A studio is a small learning community

What is a studio?

Studios are digitally-forward advanced courses that connect students with faculty and vocational experts in a small-group environment. It is through these courses that students hone their specialization and vocational skills. By combining the best of online and face-to-face instruction, these courses allow students to have flexible schedules while still building close relationships with peers and mentors in their field.

Key elements of a studio

Specialized – Studios are about depth, not breadth. Studios build on core classes and empower students with rich expertise. Studios may include the creation of a useful artifact, such as a sermon series or business plan.

Relational – Studio courses are designed to help students be known—both by their peers and their instructors. Studios foster engagement, collaboration, and mentorship.

Vocational – Studio courses help prepare students for life after seminary by offering connections to people and opportunities outside the school. 

Holistic – Studio courses are designed to  shape the mind, heart, and body. Students participate in immersive face-to-face experiences—such as retreats or trips to local cultural sites—that engage the whole self.

Innovative – Each studio course is taught as a hybrid between an online and traditional course, which blends the flexibility of remote learning with the power of relational connection. 

Who can attend? How do you sign up?

Summer studios are designed for seminary masters students and members of the community at large. Alumni, local pastors, special students, and friends of current students are all encouraged to attend. Thinking about becoming a masters student at a later time? This is a great way to see what the masters program is all about! 

How to register as a SPECIAL STUDENT.

How to audit as a SEMINARY ALUMNUS.

Summer Studios 2019

advanced leadership logoADVANCED LEADERSHIP I & II (MLDR 558/559)

Steve Sherwood, DMin
Ben Sand, MDiv

Is a life in ministry a 100 meter sprint or a marathon? What would it look like to be just as
enthused and energized by a ministry context ten years in as one was the day they first saw the
job on a seminary job posting wall? Let’s be honest. Ministry is hard. Challenges, professional
and personal can take a toll on the most motivated, passion-filled, well trained among us. Are
there ways to build practices, habits and values into our lives, personal and professional that
can prepare us for the challenges that are sure to come in ministry?

We believe there are. We believe enthusiasm and passion can be sustained over time, for years,
for decades. We believe churches, and ministry organizations can be healthy places of thriving,
for staff, congregants or clients. These paired studio courses will explore issues of health and
sustainability, both for individuals in ministry and for the ministries that they lead and serve.
Together we will not sugarcoat or minimize the challenges to healthy, long-term ministry, but
we believe these challenges do need to have the last say. With God’s grace, and wise practices,
we believe any of us can enjoy rich years, decades, and more in ministry.

The studios will begin with a four day face to face intensive spanning May 13th to May 16th , and
continue with and will continue with distance learning work and assignments through July 14 th .
In addition to hearing from instructors Dr. Sherwood and Mr. Sand (each of whom are veterans
of decades of sustained ministry with each of their specific ministry contexts), as well as diverse
pastoral and ministry practitioners. Topics will include healthy team functioning, decision
making, and conflict resolution, hiring and HR best practices, and personal health and
development professionally and spiritually over time.

The face-to-face portion of this studio will be May 13-16, 2019 at Portland Leadership Foundation

Note: From the registrar’s perspective, this seminar is split into two five-week courses. In practice, this summer studio is designed as one cohesive ten-week experience.



Lacy Borgo, DMin

As students finish their specialization in spiritual formation and discipleship, this course invites them to put theoretical skills into action. Over several weeks, students will engage in new spiritual practices, discuss methods for facilitating spiritual development, and create a final project designed to share what they have learned with their friends, family, or congregants. 

This course begins with a four-day spiritual retreat centered on rest, grace, and identity in Christ. During this time, students will simmer in the truth that they are the beloved of God. It is from this place of rootedness that students will develop and execute an artifact of some kind—be it a sermon series, retreat curriculum, devotional guide, or mobile app—that puts to use what they’ve learned about formation and discipleship. Using online forums and video chat, students will come together digitally each week to collaborate on their projects and discuss assigned readings. In the end, the goal is to empower students with practical tools to embody Christ-like presence and facilitate deeper spiritual growth.

UPDATEThe face-to-face portion of this studio will be May 13-16, 2019 at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center. Overnight accommodation and meals are included in course registration fees. For alumni or special guests, the cost for the retreat is $300 in addition to any course registration fees. 

Note: From the registrar’s perspective, this seminar is split into two five-week courses. In practice, this summer studio is designed as one cohesive ten-week experience.


Church Planting Logo BIBLE & CONTEMPORARY CULTURE I & II (BIST 556/557)

Joel Mayward, MATS

Culture imitates real life. Stories speak to us, tell us about ourselves and help us understand each other. Narrative is a powerful tool for changing systems and for building relationship. 

Join us as we explore the usage of biblical themes and metaphors in various avenues in which Christianity and culture intersect, including politics, art, and various traditional and social media outlets. Analyze and assess the methods in which the artists engage with biblical materials, expanding their ability to discuss biblical themes across popular culture. 

This studio will be delivered with teaching, discussion, Q&A, and hands-on  to provide a stimulating, fast paced, interactive learning experience.

The face-to-face portion of this studio will be held June 17-20, 2019 at Portland Seminary, with organized excursions around the Portland metro area.

Note: From the registrar’s perspective, this seminar is split into two five-week courses. In practice, this summer studio is designed as one cohesive ten-week experience.



Randy Woodley, PhD

To have a theology of place in the United States is to wrestle with an uncomfortable reality: our churches are built on stolen land. In these back-to-back five-week courses, students will explore faith and worldview through two uncomfortable lenses: the culture of the people from whom our ancestors stole this land, and the very ground they took.

Students will begin with an immersive experience visiting key cultural and geographic sites where they will engage with indigenous people and with Oregon’s natural environment. Through these experiences, students will face the decidedly Western nature of their own worldviews and ask hard questions about their relationships to the land. In the weeks that follow, during which time the class is held entirely online, students will use readings and discussions to explore how we ought to walk upon the earth that Jesus created, inhabited, died for, and is working to redeem.

The face-to-face portion of this studio will be June 3-6, 2019 at Eloheh Farm in Newberg, Oregon. 

Note: From the registrar’s perspective, this seminar is split into two five-week courses. In practice, these courses are designed to build on one another as a cohesive learning experience. 



Contact Tiona Cage, Associate Director of Masters Programs or 503-554-6035