NBS Seminar

The 2016 Seminar theme this year is focused on the parts of Luke's Gospel that do not appear in other gospels with a lot of attention to what translation looks like for performance.

NBS Seminar
Storytellers in Residence

2016 Storytellers in Residence for the NBS Seminar
Elizabeth Adkisson Deryll Amstutz Elizabeth Green

The Storyteller in Residence program is designed as an opportunity for the NBS Seminar to include a select number of skilled storytellers to sojourn with the seminar for one summer. For those of us in the Seminar, this on-going experiment provides a learning environment like no other. The SRs are chosen based on the connection between the storyteller’s skills, experience, and expertise AND the specific needs of the seminar for a given summer. SRs are full participants in the Seminar for the summer they are chosen. As with all seminar participants, they cover their own costs and offer their skills as needed by the seminar. If selected, you must make your accommodation and food purchases directly with the 4-H center by calling 301-961-2801.  

The NBS Seminar is a dynamic community made up of storytelling scholars and scholarly storytellers. Many of our members have written books about biblical performance criticism. Click here to see a list of these books and learn more our work. Read a Scholars' Round Table Discussion about Using Character Voices in Biblical Storytelling from our magazine, The Biblical Storyteller.


Many participants in the seminar are professors at seminaries and colleges around the United States; others are full time professional storytellers and clergy who use storytelling as a central dimension of their ministry. We are pursuing a coordinated program of research from our varied perspectives on biblical methodology, interpretation, and pedagogy. We gather for several days prior to the NBS Festival Gathering in order to develop a new paradigm for biblical scholarship called Performance Criticism. We base this new paradigm on the actual performance of biblical texts as a way to explore the interface and interaction between biblical storytelling and biblical scholarship.

As members of the seminar we acknowledge both the gift and the danger that comes with the practice of telling biblical stories. Typically our meetings involve engagement with current projects that the Seminar members are pursuing in their own vocations. Often we have dedicated whole days to exploring particular biblical texts through repeated performances and reflection. In other sessions, we have explored themes such as:

  • Performance Criticism: An Emerging Methodology
  • Storytelling and the Gospels
  • Biblical Storytelling and Biblical Scholarship
  • Storytelling and the Composition of Social Space
  • Experience in Storytelling: Past and Present
  • Storytelling and the Art of Teaching Theology
  • Memory and Imagery
  • Taking up Space
  • Women and Storytelling in the Ancient World
  • Biblical Storytelling and the Experience of Liminality
  • The Ethics of Performance


While the primary goal of gathering has been scholarly, the regular and rigorous engagement with biblical performances has knit us together into a diverse community that cares for one another not only in professional aspects of our lives, but also in deeply personal dimensions.

The Seminar was born thanks to the commitment of NBS leadership. The members of the Seminar actively seek ways to strengthen this relationship offering their expertise to NBS communication media and events as well as learning from NBS members about the art and practice of biblical storytelling.

To learn more about the Seminar and request information about participation email Phil Ruge-Jones at pruge-jones@tlu.edu

You can also visit the following websites to learn more about biblical performance criticism and biblical storytelling:



Get in touch

Network of Biblical Storytellers International
Christian Theological Seminary | 1000 W. 42nd St. | Indianapolis IN 46208

TF 1 (800) 355-6627 | PH 1 (317) 931-2352 | nbs@nbsint.org

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