The Maker Experience

Build lifelong friendships with fellow students who share your interests, passions, and perspectives.

The Maker Institute offers students a chance to engage deeply with their faith, their passions, and their craft without sacrificing any one part. As a Maker Fellow, you will experience the integration of your faith, your intellect, and your creativity as you develop to become a more impactful Maker in your local church and community. 

The structure of the Maker Institute does not require you to take a break from life, move to a new location, or even quit your job. Our programs are structured so that you learn from area experts while putting what you learn immediately into practice where you are. Fellows will forge strong friendships with likeminded makers seeking to impact the world for Christ alongside faculty and staff who truly want to see you succeed as an artist or designer. 

5+

hours of reading
per week

3+

hours of writing
per week

2

hours of online class
per week

5+

hours of studio work
per week

1

intensive week
per semester

Your Maker Experience entails a Hybrid learning model that allows you to grow both where you live and for semester intensives in person with your cohort and faculty here in Richmond, Va. On any given week, you will work through Zoom core studio-focused courses, sequenced and staggered, to maximize your Maker Experience without demanding all of your time away from the whole of your life. Over a Semester, you will work through intro courses built around your fellowship level. Over a year, you will progress from foundational groundwork in your thought and makerly practices into the summer when you develop second-year studio-based ideation regarding your making sphere. 

You will develop this work over year two, as it pertains to your particular calling, while you take your second-year art and theology classes and various second-year electives. In year three, you will not have classes; you will be assigned to mentor a year one student (as teaching helps to reinforce what you are learning, which is vital), and you will be receiving studio mentorship as you work to develop the work of your hands into a culminating work/project that will be exhibited at our annual Maker Conference at the end of year three.
Year Three will allow fellows ample time to process the study of years one and two while affording students time to review courses and readings for deeper investigation as fellows see relevance to their year three studio project. 

A wider community of Christians will convene to experience the conference focus for the year and your cumulative project. Upon completion of this work, you will be given evaluative feedback; once this has been completed and your work has been documented, you will receive a final round evaluation and your certificate of completion. 

We believe support of alums is critical, and reinforcement is one of our missional goals; based on counsel, planning, and encouragement from your MISAT family, we will direct you to take the next six months to go into your hometown to represent your project to the public while providing a public talk for your local church body on the project and a talk to the general public regarding your project.

Maker Institute Fellowships are offered to men and women who are passionate Christians and devoted artists and designers who take their calling as makers seriously. Our makers take scripture seriously and are interested in an integrated understanding of art and its place in Biblical theology. A proven track record of church involvement and a makerly interest in art and design is essential. We want all of our makers ready and equipped in all facets for what the Lord has called us to do. And we want to see you Make with excellence to the Glory of God!

The People

When you attend the Maker Institute, you are not just coming to learn in a classroom from instructors who don’t care for you beyond that room. Instead, you are joining a community of Christians who see all of life as interrelated under the Lordship of Jesus. These fellow believers are comprised of fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters; a family of people doing honest work in real places with real experiences, and people who can help with true life-on-life discipleship in the arts and life. By joining the Maker Institute, you are helping to lay the groundwork for a multi-generational work that requires all of us and beyond to our children and children’s children. Because we highly value what God has designed and called “good” for his creation, we believe families are significant to the life of the Church. Having children does not remove your calling as a maker. We welcome parents of all ages and life stages to attend.

The Context

At the Maker Institute, you will be welcomed into the host homes of both faculty and supportive believers who want to see you flourish as a believer and Maker Fellow. This praying community believes in fellowshipping together in an organic, life-on-life way, which outflows into the breaking of bread in homes.

We are situated in Richmond, Virginia, a city with a vibrant art community, multiple art museums and galleries, the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Ballet, the Altria Theater, multiple concert venues, local playhouses, multiple “arts” districts, and all stone’s throw away from Washington D.C. and more.

The Time

In three years of study at the Maker Institute, you will take courses, read books, write papers, participate in discussions, create work, grow your network, engage culture, build exhibitions, expand your creative capacity, develop public projects, fellowship with other Makers, and more. Your time at the Maker Institute will be online, in-person, and deeply intensive. No matter what you are doing or where you are doing it- you will be growing in Christ as you deepen relationships with others adjacent to your growing knowledge and skill.

Community Partners

Bath Art Gallery

Art Gallery

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The Family Room

Music Collective

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Maker Press

Publishing Company

Coming Soon

New Christian Makers

In-Print Juried Exhibitions for Christian Artists

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Remnant Church

Christian Church

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Reviresco Coffee

Coffee Company

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Shockoe Artspace

Art Gallery

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Wellspring Church

Christian Church

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If you are interested in becoming a partner with The Maker Institute of Studio Art and Theology, or have other questions about how you, your church, or your business can help our students as they pursue their education and calling, please click below to contact us.