Being a Fellow

Our three-year hybrid learning program combines the best elements of an MFA, a professional portfolio program, and a personal apprenticeship. The Maker Institute curriculum is built to be fresh and relevant to the times we are living in.

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levels of study tailored to fit any season of life

We live in a unique time that requires a fresh way to acquire skills, knowledge, and character. Whether you are a recent high school graduate, or have obtained a BA, BFA or MFA, this program is for you. Are you a university professor in the arts who needs personal enrichment? This program is for you. Are you a working practitioner who needs help pushing to the next step? This program is for you. Are you self-taught with a strong desire to grow practically and theologically? This program is for you, too. The Maker Institute exists to serve a wide range of students by offering three certificate focus levels and ongoing alumni resources.

Foundation
Fellows

for makers who have completed high school

Our Foundation Fellows are aspiring artists who need formal training. If you have graduated high school and are looking for alternatives to a traditional four-year university, this program is for you. This focus is also a great fit for hobbyists who want to advance their practice or self-taught artists who desire a clear understanding of making and critique.

Along with the Art and Theology core sequence, our Foundations Fellows receive a broad range of electives as they focus on the foundational attributes of art and design.

Graduate
Fellows

for makers who have completed an undergraduate program

Our Graduate Fellows are artists who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in a creative field or have equivalent experience. If you are an artist, performer, or designer seeking to gain a deeper level of theological clarity while deepening your studio practice, this program is for you. This focus is also a great fit for artists and designers seeking an MFA-style of learning, making, and critique.

Along with the Art and Theology core sequence, our Graduate Fellows receive critiques specific to their developing body of work as they focus on widening their vocational opportunities.

Professional
Fellows

for makers who have completed a graduate degree

Our Professional Fellows are artists who have completed a Master’s degree in a creative field or have equivalent experience. If you are an artist, performer, or designer seeking to reconnect with a body of learning and a community of makers, this program is for you. This focus is also a great fit for seasoned artists and designers who want to connect theological clarity to their vocation, both in theory and practice.

Along with the Art and Theology core sequence, our Professional Fellows receive critiques particularized to their established body of work as they focus on invigorating their network and studio practice.

Regardless of which level you enter into our program or what your studio focus is, The Maker Institute curriculum consists of a core of six academic courses (24 credit hours) and four studio courses (12 credit hours) alongside four elective courses (9 credit hours) that the student chooses.

Classes will exist online and in tandem with in-person intensives in Richmond, Virginia.

Program Information

The Maker Institute’s program is a rigorous three-year intensive hybrid program. We do not believe education is best obtained by pausing the rest of life. We believe education does not achieve its true goal until information is internalized and applied in one’s real life. Therefore, our program is built to integrate alongside everyday life: Church, jobs, family, friends, and hobbies. Jesus spent three years with His disciples, and Paul spent three years learning before going out to spread the Gospel; we think three years is a pretty solid amount of time for what we envision for you and the Church. We also desire to see our students embark on new work, more profound studio practice, and more significant community influence. Because of this, we are eager to witness the careers and practices of our graduates after they have left the Maker Institute and embody the lessons learned during their time with us.

Studio Focal Areas

2-D Studio

Through a Theology of Making in Theory and Practice, 2-D Studio aims to assist in developing the given area of focus for each Maker Fellow so that each can go back out into the world while not being of it, making with greater impact, wisdom, and makerly excellence to the glory of God. 2-D Studio encompasses a robust and wide range of modalities within the 2-dimensional arts, from Painting to Illustration, Photography, Design of various kinds, Drawing, Collage, Mixed Media, Concept Design, and more. 2-D Studio will give integrated exposure to the breadth of what is at play within the wide range of modalities while enabling and equipping each Maker Fellow within their desired focus of making. If you or someone you know is interested, contact us for more information; we would love to hear from you.

3-D Studio

Through a Theology of Making in Theory and Practice, 3-D Studio aims to assist in developing the given area of focus for each Maker Fellow so that each can go back out into the world while not being of it, making with greater impact wisdom and makerly excellence to the glory of God. 3-D Studio encompasses a robust range of work from Sculpture, Design/Build, Architecture, New Media, Performance Art, Theatre, Animation, and more. 3-D Studio will bring exposure to the various overlapping modes of making while strengthening each Maker Fellow within their desired major. If you or someone you know is interested, contact us for more information; we would love to hear from you.

Church Media 
(full cohorts launching 2026)

Drawing from a rich well of art and theology, making and creativity, and relevant church histories along with a hands-on focus in target areas for church media, this program is designed to empower more sound theological clarity, action, and know-how in Design, Media, and more. Look out for more from our Church media studio Track coming in 2026.

Creative Writing
(full cohorts launching 2026)

Storytelling is essential to understanding meaning in life. We are at a time in Western society where Christian voices must regain creative and imaginative voice over narratives, stories, and depictions of what life is truly like. This Creative Writing two-year Studio Focus will help aspiring fiction writers gain a more profound biblical imagination to write in various forms of creative fiction. This particular studio focal area will operate like our other core studio focal areas.

Culinary Arts and Hospitality 
(full cohorts launching 2026)

The pervasive scope of the arts extends to include the Culinary Arts and Hospitality. As such, this making sphere is too significant to life, service, and hospitality not to be a part of what we are doing at Maker. Chefs, cooks, hospitality professionals, and creatives will gain a deeper theological mind while learning to implement this vision into new strategies, practices, and methods that will be developed over the two years together. This particular Studio Focal area will operate within the core curricular structure of Maker and exist with equal weight to all of our other core studio focal areas.

Curation and Art Writing 
(full cohorts launching 2026)

We need more excellent curators and art writers to work closely with excellent Makers of all kinds. Now is the time for Curators and Writers with real biblically based Gospel-motivated grounding to go out and organize through words and deeds the future around us to the praise and Glory of Christ. We are eager for the launch of this studio area in 2026. If you or someone you know is interested, contact us for more information; we would love to hear from you.

Performing Arts
(full cohorts launching 2026)

Through a Theology of Making in Theory and Practice, our Performing Arts Studio will branch into Theatre Arts, Acting, Production, Screenwriting, Directing, Music, and more. Because there is no place the Arts do not touch, it is critical to see more Christ-followers in these spheres doing imaginative and significant work. Please check back in, as we are looking to launch this area in 2026.

Photography and Film 
(full cohorts launching 2026)

More than ever, we need Film-Makers and Photographers who understand the medium and are shaping influence on society so that, as Christians, we can leverage these effective mediums for the Glory of Christ and the good of all. We are eager for the launch of this studio area in 2026. If you or someone you know is interested, contact us for more information; we would love to hear from you.

Centers for Creative Practice

The Center for Christ, Creativity, and Business
(launching 2025)

Creativity is at the core of all cultural production. While the arts may be predominantly associated with making objects, the creative practice at the core of art and design is a fundamental part of all of human life and experience. Because of this, the businesses and the way in which we run them should be deeply infused with redeemed creativity that seeks new business creation as well as the increased humanization of already established audiences and customers. The Center for Christ, Creativity, and Business is about understanding business creation, development, and refinement through the lens of Christ. Business is not antithetical to creativity, and this track informs how we might understand business as an avenue by which culture is built in the reality of Christ.

The Center for Christ, Humanity, and Technology
(launching 2025)

As we currently understand it, technology is shaping society at a pace and level that is hard to grasp. Christians need not be afraid; Christ has repeatedly commanded in the Scripture to fear not. Christians need to be equipped and able to work in tech-related fields where their character, spirit-filled wisdom, diligence, and relevant know-how put them into stewarding and leading responsibilities in all possible spheres of tech usage, creation, and implementation. Moreover, Christians need to have a robust grasp of what it means to be human to resist losing this fundamental essence of who we are as being made in God’s image to rogue desires and the development of secularism through tech idolatry. The Center for Christ, Humanity, and Technology is a one-year tech boot camp that seeks to train aspiring Christians who want to enter tech-related fields. You will receive theological training integrated into practice with tech-related training to prepare God’s people to create jobs and take jobs with a Kingdom-minded approach and understanding.

The Center for Christ, Music, and Song Crafting (launching 2024)

Music and music-making are deeply connected to the Biblical narrative. As a universal language, music has the power to touch more lives than any other art form. Because of these two truths, it is imperative to cultivate, foster, and nurture these gifts in the midst of other makers. The Center for Christ, Music, and Song Crafting exists to convene musicians for a generative and supportive one-year fellowship centered on essential texts, creative studio time, and the production and release of new music. The core aim is to provide the Church with an abundance of quality music, which will be undergirded through instruction, continual feedback, and fellowship. 

Core Courses

BIBN 101 – The Biblical Narrative I

The Bible is an ancient, diverse collection of 66 books breaking down into 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. All 66 books make up a unified, rich, diverse whole. Yet, the Bible is one story that ultimately all leads and points to Jesus. This course will give an overview of how the Biblical Narrative has had shaping influence over our lives as Makers by looking at some of the key features in the Old Testament Narrative framework and how that has shaped God’s people of the past who looked forward to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus.

4 credits.

BIBN 102 – The Biblical Narrative II

The Bible is an ancient, diverse collection of 66 books breaking down into 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. All 66 books make up a unified, rich, diverse whole. Yet, the Bible is one story that ultimately all leads and points to Jesus. This course will give an overview of how the Biblical Narrative has shaped our lives as Makers by looking at some of the key features in the New Testament Narrative framework, examining how Christ is essential to fully understanding our past and future in Him from a redemptive narrative perspective. So we can live faithfully and boldly in light of his second coming.

4 credits.

THOA 101 – The Theology of Art I

At the core of the Maker Institute is the Theology of Art. It is sequenced over four semesters, with assigned and sequenced readings and short response papers. The Theology of Art I is an introduction to an extensive, multifaceted conversation that will last the whole of each fellow experience with us. THOA-101 brings Fellows into the heart of the vast and Rich discourse surrounding art, theology, philosophy, culture-making, the Church, and more. A key facet of this first-semester course is how it opens up many apparent problems and historical responses from the Church. The reading is designed to ease Maker Fellows into deep waters while being able to adjust, reflect, consider, and apply along the way.

4 credits.

THOA 102 – The Theology of Art II

The Theology of Art II serves to help Maker Fellows understand how Theologians, philosophers, and artists have thought complementary and differently about the arts in the Church, leading to various disparate perspectives. Moreover, this multifaceted conversation creates a more evident need for a Doctrinal and theological grounding for navigating the second year of Theology of Art courses. THOA-102 brings Fellows into greater awareness of how many assumptions have been held unchecked by the Church and many of the artists. A key facet of this Second-semester course is how it creates greater demand for clarity both in thinking and making leading into year two.

4 credits.

THOA 201 – The Theology of Art III

The Theology of Art III picks up from the summer session’s emphasis on making by deep diving into Doctrine and Biblical Theology to ground Maker fellows in a primary basis for better grappling with the diverse conversations that Maker Fellows have been exposed to in year one. The aim is to assist Maker fellows in having greater confidence to engage in the various conversations with humility and a biblical willingness to be quick to listen and slow to speak. THOA-201 assists Fellows in considering their own theological assumptions, both conscious and unconscious. With an eye toward how this has impacted their ability to make, talk and engage in their desired callings.

4 credits.

THOA 202 – The Theology of Art IV

The Theology of Art IV emphasizes confidence in thinking and making by rounding out the conversations and revisiting early authors read in year one, with each author’s later works and sometimes shifted views. The work of listening and thinking prayerfully, humbly, and clearly are driven home in order to edify each fellow into solid confidence in their given Practice. THOA-202 assists Fellows in establishing greater confidence in making in light of their convictional theological assumptions, as well as the tools necessary to go forward and grow to post their Maker Institute time in whatever endeavors they are called.

4 credits.

Studio Courses

SFND 101 – Studio Practices I

Studio Practices 1 is a course designed to introduce MISATS’s Theology of making in the general sense to all Fellows regardless of skill. This course will move from a broad understanding of key categories of making into the specific fields our Fellows pursue.

1.5 credits. 

SFND 102 – Professional Practices I

Professional Practices 1 is designed to integrate professional strategies and understanding into how all makers perceive their studio practice to empower greater fluency and ability to realize their goals across more diversified social strata. This course will look to focus on relevant hard skills that empower makers across all disciplines to enter boldly into creative careers with direction and purpose.

1.5 credits. 

SFND 103 – The Critique

The critique has suffered in most secular universities in terms of delivering what Students need to better observe, distinguish and relate to what is being made around them, and understand what they are making. This course is significant in supplying deeply-practical tools for better knowing how to make while better knowing how to learn and, by extension, grow. In addition, this course will serve to ground how Fellows grasp their other courses throughout their time with us and beyond.

1.5 credits. 

SFND 104 – Studio Practices II

Studio Practices II digs deeper into the foundational application of what is needed and how to develop Makerly know-how within each Fellows level, from Foundations to Professionals. This course will serve as studio-specific and level-specific applications through year one.

1.5 credits. 

SFND 105 – Professional Practices II

Professional Practices II will dig deeper into studies surrounding the given needs of studio practitioners within their field. It will also examine how new professional strategies and practices can be developed and shaped by drawing from the range of experience across all fields. This course will focus heavily on Soft skills and developing such skills.

1.5 credits. 

SFND 106 – Professional Communication

Professional Communication is lost in this current generation, how one writes an email and proposal and or gives a lecture, a podcast, a gallery and talk, and more. It is critical that God-called Makers can communicate well and across a diverse range of contests and audiences. This class will look to provide a solid grounding for each fellow to grow from.

1.5 credits. 

STUD 101 – Exploration I

Exploration I is a summer course focused on the exploration of 3-5 themes in full. To discover and zero in on a culminating project within your Practice that will be developed through to the end of the rest of your time with MISAT. Maker Area heads will serve as the leader of your mentoring committee and provide critical feedback and assistance along the way. This project, upon completion, will be presented at the end of the two years at our annual conference and exhibition.

1.5 credits. 

STUD 102 – Exploration II

Exploration II is the second summer course working in order from Exploration I. At this point, the process of walking out the final direction while putting together and completing an exhibition/final project presentation proposal. Upon completing this proposal, Maker Fellows will develop this project over their final year.

1.5 credits. 

STUD 201 – Development I

Entering into year two of fellows’ time, the shift to great focus on working and developing a project within one particular core area of focus takes shape. Development I helps Fellows apply learned strategies for starting well within the project, implementing many of the foundational categories of understanding while honing in on their formal, creative, and technical understandings.

1.5 credits. 

STUD 202 – Development II

As the project is nearing completion, feedback and revision become increasingly important in the development of the project. Fellows will be working on finishing with a mentoring committee and group critiques of their respective projects. Often at this juncture, new insights emerge regarding what has been made, and time is needed to make late-in-the-game shifts; learning to navigate timely decisions in the development of a project is key to flourishing success.

1.5 credits. 

STUD 203 – Exhibition I

Exhibition 1 happens in the final summer of each Makers MISAT experience. Each fellow will apply all of their Studio and professional skills in the build-out of a comprehensive exhibition that will coincide with an Annual Maker conference that will be open to the public. Fellows will present their work and give talks regarding their projects, learning to oversee every facet of the process in order to optimize their hands-on experience of making events and projects happen at various levels.

1.5 credits. 

STUD 204 – Exhibition II

Exhibition II is a unique opportunity for all fellows to receive post-exhibition feedback and actually apply it. Fellows will be required and mentored through making adjustments to their final project. Fellows will be given six months to secure where they currently reside an exhibition venue for the revised final exhibition. Maker Fellows will be required to give a talk facing their local Church community while also giving and contextualizing a talk facing the culture at large. Once this final piece is completed, Fellows will receive their certificate of completion.

1.5 credits. 

Studio Practice Electives

SPRA 201 – Topics in Art & Theology

Available in semesters one and two of year two, Topics in Art & Theology will serve as electives. These electives will occur both as self-directed courses with Materials ranging from Maker published written content that works with and in complement to Audio and some Visual. When possible, guest faculty will be brought in to teach on an area of relevant research. Topics will cover a vast range and material that will enrich many issues that cannot be covered in depth through our core studios. New Electives will be added each year, as these courses will also remain open to all Maker Institute alumni.

3 credits.

SPRA 202 – Topics in Art & Theology

Available in semesters one and two of year two, Topics in Art & Theology will serve as electives. These electives will occur both as self-directed courses with Materials ranging from Maker published written content that works with and in complement to Audio and some Visual. When possible, guest faculty will be brought in to teach on an area of relevant research. Topics will cover a vast range and material that will enrich many issues that cannot be covered in depth through our core studios. New Electives will be added each year, as these courses will also remain open to all Maker Institute alumni.

3 credits.

Tell us a little about yourself, and we’ll help with the rest. Our convenient online application tool makes it easy for you to apply.

After you submit your application, an admissions representative will contact you and will help you to complete the process.

Once you’ve been accepted, you’re ready to see your schedule and make plans for the start of the year.

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