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Zenger invitation

Journalistic training for teachers, professors, and missionaries

Zenger invitation

(Krieg Barrie)

Twelve times my wife and I in our living room have shown small groups of WORLD readers how to become WORLD writers. During a week of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. reporting, writing, and editing, the students ranging in age from 27 to 72 have improved their understanding, story sense, and writing. I’ve just checked our masthead and seen that 31 are now WORLD correspondents.

Our next World Journalism Institute mid-career course is scheduled for Jan. 9-15, 2020. Application deadline is Sept. 1, and several spots are still open: See But my main reason for mentioning this now is a potential expansion of WJI. We’re thinking about multiplying our efforts in a way that may produce a small benefit for WORLD but will, we hope, produce a large benefit for the evangelical church generally.

We’re thinking of having up to three new one-week mid-career courses. One, during the summer, would be for high-school teachers: Susan and I would teach them about journalism in a way that would allow them to set up journalism clubs or good school newspapers. A second, also during the summer, would teach college professors how to write in a journalistic way so they could put their ideas before a wider audience. A third, in spring or fall, would teach missionaries how to write letters and reports from the field that their supporters will read not out of a sense of duty but with excitement and pleasure.

A jury found John Peter Zenger not guilty on Biblical grounds: He told the truth.

The idea for these three new WJI opportunities is not mine: I’ve periodically received letters from teachers, professors, and missionaries asking us to start such courses. Susan and I would like to give it a shot. All 100 of our mid-career students during this decade have paid their own way, but since teachers, professors, and missionaries generally don’t have large salaries, we hope to offer scholarships. 

At this point I don’t know for sure that we’ll be offering these courses: I want to see if there really is a demand for them. If you’re a teacher, professor, or missionary, and what I’ve written quickens your pulse enough that you’d be eager to commit a week to learn under tough Olasky tutelage, please email me: Feel free to place this opportunity before tough-skinned others.

Those who run the race will become Zenger Fellows, named after John Peter Zenger, a courageous Christian editor who in 1734 went to jail for criticizing New York’s corrupt royal governor. A jury found him not guilty on Biblical grounds: He told the truth.

Wanted: long-married lovers

When I received a sweet note from WORLD reader Anne Phillips, I noted her email address—youtooanne@——.com—and could not resist asking about its origin.

Here’s Anne’s reply: “So glad you asked. Been dying to tell someone. Played second fiddle to a wonderful big brother (sympathy with Jesus’ brothers). Then married a man thought by my family to be too good for me. Sixty-two years ago while painting our first home my grandma raved about my husband’s good work. Belatedly she realized I had worked just as well, and she added ‘You, too, Anne.’”

Reading that reply reminded me of two good series WORLD ran online more than a decade ago. They celebrated perseverance in marriage (40 years or more) and in ministering at a specific church (30 years or more). We had one problem: Interviewees did not want to tell our reporters of any problems they had had. But, as former world-record mile runner Jim Ryun told me in 2009 after celebrating his 40th anniversary, “Marriage is the bringing together of two very selfish people who have to learn a lot about giving, and if you put Jesus at the center of that process He will help you.”

I’d say the same about the 43 years of marriage Susan and I have had: Without Jesus we wouldn’t have made it. So, if you’ve been married for more than 40 years, or have pastored in the same place for more than 30 years, and if you are willing to disclose to WORLD reporter Charissa Koh how you overcame difficulties, please email her——and include your telephone number.

Charissa will be particularly interested in your story because her dad—pastor of the same Georgia church for 24 years—performed her wedding ceremony on July 13.