Academy for Biblical Storytelling

Detailed Information 

on the Academy for Biblical Storytelling


Dr. Tracy Radosevic, ABS Dean

The purpose of the NBS Academy for Biblical Storytelling is to provide a process of support and training in both the performance and teaching of biblical stories that encourages individual styles as well as an appreciation for the stories in the form they’ve been “traditioned” to us. In helping students to achieve a significant degree of skill and experience in these two areas, the ultimate goal is to send qualified participants out into the world to function as certified biblical storytellers and, consequently, commended resource persons able to offer services on behalf of the Network of Biblical Storytellers in a way that aids the Network in fulfilling its mission: to encourage everyone to learn and tell biblical stories.

The Academy is overseen by a dean (who also serves as a mentor), Dr. Tracy Radosevic, and staffed by a team of mentors (assigned to 3-4 students each) from within the NBS community—those who have undertaken advanced degrees, evidenced a depth of knowledge from training and independent study, demonstrated significant experience in teaching and leading workshops, distinguished themselves as performers, and shown themselves to have attained a level of spiritual awareness through the discipline of biblical storytelling.

The word “Academy” was chosen intentionally; this program is rather rigorous, requiring the reading of a variety of books, the writing of several papers, and a multitude of recorded performances (including one 90-minute workshop). ABS is a “school without walls,” meaning that the majority of the work is done from home with most assignments and subsequent feedback sent via email or through a teleconferencing service like Skype or Google Plus. Two face-to-face meetings are also required: the summer Festival Gathering of NBS (as well as the immediate 2.5 days afterwards), and a late-fall, two-night meeting, the location of which is determined by the geographic location of that year’s students. This structure works best with students who are self-motivated, disciplined, committed and open to constructive criticism. 

The Academy offers two levels of certification: a one-year (January to December of even-numbered years) program culminating with the granting of a Biblical Storytelling Certificate (BSC), and an optional second-year program (January to December of odd-numbered years) concluding with a Master of Biblical Storytelling Certificate (MBSC). Candidates in each program commit to a process of reading, course work, coaching, reflection, repertoire development, and training in pedagogy. 

The BSC Requirements Include:

Current, up-to-date membership in the Network of Biblical Storytellers, Intl. Purchase membership.

Previous attendance at an NBS Festival Gathering

Google Drive account and a video application file stating why you want to participate in the program. (You will provide the url link to the shared file on your application! Please be prepared before applying!)

One-year course of study consisting of assigned readings, written reflection (in areas such as biblical studies, theology, performance theory & practice, digital communications, etc.)

Attendance at, and full participation in, two consecutive Festival Gatherings (the year of your course of study and the following year for graduation) the first of which includes a 2.5-day post-FG  Academy intensive.· 

Maintaining accountability to a mentor over the course of study               

Demonstrated mastery of storytelling and teaching skills through a coaching/critiquing process that involves videotaped sessions sent to a mentor for evaluation **· 

Building of a storytelling repertoire·  

General biblical knowledge, as demonstrated by a written exam, design, presentation, and recording of a story-learning workshop, including evaluations from workshop participants·  

Design, presentation, and recording of participation in two additional storytelling events at times other than the Festival Gathering 

Attendance at, and full participation in, a 3-day year-end meeting

An oral evaluation/discussion with a panel including the dean 

** You will need access to a video recorder (as well as someone who knows how to use it, including how to upload video material to the Web).

Applications for the 2018 Basic Storytelling Certification session will be accepted beginning October 1, 2017. The deadline for applying is Nov. 15, 2017


Please videotape yourself, in under 5 minutes, telling of your interest in the Academy for Biblical Storytelling certification program. Include what you hope to get from the experience, what you hope to contribute, what opportunities for ministry you envision as a result of undertaking this certification, and how your involvement might help the Network of Biblical Storytellers fulfill its mission: To encourage everyone to learn and tell biblical stories.
NOTE: The popularity of the Academy has reached a point where it’s very likely our "limited availability reality" will be reached this year and some good applicants will have to be turned away. So, if it is imperative for you to participate in 2018 rather than a later year, please include your reasons in this video. (And if your schedule is flexible enough that it would be possible for you to undertake the Academy in a future year, please indicate that as well. All viable candidates not accepted this year will be given priority status for the next class.) Once you have recorded this video, you need to upload it to a Google Drive account (click here to learn how and create an account) and then include the URL for this Google Drive shared file on your on-line application.

Download the ABS written application form and complete it. You will also link this file to your on-line application.

STEP THREE: Apply to the BSC ABS program with the on-line application form and pay your non-refundable application fee of $100.

Upon completion of the BSC the option will be made available, to those who exhibit exceptional skill in teaching and telling as well as a healthy repertoire of stories, to go on for an additional year of study through the ABS for a Master of Biblical Storytelling Certificate. This opportunity is by invitation and may be extended to BSC graduates after they’ve had a few years to get more experience and build up their repertoires.

The MBSC requirements include

Current, up-to-date membership in the Network of Biblical Storytellers, Intl. Purchase membership.

The successful completion of the BSC requirements

An additional year's course of study consisting of assigned readings and written reflection

Attendance at, and full participation in, three consecutive Festival Gatherings with the 2.5-day post-FG Academy intensives for the first and second (this includes the attendance requirements from the BSC)

Maintaining accountability to a mentor over the course of study

Demonstrated mastery of coaching skills design, presentation, and recording of a non-story-learning, but narrative-based, workshop with evaluations from workshop participants

Design, presentation, and recording of a digital storytelling performance·               

Design, presentation, and recording of a storytelling performance that includes 30% non-biblical narratives

Competence in biblical geography as demonstrated by a written exam·               

Continued repertoire development

Design, development, and completion of an approved practical research project or educational resource

Attendance at, and full participation in, a 3-day year-end meeting

An oral evaluation/discussion with a panel including the dean

Inquiries can be sent directly to Dr. Tracy Radosevic, ABS Dean. 



Jan. 31, 2019 $600
April 30, 2019 $700
June 30, 2019 $700


There is a non-refundable application fee of $100 due when applying. This fee is tied to the application process and is submitted on-line. If accepted into the program, this amount will be applied toward tuition. If the applicant does not end up participating in the program, the $100 can be used to offset future purchases, registrations, or fees with NBS.

Tuition is $2000. This includes the lodging and meals for the required 2018 Festival Gathering and subsequent face-to-face ABS meeting (assuming double occupancy). It does NOT include FG registration, any costs for the required year-end meeting, travel to either event, nor your NBS membership for that year. You will need to acquire a free Google Drive account to complete your on-line application. Learn how here.

$100 non-refundable application fee due with on-line application. You will need a Google account to make your application.


$100 due upon application (Fall of 2017)

$600 due January 25, 2018

$700 due April 1, 2018

$600 due July 1, 2018


Refunds of fees for withdrawal from the program before completion will be according to the following schedule: $400 - January 31 $300 - February 28 $200 - March 31 $100 - April 30  $50 - May 31

For students who do not complete all the required work within the allotted 12-month-period, a $100 fee will be charged each “semester” to maintain matriculation. (January 1 – July 1 is the spring semester and July – Dec. 31 is the fall semester). Students who end up needing to drop out for more than a semester do not have to maintain matriculation but once they’re ready to re-matriculate and finish up their work, there will be a $250 fee to do so.

Candidates, and subsequent graduates, of both programs will be expected to be members of the Network of Biblical Storytellers and to participate in, and contribute to, the NBS community and attend the annual Festival Gatherings. Most importantly, the hope is that all graduates will do their part in helping NBS to achieve its mission:

To encourage everyone to learn and tell biblical stories.

Join our Network!

A membership supports your storytelling journey by providing you with printed and online resources for inquiry, study and inspiration. Membership also gives you a substantial ($100!) discount to our annual Festival Gathering! Join today.

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