Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jon Phelps (founder Full Sail University) in the history of Mars Hill Church in Seattle aka who is Phelps and what is his history of connection to MHC? (updated 08-30-2014 with tag)

Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Mark Driscoll, Zondervan, 2006
ISBN-13:978-0-310-27016-4
ISBN-10:0-310-27016-2
Copyright 2006 by Mark Driscoll

From pages 34-35

Question 9
Do you have the courage to shoot your dogs?

Dogs are idiotic ideas, stinky styles, stupid systems, failed facilities, terrible technologies, loser leaders, and pathetic people. Most churches know who and what their dogs are but simply lack the courage to pull the trigger and shoot their dogs. Therefore it is vital to name with brutal candor the people, programs, structures, and ministry philosophies that are dogs needing to be shot. Be sure to make it count and shoot them only once so that they don't come back and bite you. [endnote 35 here]


Page 202
35. I took the concept of shooting our dogs from a conversation I had with a friend named Jon Phelps, who is the president of DC-3 Entertainment and the founder of Full Sail College. 
Jon Phelps is co-credited with Mark Driscoll for Reverse-Engineering Your Life

Skipping the phrase "shoot your dogs" entirely and moving on to names and references, to get some idea of who Jon Phelps is we may have to go find out what there is available about the two things Driscoll refers to Phelps being president and founder of respectively.

So ... DC-3 Entertainment.

Nathan Burke, who served as executive assistant to Mark Driscoll and as executive elder at Mars Hill Ballard wrote the following in his LinkedIn profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanburke

Project Manager

DC3 Entertainment


May 2005April 2006 (1 year) Greater Seattle Area
A start-up entertainment company that ended up morphing into a coffee company: http://www.storyville.com/

Storyville Coffee is currently where Jamie Munson is co-president and has a five percent ownership in the firm.  The variant spellings don't blur the detail that Jon Phelps owns the company.


So what is Full Sail College?  Driscoll's reference was made in an endnote in a book published in 2006.  Well, now it is 2013 and Full Sail College is now  Full Sail University.  For people who kept tabs on the 2012 presidential race some of you may remember that Rachel Maddow discussed Full Sail University in particular and for-profit colleges in general as a talking point for the Romney campaign:
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show#48603715

It's a ten-minute clip and for those who don't feel like watching it, well, the short of it is that Maddow notes that students who enrolled in Full Sail University's computer gaming animation program the on-time graduation rate was 14% and the cumulative graduation rate was about 34% and the median debt incurred regardless of the academic outcome was 59k.  Maddow then transitioned into discussing how for-profit colleges have made a point of targeting veterans.  If you're not the sort to watch Maddow clips this summary might not convince you to watch the clip.

According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Jon Phelps founded Full Sail in January 1979.
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-08-01/business/os-cfb-cover-full-sail-080210-20100801_1_full-sail-university-jon-phelps-rolling-stone

On February 24, 2013 the following video got posted to Youtube by fullsailreviews, which looks like a pretty anti-Full Sail University channel overall.  But independent consultation of real estate listings shows that the Phelps have a lot of money landed in Seattle real estate. 

Mark Driscoll and Jon Phelps are co-creators and owners of the copyright in "Reverse-Engineering Your Life" which appeared in some mens' retreat materials circa 2006 and in a different format at the end of Real Marriage.

But even if we consider the bias against Full Sail University there is an inferential case to be made that the Jon and Esther Phelps own enough real estate in the Puget Sound area to propose the possibilities that 1) they are members of Mars Hill Church or may be present in some capacity and 2) that Phelps has been credited by Mark Driscoll with axioms on leadership and planning that have featured in at least two of Driscoll's books. 

UPDATE/POSTSCRIPT
08-30-2014
In light of the recent announcement, Wenatchee The Hatchet has added new posts with additional history (such as can be found) about Phelps and has added a tag to the posts for easier consultation. 

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/08/throckmorton-reports-jon-phelps-added.html
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/08/jonjohn-phelps-background-connected-to.html
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/08/phelpes-proposed-storyville-in-park.html

This post was originally published back in late September 2013 (per the url) but adding a tag seems to have changed the publication date.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Do you have the courage to shoot your dogs? Dogs are...loser leaders, and pathetic people. Most churches know who and what their dogs are but simply lack the courage to pull the trigger and shoot their dogs. Therefore it is vital to name with brutal candor the people...that are dogs needing to be shot. Be sure to make it count and shoot them only once so that they don't come back and bite you." -- Mark "Mr. Tough Guy" Driscoll

"Shooting dogs?"

You do not learn that from Christ.

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. -- Hebrews 5:1-2

Anonymous said...

The Phelps' son Jon has played music at MH for many years, as part of Red Letter, and probably other groups. I don't know if his parents are members, but I was told by a reputable source that they were the ones who bought the very expensive sound system when the Ballard campus was new. At the time, I believe it was the single biggest gift MH had ever received. I doubt that's the extent of their financial involvement with the church.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant to say their son is Dan.

Anonymous said...

Jon is also one of the members of the Accountability board (the only people holding Mark accountable).

Other members are Michael van Skaik, James MacDonald, and Larry Osbourne.