Founding President

Rev. Dr. Duane D. Otto is Founding President and Director of Ithaka Fellowship, Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, his Master in Divinity and Master in Counseling degrees from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and his Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Formation from Northern Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (Pastor of Soul Care at Christ Church, PCA in Normal, IL) and the husband of Julie Winslow Otto, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and together they have been blessed with six wonderful children. Duane is also a fifth-generation farmer and manages the Otto Family Farm in Gridley, Illinois. For solitude and rest, Duane and Julie retreat in the mountains of North Carolina, or go where the sky touches the sea.

Board of Directors

The board members of Ithaka Fellowship serve as the supporting trellis of the ministry. The board is comprised of men and women uniquely gifted to address the threefold mission of the study center through prayer, planning, and service. Presently they are: Joel Presley, Julie Otto, Duane Otto, Tim Trouten, Tom Becker, Calvin Otto, and Melody Green. If you have any questions for any of our leaders, feel free to reach out to Duane through our connect page.

Name & Logo

The name and purpose of Ithaka Fellowship is best depicted by Homer's classic tale, The Odyssey. As you may recall, the story begins in a world consumed with unbelief, uprootedness, aggression, and relativism – a world very much like our own. But as the story unfolds, a man by the name of Odysseus breaks free and triumphantly returns to his home in Ithaka. It is there among his family, community, and terraced fields that he finds timeless values affirmed and lived out. Ithaka Fellowship is simply the retelling of this redemptive story in the context of gospel truths and Christ-centered living. Our logo depicts a great tree firmly rooted in the ground and flourishing abundantly. This is not only a symbol of a mature, wise, blessed person (Psalm 1), but also of the complex interpersonal root systems of life that run deep within our souls and connect us to one another and to God.