BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Robert Burns lives in Orange County, California, and found the Urantia Book in 1974. He has participated in various Urantia Book-related organizations since then, including his roles as past president of the Urantia Book Fellowship (UBF) and a past Trustee of the Foxhall Endowment. Robert hosted a weekly study group in Orange County for 20 years and also served as past president of UBLA (Urantia Book Society of Los Angeles). He currently serves as a Trustee of Urantia University Institute.
Robert is the Chair Emeritus of the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Health at the University of California Irvine, and currently advocates for Colette's Children Home serving homeless women and their children in Orange County. He has served as a past chair and Trustee of FreeSchools World Literacy, which supports schools for girls in Bihar, India.
Robert is married to Christi, and they own Shape-Up Health Club in Corona del Mar. Started in 1982, Shape-Up specializes in healthy longevity through activities of the mind, body and spirit. Robert and Christi enjoy playing music, with Robert on drums and Christi the singer.
Executive Director & Treasurer
Elisabeth Callahan retired from Road Scholar (Elderhostel) after serving many years as a Program Coordinator for its adult educational travel programs in order to work full-time on the development of UrantiaUniversity. Prior to joining Road Scholar, she enjoyed a long corporate career at Transamerica Insurance Companies in Los Angeles where she worked for many years in the corporate accounting and financial systems area then successively as a technical and administrative manager of TLC's IRA & Simplified Employee Pension Plan Administration, Annuity Sales and Service, and Claims Review Administration.
Throughout her life Elisabeth has pursued a path of contemplative practice and studies in world religions and transpersonal psychology. She trained intensively for many years in both the Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen and was ordained a Zen Buddhist monk. Years later she returned to her Christian roots, seeking the expression of the original way that Jesus lived and taught, and was ordained a priest in the Independent Catholic Church. During these years she also pursued training in transpersonal psychology including graduate work at ITP (now Sofia University) in Menlo Park, CA.
Since discovering The Urantia Book in 1984 she has devoted herself to its in-depth study and sharing it with others. She and her husband, John have led a weekly Urantia Book study group in Southern California for many years and derive rich personal and spiritual growth through this fellowship and the process of group discovery and application of Urantia Book teachings. She has been a Trustee of UrantiaUniversity since its inception and currently serves as Executive Director of UrantiaUniversity Institute.
John Callahan is the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Inaugural member of the UrantiaUniversity Legacy Circle.
Marvin Gawryn considers himself incredibly lucky. Fifty years ago, when he was seventeen and barely sentient, at his high school job at one of the first metaphysical book shops in Los Angeles, he stumbled upon The Urantia Book. It has shaped his entire adult life from that day forward.
He has participated in and led study groups weekly for forty years, and served in numerous leadership roles with Urantia Book Fellowship and other service organizations. His dearest friends are fellow readers. He is the author of “Reaching High: The Psychology of Spiritual Living”, and has presented workshops at many movement conferences. He was especially fortunate to serve as Chair of the Fellowship’s Liaison Committee during eﬀorts to restore cooperative relations with Urantia Foundation and UAI after the turbulence of the 1990’s. He is currently a member of the Standard Reference Text Committee, and of UUI’s Curriculum Committee.
Marvin is semi-retired after 30 years in practice as a Family Therapist, and currently works as the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada. He has, over the past thirty years, researched and oﬀered workshops on the socialization of religion material in The Urantia Book, and in 1988 completed a two year Certificate of Theological Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in the history and sociology of religion.
He is President of the Family of God Fellowship (familyofgodfellowship.org), which is dedicated to helping people live their lives more fully in spiritual family relationship, and to spreading Jesus’ gospel as expressed in The Urantia Book — a thrilling and dynamic Way of Life in the Family of God.
Most importantly, Marvin and his lovely and wise wife, Francyl, continue to enjoy the remarkable experience of serving as parents to two amazing young women, their husbands, and two beloved grandchildren. “Such a life on such a planet!” 111:7.5
PresidentTim Hobbs is the founder and CEO of Data Connect Corporation. He has gained a solid reputation among colleagues and customers alike as an information technology executive with a rare combination of strategic insight, operational expertise, and technological and collaboration skills. Tim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Nuclear Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.
He has been actively involved in the Urantia Book Fellowship (UBF) for many years, serving as a General Councilor and past member of the Executive Committee. Tim has traveled world-wide with members of UBF's International Fellowship Committee in its far-reaching mission to bring the Urantia Book teachings to South America, Africa and Asia. His outreach ministry includes hosting a long-time study group and co-founding UrantiaUniversity, Inc. where he hopes to develop a leadership training program inspired by key concepts in The Urantia Book for business groups and the corporate community.
Merritt Horn has been reading the Urantia Book since 1968. He was a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Spiritual Fellowship, co-founder of the Boulder School for Students of the Urantia Book, and is the author of The Call of the Spirit (1984, 2008). He has been tracking and analyzing typographical issues in the text of the Urantia Book for many years and is a member of the Standard Reference Text committee. In addition to serving as a General Councilor for Urantia Book Fellowship, he is a Trustee of UrantiaUniversity and has served as an Associate Trustee for Urantia Foundation. Merritt has entered the busy 're-firement' stage of life after retiring from his position as the IT Director for a large organic foods manufacturer. Merritt lives in Boulder, CO with his wife, Jeanney, and any of their four daughters who might happen to be 'visiting' at the moment.
Director of Administration & SecretaryAri Horn happily joined UUI’s board in 2018 and now works alongside Executive Director Elisabeth Callahan to develop and execute UUI’s programs and projects which foster soul growth and promote spiritual community. Before UUI, she gained higher education and nonprofit management and fundraising experience in Chicago at Gads Hill Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She achieved her Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in religious history and the twentieth century. She prizes her work with the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions at UW as formative. Learning about other faith traditions and getting to the adherents themselves strengthened her dedication to the Fatherhood of God, the Motherhood of the Spirit, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Sisterhood of Women. She lives in Boulder Colorado.
The Urantia Book’s truths have spoken compellingly to André Radatus since 1976; for him it is the “the ever-illuminating 'Handbook Earth.'” He has participated in and co-led many different study groups and formats since 1978. He co-taught a Denver Free University Introduction to The Urantia Book class and has participated in three French-language study groups.
Canadian born, André immigrated to the United States in 1980 to teach and tutor at a Urantian-founded school for learning-difference youngsters. He is the father of three adult children.
André’s vision is that every UrantiaUniversity graduate will be a catalyst for the growth of God’s relationship with each person and a leader in bringing love and progressive civilization to all persons. He regards UrantiaUniversity’s mission to be to help ardent students of The Urantia Book to integrate, express, and live its manifold truths; to inspire humankind to be won over to Michael's message: "The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man."
Benet Rutenberg resides in Terre Haute, Indiana and is the father of 3 and grand-father of 3. His work has included logistics, sales, sales training, management and food service. He worked in healthcare for 28 years in home oxygen and respiratory care. This involved teaching practical, sales, technical, regulatory and company policy internally as well as advising Doctors, Nurses, Administrators and allied health professionals on how to use the system for improved patient compliance and outcomes. Benet served over 10 years in Continuity of Care, a multi-disciplinary society established to improve post- hospital care at the local and state levels, in a variety of officer and committee chair positions.
A student of The Urantia Book since 1971, Benet has been actively involved in many Urantia Book-related organizations. He has been a member of Urantia Association International (UAI) since 1996, serving on both the UAI Leadership 2011 Symposium Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee since its inception. He has served 2+ terms as President of the Greater Lake Michigan Urantia Association (GLMUA), is currently acting President, and has been on the GLMUA Conference Committee since 2002, serving as its chair since 2007. He is also a two-term past president of Urantia Association of United States (UAUS).
Benet currently serves as one of three Judicial Commissioners in UAI. He attends conferences and meetings of many local and regional Urantia Book-related organizations and finds great fulfillment in being with all those who are interested in these teachings. He has served as a Trustee of UrantiaUniversity (UU) since its inception in 2009 and looks forward to all UU-related projects finding expression and fulfillment in the coming years.
Claire Thurston has been a student of the Urantia Book teachings since 1980 and has actively participated in Urantian organizations. The UB perspective on fatherliness spurred research on father's role in child development, which led to a book, "The Dad Difference," and a protocol to prevent child abuse that was piloted with the Denver probation department. Her last few years as a trustee of UUI has been the acme of her involvement with the Urantia movement. As head of Strategic Planning, she has delighted in being part of a dream team that has contributed to the growth of this new global educational institution.
She will be retiring shortly from her career with the Federal government's Center for Leadership Development where she helped to launched three programs; one of them, the LEAD Certificate program, gave her the background to facilitate a format for UUI. For the future, in addition to her continued work with UUI, she will be collaborating with her daughter Angie Thurston on a spiritual outreach project and book specifically designed for Gen Z.
Arlene Weimer received a PhD in Psychology and Gerontology in 1970. In 1973 Arlene was introduced to The Urantia Book by one of her students in a psychology class on Personality when she was teaching at Florida Tech. University. She immediately shared the book with her husband, Buck Weimer, and both became lifelong students of its teachings hosting a weekly study group for the past 44 years. In 1974, they moved to Colorado where Arlene worked at the Colorado State Hospital as Chief Psychologist of the Geriatric Division and taught psychology at the University of Southern Colorado. In 1978, while beginning to raise their 3 sons, Arlene went into private practice as a licensed clinical psychologist which she continues to do until the present.
Buck and Arlene have been involved in Urantian service organizations over the years and was on the International Fellowship Committee. Their service work has taken them to several foreign countries in Asia, India, Nepal, Africa, Croatia and South America. Arlene also serves on Urantia University’s Curriculum Committee and as a UUI Instructor. She has taught several online classes in the past few years including “Jesus the Human Father” and “Spiritual Living”. She is presently one of the facilitators for the UUI Café.