Bonnell University

Bonnell University has been going on for some time informally, and we now have a team working on making it more explicitly available for people to plug into. Here is my take on what it is.

Bonnell University is not actually a university in the way it is usually defined - namely a campus with degree programs, a faculty, courses, and students - but is intended to be an alternative for those for whom the traditional university system is not completely meeting their needs. It is a container to support self-driven, peer-to-peer, open, integrated learning and development. We believe that this kind of container or space can be a more effective and efficient way for many people to learn and grow.

By 'self-driven,' we mean that each 'student' has the freedom - and the responsibility - to direct their own learning and development, driven by their own inner wisdom, by what they are being called to do and be (aka dharma), by what creates safety and the optimal level of challenge for them, etc.

By 'peer-to-peer,' we mean to eliminate the distinction that is made within the traditional university system of teachers and students. Within the BU container, everyone is learning from each other; everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a 'student' (learner), playing the different roles at different times - and usually at the same time.

By 'open' we mean that learning takes place everywhere, at all times, with anyone and everyone, and in many different ways, depending on who is involved. And it means that our approach to container building is living and involving, so the container changes as participants enter into and operate within it.

By 'integrated' we mean a non-compartmentalized approach that engages the whole person, is done contextually, and encompasses feeling, thinking, doing and being.

If you want more information, we have set up a website - go to - and we are in the process of setting up a room in the St. Mary's school building where there will be information posted and even people to talk to.