Episode 23: The Purpose of Education with Eliot Grasso

Eliot talks about the importance of a multidisciplinary education and the unique Gutenberg experience.


Episode 23: Eliot Grasso


Imagine the small community setting, thoughtful discussions with peers, and classical curriculum of Classical ConversationsĀ®, but at a college level! In this episode of Refining Rhetoric, Robert speaks to Eliot Grasso, vice president and a tutor at Gutenberg College. Gutenberg takes a classical, Christian approach to a four-year higher education while limiting its incoming freshman class to just twenty students. This fosters a family-like community where students learn and live together while exploring and debating big ideas through Gutenbergā€™s Great Books program. Here, Robert and Eliot talk about the importance of a multidisciplinary education, the unique Gutenberg experience, and, surprisingly, what in the world an uilleann pipe is.


“The sorts of experiences that we have in our moral rupturing as a culture, in our economics, these have happened many, many, many times before in different times and places. So, I think that great books do good job of helping people see that this isn’t that new.”

Eliot Grasso


  • Intro to Eliot Grasso [1:02]
  • Gutenberg College is an educational ministry [1:54]
  • What counts as a great book? [2:52]
  • What it means to “believe science” [4:53]
  • The importance of primary sources [6:50]
  • How conversations aid personal growth [11:28]
  • Why Gutenberg has “tutors” not “professors” [14:45]
  • Is the purpose of college to get a good job? [15:30]
  • Eliot’s favorite class at Gutenberg [19:08]
  • Eliot’s hope for Gutenberg graduates [21:02]
  • The uilleann pipe [22:46]
  • Why music is so meaningful [25:27]
  • Farewell to Eliot [28:17]
  • “Classical Tools Recap” [29:16]
  • Ad: Homeschool Families on Missions [31:41]
  • “Current Events Discussion”: ESAs [33:30]
  • Outro [40:50]