George Fox Evangelical Seminary is now Portland Seminary. Learn more


A studio is a small learning community

What is a studio?

A studio is an upper-level course that connects students with faculty and vocational experts in a small-group, mentorship environment. These summative courses provide a unique opportunity for students to “be known” by experts, “belong” to a small like-minded learning community, and “become” prepared for particular vocations.

Key elements of a studio

  1. Specializations – Most studio courses fit within a specialization and are taught at a more advanced level and build upon core courses. The subject matter is narrow and aims for depth rather than breadth. Students will select a specialization based on the programs chosen and particular academic and vocational interests. 
  2. Mentorship – Faculty members and other leaders serve not only as “teachers” in studios, but mentors who aim to come alongside students in the studio and journey with them with the benefit of advanced knowledge and experience in the subject area.
  3. Holistic – Studio courses aim to be holistic, that is offering educational experiences that that seek to shape the person and community mind, heart, and body. 
  4. Be Known (6-12 students) – Studio courses by design are meant to offer a more personal setting with 6-12 students, fostering a community of dialogue and reflection as well as a collegial relationship with faculty and fellow students.
  5. Liminal and Vocational – As studio courses tend to come towards the end of a degree program, part of their function is to connect students to communities and opportunities outside the seminary. This may come through educational experiences with religious organizations, other academic bodies, or vocation-specific entities. Studios will serve an important role in fostering and utilizing our relationship with partner-institutions such as the Leadership Center, the Friends Center, and the Center for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies.

Summer 2018 Studios

Advanced Preaching with Dr. Leonard Sweet

Every communicator must learn to speak the vernacular. Even David had to learn the language of the Chaldeans. This course explores the language of 21st century culture, and what it might mean to learn to speak not just in words but in stories, images, and a soundtrack. The shift from a Gutenberg culture’s mastery of words (preachers as wordsmiths) to a Google culture’s mastery of images (preachers as imagesmiths) is in some ways a discovery and recovery of more ancient ways of approaching oral communication. In the words of Aristotle: "The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor . . ordinary words convey only what we know already; it is from metaphor that we can best get hold of something fresh." This course will explore what it means to read the Bible incorporating both hermeneutics and semiotics, and will set you on the path of communicating in a way the world can actually hear what you are saying.

Seminar in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship with Dr. Lacy Borgo

SFAD 555 Seminar in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship

Integrates elements from completed classes into a working vision of spiritual formation and discipleship. From that vision students will explore the ministry implications by crafting a final project that will invite, inform and enliven those within their sphere of influence to a transformational life with God. The creation of this project will begin in SFAD 555 and be completed in SFAD 565.

SFAD 565 Seminar in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship

A continuation of SFAD 555. Forms and refines the vision of spiritual formation and discipleship by exploring the anthropology of the person. Students will learn to listen to the needs of those within their sphere of influence and continue crafting their final project which seeks to invite, inform and enliven others to a transformational life with God.