That depends on the year. The maximum number of students we can handle is 20. Most basic-level years have tended to include 8-15 students and most master-level years consist of 3-7 students.
ABS is a school without walls so most of the communal experience is online through video conferencing. The two face-to-face exceptions are in-person meetings during the summer NBSI Festival Gathering (including two additional days afterwards for a total of five nights)—wherever the venue happens to be that year—and a two-night, year-end meeting (wherever is most geographically convenient for the students in that year’s cohort).
Yes! Since ABS is a school without walls you can literally participate from anywhere in the world as long as you have a fast and reliable internet connection (and don’t mind a few online sessions that might be at inconvenient times of the day/night!). The only prerequisite is prior participation in an NBSI Festival Gathering
You will need a Google Drive account to house several recorded assignments, including a 60-minute concert and a 90-minute workshop. You also need access to a device that can adequately record you performing these assignments, and the knowledge of how to not only record but upload these recordings to your Google Drive account.
The application process is all online and is open Oct. 1—Nov. 15 of odd-numbered years. This includes the filling out of a written form, the uploading of a short video to your Google Drive account, a non-refundable application fee of $100, and pre-payment of an NBSI membership for your upcoming ABS year.
ABS Dean, Dr. Tracy Radosevic, lays the foundation during the spring and picks up the reins again after the FG. She is assisted throughout the summer by a team of mentors from within the NBSI 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.
Well, we call it an “Academy” for a reason! The required work is rigorous and requires a time commitment of a minimum of a few hours every week, with some weeks requiring more (especially those leading up to big assignment deadlines). This program works best for those students who are disciplined self-starters.
The program is designed to last one calendar year. If you need an extension into the following year, that is possible, but you’ll be charged a $100 matriculation maintenance fee for each “semester” (Jan. 1—FG and FG—Dec. 31) required to finish. For those students who need to drop out but then desire to complete their work a year or so down the road, there is a $250 re-matriculation fee. Depending on how much work remains, partial tuition may also be charged.
Graduation takes place during the FG immediately after all your ABS work is completed. You will receive your certificate at that time.
Tuition is $2000. (Your $100 application fee is included in this total.)
Additional expenses include all summer FG costs (registration, lodging, meals, travel), all year-end meeting costs (lodging, meals, travel), NBSI membership dues, required reading books, possible expenditures for tech equipment, workshop supplies, and other performance incidentals.