012 but is once again involved as a part-time tutor and member of the Board of Governors for the college. He received a Ph.D. in Education and Social Thought in 1988 and an M.F.A. in visual art from the University of Oregon in 2000. Wes and his wife, Carol, have lived in Eugene, Oregon, since 1977. Wes was nominated in 2007 for Portland Art Museum's Northwest Contemporary Artist Award. [top]

Register: Visual Art Workshop


The Art of Meaningful Discussion

Meaningful discussion is an exchange of thoughts and ideas, and it is a team effort. When people feel like a discussion has gone well, it is because they feel like they have been seen, heard, and understood; have had the opportunity to learn from the others in the room; and have made some headway on an issue that is meaningful to them. Discussions are unscripted and, consequently, unpredictable. The purpose of this workshop is to give discussion leaders confidence by addressing key issues to becoming an effective discussion leader and a good participant.

Click to download Eliot Grasso's notes for The Art of Meaningful Discussion.

Selecting a College

Choosing a college should reflect our trust in God's purposes for our lives. But all too often our trust in God falters in these critical decisions, and our choices align with the world rather than with the Bible. If families aren't careful, students can lose their freedom by taking on massive college debt, enrolling in programs that overpromise and underdeliver, and parents may give their children over to college faculty who may lack the skills to mentor young minds. Dr. Eliot Grasso has over a decade of college teaching and administrative experience in America and Europe and currently serves as the Provost of Gutenberg College in Eugene. In this talk, he will give families the tools and questions they need to think clearly about the college-selection process so that college decisions can be made with confidence and understanding.

Click to download Eliot Grasso's notes for the Pathways to College Workshop.

History and Culture

Art, Culture, and Christianity in the West

The objective of the this workshop is to engage students and families in open discussion of Schaeffer's historical narrative of the Western world, his philosophy and sociology of art, and broad concepts of culture as presented in How Shall We Then Live? The purpose of the seminar is to cultivate deep, independent thinking about history, culture, values, and reality for those interested in biblical truth. Our hope is that students will emerge with greater clarity about how to read culture, an understanding of the place of the arts within that culture, and an understanding of the way that historical cultures have interacted with biblical Christianity since antiquity.


Creative Writing

Writing is creative when it is intended to communicate in more than a merely straightforward way. In this workshop, we will experiment with both conventional forms of creative writing—short fiction, lyrical poetry, drama—as well as techniques like automatic writing and genres like the epitaph. Toward the end of the day, each participant will choose one of his/her pieces for the class to read and discuss. Family friendly (ages 12+).

Upcoming Workshop: June 29, 2010 • 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Gutenberg College

Cost before June 8 $37 (single student); $67 (family)
Cost June 9 to June 29: $47 (single student); $77 (family)

Instructor: Chris Alderman
Chris Alderman is a tutor at Gutenberg College, where he teaches writing, Greek, and German. He holds a BA in English from Washington & Lee University and an MA in Language and Literature from the University of Chicago; he has also done work as a PhD candidate in comparative literature at the University of Michigan. Chris has self-published two collections of poetry, Poems in Verse and Ephemerides, and is currently at work on a semi-autobiographical historico-science-fiction novella set in a future Ancient Greece. [top]

Register: Creative Writing Worskshop


Logical Foundations of Arithmetic

At the turn of the twentieth century, a number of mathematicians/philosophers were interested in finding the ultimate, undoubtable logical basis upon which arithmetic is founded. This workshop will look at these attempts and explore the relationship between logic and mathematics.

Abstraction and Algebra

Algebra, for many, is a difficult subject because it appears to be a set of meaningless rules and procedures without content. In a word, it is abstract. This workshop will look at the nature of abstraction and what role it plays in mathematics, language, and thought. Family friendly (ages14+).

Upcoming Workshop: August 10, 2019 • 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Gutenberg College

Cost before July 20 $37 (single student); $67 (family)
Cost July 21 to August 10: $47 (single student); $77 (family)

Instructor: Dr. Chris Swanson
Chris Swanson, the president and a tutor at Gutenberg, was one of the men who began planning Gutenberg College a few years before it opened in 1994. Prior to that he taught at the University of Oregon, Northwest Christian College, and Westmont College. During the early years of the college, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oregon studying quantum fluids. He holds a B.S. summa cum laude from Westmont College in Mathematics and Physics and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Oregon. He became Gutenberg College's second president in 2016. Chris and his wife, Cynthia, have three children, two sons and a daughter. Both of their sons graduated from Gutenberg. [top]

Register: Math Worskshop

Mathematics as a Skill

Mathematics presents challenges to many students. It is hard to learn. This workshop willl explore how we learn mathematics and compare the methods of memorization and skill development.

Geometry and Reality

Euclid's geometry was considered the gold standard for certainty in knowledge for 2500 years—partly because it was based on logical deduction from clear first principles and partly because it so clearly corresponded with our experience of the world. In the early twentieth century, both of these reasons were questioned. Non-Euclidean geometry is a non-intuitive mathematics deduced from first principles, and Einstein's general relativity claimed that geometry does not describe space. This workshop will explore these claims while thinking about the basis upon which we think mathematics is true.


Performance, Composition, & Culture

Music performance and composition are personal and cultural expressions of human depth and meaning. Students with prior experience playing music will use the tin whistle as a tool to create new music in a traditional idiom while examining the cultural background in which traditional music has been created and performed.

Irish Traditional Music

Ireland has given the world a rich heritage of traditional music that has been shaped over centuries of oral tradition. In this workshop, students with prior experience playing an instrument will come into contact with that musical heritage by learning traditional tunes, playing techniques, and the cultural context of Irish traditional music.

Mozart & Beethoven in Context

Mozart and Beethoven transformed the musical landscape of Western Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—but how did they do it? How did they navigate the existing aesthetic traditions of vocal and instrumental music? What cultural and economic conditions made it possible for these composers to speak into their historical moment? In this music workshop, we will examine the music of Mozart and Beethoven and the historical circumstances that both generated and received their incredible music. Family friendly (ages 12+).

Upcoming Workshop: July 12, 2019 • 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Gutenberg College

Cost before June 21 $37 (single student); $67 (family)
Cost June 22 to July 12: $47 (single student); $67 (family)

Instructor: Dr. Eliot Grasso
Dr. Grasso, the provost and a tutor in the arts at Gutenberg College, is known internationally as a performer on uilleann pipes, Irish flute, and tin whistle. He holds a M.A. in ethnomusicology from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Oregon. [top]

Register: Music Worskshop


Common Sense Philosophy and Thomas Reid

Reid's classic text An Inquiry Into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (1764) responds to Scottish philosopher David Hume's skeptical claims about man's ability to grasp knowledge, and it serves as a landmark in the eighteenth-century discussion of epistemology. In this philosophy workshop, we will discuss the common-sense philosophy of Thomas Reid (1710-1796) in order to develop a nuanced framework for evaluating what knowledge is, how one acquires knowledge, and how one demonstrates knowledge.


Ecology Workshop: Streams of Western Oregon

This daylong field class will explore a stream near your home. It will go up the McKenzie River to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a world-renowned stream research site. Students will learn about the fish and aquatic insects that inhabit the stream, how climate and geology affect the stream, and how the "digestive system" of the stream works. Family friendly (ages 8+).

Upcoming Workshop: Rescheduled—new date TBA

Location: Field trip beginning from Gutenberg College

Cost: $47 (single student); $77 (family)

Instructor: Dr. Charley Dewberry
Dr. Dewberry is a tutor and the academic dean at Gutenberg College, as well as an award-winning restoration ecologist. Dr. Dewberry has worked for over forty years on watershed restoration and has received several awards, including the 2016 "Restorationist of the Year" given by The Society of Ecological Restoration, Northwest. As part of the Siuslaw Partnership, Dr. Dewberry was awarded the Theiss Riverprize for the best international river restoration project in 2005. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science. As a philosopher, he has written two books: Saving Science: A Critique of Science and its Role in Salmon Recovery and Intelligent Discourse: Exposing the Fallacious Standoff between Evolution and Intelligent Design. [top]

Register: Ecology Worskshop

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