A Well-Tuned Life

We were thrilled to have Dr. Andrew Crow lead us through a 2-part series on Western music and human flourishing.

In this fascinating and thought-provoking two-part series, Dr. Crow demonstrated the ways in which Western music has evolved according to both nature (e.g., mathematical ratios) and nurture (familiarity with certain traditions). He then presented a kind of alternative model for the history of the Western canon and prodded us to consider the pros and cons of musical notation vs. interpretation.

As a sort of interlude, he presented an extended analogy of the piano as the body of Christ—a metaphor that he developed (or perhaps discovered) during his many years as a piano tuner.

We hope to have the final edit of the video up soon.

A Life Well-Lived

In the wake of Tim’s passing to Glory, there have been countless tributes and articles written. May I suggest this one by David Brooks, remarkable for the humility shown by its author, a long-time New York Times columnist sought after for his own opinions:

Tim Keller Taught Me About Joy

And in light of our discussions on music this week, I will also recommend Tim Keller’s sermon called Singing.



Alcuin Study Center is a Third Place. Not like bronze medal, but like public square. Our world is plagued by polarization. Those in the University often do not trust those within the Church and, likewise, Christians often feel the need to tread cautiously on Academic grounds. Ever since we stopped discussing religious presuppositions in public, politics have been made to hold a weight that they cannot bear. And so we have institutions that inhibit honest, charitable dialogue rather than foster it.

Alcuin Study Center serves at the nexus of the Church and the University. I’ve heard Christian Study Centers described as the front porch of the Church. I like that, but I lean more in the direction of an embassy in a foreign land. In either case, we are neither the Church nor the University.

We a place where atheists, agnostics, and believers alike may express doubts or ask questions without fear of being shunned; a place where academics may loosen their grip on the ideology they are expected to hold so as to seek Truth where it may be found; a place where the spiritual realities of the cosmos do not take a backseat to the prevailing materialist assumptions.

Alcuin Study Center is a place of reconciliation, of restoration, and of reconnecting what has been unjustly torn asunder.

Alcuin Study Center is a Third Place.

To best take advantage of this niche that we’ve carved out in our community, we need to expand our physical capacity. That is, to be a Third Place, we need to have more space.

This summer we are tearing out the wall between our gathering space and the adjacent garage. We will then renovate the garage area to be an extension of our current space, nearly doubling our capacity. This will allow us to accommodate the growing number of students, faculty, and community members that attend our events and gather at Alcuin for conversation and coffee during out open hours.

Please watch for more details regarding our Third Place campaign.

Passing the Torch

Todd Wenninger has served as Operations Manager for Alcuin Study Center for the past 2 years, but that job title does not do justice to the role that Todd has filled in the development of this institution or in my personal life.

Unfortunately, Todd is in need of a full-time position and we are not yet able to provide that for him. Our financial situation is looking good, but not quite good enough to keep Todd on board. Todd has found employment with the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation and we are thrilled to see the ways that the Lord is providing for him and his family.

Though his role is changing, we’ll still be seeing Todd around. He has agreed to join the first cohort of Alcuin Ambassadors. Look for more details about our new Alcuin Ambassadors program in the June Notes from Alcuin.

Adam Garner has lived in the apartment above Alcuin Study Center since its inception. He is a BSU graduate and a burgeoning film maker. He has become increasingly involved in Alcuin events over the years, and the Alcuin staff and board have worked closely with Adam to help him grow in his faith, in his film career, and in his understanding of the ways that those two things work together.

As Providence would have it, Adam, who, like Todd, is gifted in both hospitality and administration, was looking for a part-time job even as Todd was needing a full-time one. It was a no-brainer. Adam is now filling some of the gaps that Todd is leaving, and bringing his film-making and communication skills to bear as well. Please welcome ASC’s new Director of Media and Hospitality, Adam Garner!

CCSC Annual Meeting

Adam and I will be attending the Consortium of Christian Study Centers‘ Annual Meeting next month in Minneapolis. Our friends at Anselm House will be hosting the gathering this year. These gatherings are rich and encouraging, and I am so excited that Adam will be able to see the larger work of which Alcuin Study Center is but one part.

I couldn’t be more convinced of the need of Alcuin Study Center or the Christian Study Center movement. Take some time to explore the CCSC’s website and from there, look at the work of other centers. The more that you understand the type of work these institutions are doing, the more you will want to be involved in it yourself. Thank you for joining us in the mission.

Yours in Christ,

Dan Daugherty, Executive Director

“Music is a witness to the reality

that life is not random,

that this is not an accident.”

– Tim Keller

The above photo is of John Coltrane, who’s album A Love Supreme caused music critic Ashley Kahn to say “As I listened to the album again and again, I felt impelled to address Coltrane’s spirituality. Though I consider myself a dedicated agnostic and a die-hard rationalist, I am ready to admit that there is much that can seem the handiwork of some eternal force under spiritual direction.”

be kind