The Studium at Northfield School

well established and here for your Student

Our team

Liberal Arts Experts

Meet Our Faculty

During their time at Studium, a student interacts with the faculty of the school personally and on a daily basis. The faculty of Studium School function In Loco Parentis, in the place of the students’ parents, exercising their role as teacher while intentionally caring for and cultivating meaningful relationships with their students.

Learning as a way of life


Nathaniel Lutke


History Courses Taught: Bible, Greek, Roman, Medieval and Modern European History

Supplemental Courses Taught: Capstone Italy, Economic Thought, Great Books, Latin, and How To Read A Book

Mr. Lutke grew up in rural upstate New York in an early homeschooling family full of pastors. After moving to Kansas in 2000 he finished his B.A. in History at University of Kansas in 2003, with a minor in Geography. Returning to Wichita he attended graduate school at Wichita State University and completed his M.A. in History.

Mr. Lutke began his teaching career at Butler Community College from 2006-2015. He joined the Northfield Faculty in 2007 and has donned many hats and assumed many roles ever since. In addition to leading Studium cohort he is also Registrar for the school. He joined as an adjunct professor in the Friends University History & Politics Department in 2014 and continues to teach courses each semester.

Forever a learner he has branched out in many directions in his studies into other areas of history, economics, government, and even Latin. This has allowed him to expand his course offerings at Northfield and Friends. He previously taught World History, Geography, and sections of American History and American Government. At Northfield he currently Jewish & Greek History, Medieval History, Modern European History, Capstone Economics, Capstone History of Italy, and Latin 1. At Friends he teaches World Civilizations 1, and World Civilizations 2, and the upper division courses The World Wars, History of Communism, and Area History courses of the individual countries of Germany, Italy, UK, and France.

Mr. Lutke married his wonderful wife, Carrie, in 2008, and they have four amazing children: Zoë, Eric, Clare and Conrad. As a family they attend New Life Covenant Church.

Dan Overholt

Courses Taught: Foundations of Science, Bio, Chem & Physics, Literature & Composition

Mr. Overholt received his Associate’s Degree from Friends University, where he studied Cello Performance, having transferred from North Park University in Chicago, where he studied composition and physics. However, he accounts his graduation from the International Baccalaureate program from Wichita’s East High School as a high-water mark in his academic journey and the beginning of a lifelong dedication toward education, creativity, and service.

Since then he has pursued many endeavors professionally, and has worked (in no particular order) as a photographer, luthier, repair-man, graphic designer, sound recordist, film chemist, real estate developer, cinematographer, cellist, bassist, English teacher, church custodian, martial arts instructor, audio engineer, non-profit administrator, strategic director, and house painter.

Throughout these varied careers he has maintained his love for the performing arts, and has been a member of many local bands (notably The Travel Guide, Commonfolk, and The Radio Soul), and he currently performs with the local gospel/hip-hop outfit David B. Ladwig and the Up ’n’ Ups, as well as recording and performing his own music. He is currently beginning his sixth year as the director of the Church of the Savior Chamber Choir. He has also had the honor of working with fellow Northfield faculty Bill and Sanda Coleman on a number of recent plays, including Death of a Salesman, Much Ado About Nothing, and Hamlet.

Joshua Sturgill

Courses Taught: Literature & Composition, Poetry, Astronomy, History

Mr. Sturgill is a lover of travel, books, art and education. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he has lived in Kansas, Colorado and California and is currently on loan to Wichita from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A 2001 graduate of Sangre de Cristo Seminary, Mr. Sturgill returned to formal education in 2013 completing a BA in Western classics and an MA in Far Eastern Classics at Saint John’s College, Santa Fe.

The St. John’s style of Shared Inquiry classrooms has deeply influenced his teaching methods. Shared Inquiry emphasizes communal learning and an integrative, rather than specialist, approach to knowledge.

Mr. Sturgill is the author of two books of poetry As Far As I Can Tell (2018) and Now a Major Motion Picture (2021), as well as numerous short stories, articles and essays. His writing has appeared in The College, Cresset, Synaxis Journal, the online blog of Darkly Bright Press, and has been rejected by many other fine publications.

In July of 2020, at an inopportune moment near the height of a global pandemic, Mr. Sturgill married his dear friend Rebekah so they could quarantine together more conveniently. With any spare time, Mr. Sturgill plays Irish Drum, reads Perennial Philosophy or works in his garden. He is a tenor in the choirs of St. George Cathedral, Wichita, and Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Santa Fe.

Rebecca Sturgill

Courses Taught: Literature & Composition

Mrs. Sturgill is delighted to be returning to secondary school after a brief sojourn in elementary education last year. She is a lover of books and occasionally gets around to reading them too. She grew up in Fort Worth, Texas but please don’t hold that against her as she quickly moved to Santa Fe to attend St. John’s College for a BA in Liberal Arts. She has since returned to St. John’s (via Zoom) to receive her MA in Eastern Classics from the comfort of her living room in Wichita.

While not teaching or talking adamantly about education, you can find Mrs. Sturgill singing alto in the choir at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, hosting a fabulous dinner party, behind the counter at Eighth Day Books, or listening to her husband read a very good story while she knits. Such a pastoral lifestyle was brought to fruition by getting married during a worldwide pandemic, something Mrs. Sturgill does not recommend highly to anyone considering the possibility.

In the past, Mrs. Sturgill focused her teaching on math and science but is excited to return to her roots in literature and the Great Books! She particularly loves the works of Virginia Woolf, Flannery O’Connor, C.S. Lewis, any Russian, and anyone born before Descartes (whom she does not particularly love). The book she would bring to a desert island would either be War & Peace (much to her husband’s chagrin) or The Brothers Karamazov (to find out why her husband likes it so much more than War & Peace).

Carrie Lutke

Courses Taught: Literature and Composition

Mrs. Lutke received her BA in ESOL Education from John Brown University in 2001 and spent the first years of her career teaching at language learning centers, Pleasant Valley Middle School and St. Jude’s Catholic School.

She and her husband, Nathaniel, are the parents of four children, and she has spent much of her past few years homeschooling them. Alongside this she started her own lettering and calligraphy business, Sparrow Lettering, in 2016. Her work can be found in some local shops or summer pop-up markets, but the teacher in her loves to getting to teach calligraphy and lettering workshops.

Mrs Lutke loves to read and to travel and has been to several corners of the globe, including China, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy and France.

Sarah Eastley

Courses Taught: Geography, Geology, Climatology

Mrs. Eastley’s love of geography began as a child, when the Rand McNally road atlas was her sole source of entertainment on long car drives. This eventually led to a Bachelor’s degree in geography from Brigham Young University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2000. Shortly after that, she left her career pursuits to devote herself to raising a family.

She and her husband, Jared, are the parents of eight children, and she has devoted much time to homeschooling them. Teaching runs in her blood, and in addition to homeschool teaching she has worked as a substitute teacher, a teacher’s assistant, and a grader for a high school English teacher. She has extensive experience working with youth through volunteer positions in her church and with the Boy Scouts of America. This will be her second year teaching 6th grade geography at Northfield.

Mrs. Eastley loves to travel and has been to Europe several times and Africa once, as well as traveling all over the United States. She particularly loves the mountains and red rock country of Utah, where she has deep roots. She also enjoys photography, writing, hiking, gardening, and genealogy research.

Finn Lanning

Courses Taught: Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Algebra II, Geometry

Mr. Lanning graduated from Wichita State with a BA in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering in 2012. Since then, he has been teaching middle school math and science in Florida and Colorado.

Before classroom teaching, he worked informally in education settings for about twenty years: he taught preschool at his family business, was a science educator at Exploration Place, coordinated an outreach program at WSU that sought to increase engagement with STEM topics for K-12 students, and was the Academic Programs Coordinator at Upward Bound.

He also has many years of experience in directing summer camps for middle and high school students, including a number of STEM camps. He is passionate about bringing STEM learning alive through hands-on and student-driven projects that make skills applicable to real-world projects that students care about.

He has particular experience with projects related to hobby electronics, simple coding, video game design, and building and making.

David Cullen

Courses Taught: Logic, Philosophy, Geometry

An ordained minister and a published writer, Dr. Cullen notes that he attended eight elementary schools in five US states and two foreign countries, but settled down after sixth grade, attending just one junior and two senior high schools. Intending to become an architect, he studied at the University of Colorado’s College of Environmental Design from 1969-71.

After a six-year break during which he remodeled houses, drove 18-wheelers cross-country, and rebuilt printing presses, he returned to school and earned a BA at Anaheim Christian College, followed by an MA in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf School of Law, where he later taught Logic and Critical Thinking and was Dean of Students.

In 1983, he and his wife Nancy moved to Strasbourg, France, where he began his seminar-year of studies in the doctoral program at the Faculté de théologie protestante de l’Université des Sciences Humaines de Strasbourg. In 1987, he successfully defended his dissertation, C. S. Lewis, Apologiste de la foi chrétienne: sa lutte contre les effets sécularisant du matérialisme et du naturalisme, just the second dissertation defended at a French university on the work of English author C.S. Lewis and the first focused on Lewis’ philosophical defense of the Christian faith.

Dr. Cullen has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in logic, business ethics, world literature, and philosophy. His courses at private secondary schools have included logic, geometry, composition, and ancient history. He is married to Nancy Hancock-Cullen, a private pilot and retired air traffic controller.

Tom Penning

Courses Taught: Constitution, Latin

Dr. Penning holds a BS in History (Calvin College), a Master’s Degree (Reformed Theological Seminary), and a Doctorate of Ministry (Reformed Theological Seminary).

Tom has warmed his feet at hearths in Michigan, Arkansas, Mississippi, Australia, South Dakota, and Kansas. He loves books and people, and is electrified when the two connect. Tom has taught at every level from Kindergarten to University, and his taught something every year at Northfield since 1998. Every year is his absolute favorite.

Along with education, Tom has held jobs in sales, lawn care, chemical manufacturing, plumbing, radio, food delivery, music, and ghost-writing. But his vocation is pastoring and teaching.

Shawna Hein

Courses Taught:

History, Lit. Comp
Mrs. Hein is a Kansas native. She grew up in the small town of Silver Lake, Ks and attended college at Kansas State University where she received her BA in Elementary Education.

She started her journey in education teaching Kindergarten and First Grade for a short stint before deciding to stay home with her children. She then jumped into homeschooling, enjoying teaching new grades every year and relearning subjects which sparked a new joy in education, a passion for learning and a penchant for experimenting to find new methods of teaching that worked for her specific family.

Mrs. Hein soon went back to school, completing the Reading Interventionalist Program at Fundamental Learning Center. Tutoring provided more opportunities to enjoy and spread her love of learning beyond homeschool and she was delighted to be back in her element. Mrs. Hein has tutored for 7 years and continues to work with a few students.

When her daughter wanted to go back to school, Mrs. Hein found Northfield Studium and it was a great fit. Inspired by the atmosphere and pedagogy of the school, when Mr. Lutke asked if she’d be interested in teaching there, she was excited to take on a new challenge. Mrs. Hein has found a new passion in learning through the great books and joining the great conversation with a group of amazing students and faculty.

When not devouring ancient literature, Mrs. Hein loves to read lighter subjects, take long walks, camp with her family, and refinish furniture.