About The Scholars Seminar

A crucial dimension to our work as an organization is the NBSI Seminar, a dynamic community made up of storytelling scholars and scholarly storytellers.

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 experiment with a symbiotic process of explorative research from our varied perspectives that has produced several leaders in the field of biblical performance criticism.

Learn more about Our Approach
Scholars' Seminar Gatherings

The Scholars' Seminar meets annually for a few days immediately before the Festival Gathering and several times throughout the year via Zoom. 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.

The Seminar is currently convened by Cliff Barbarick, a New Testament professor who practices biblical performance criticism in his research and teaching.

Contact Cliff Barbarick


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Past themes the Seminar has explored
  • 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
Storyteller In Residence Program
Participate in the Seminar for a summer

The Storyteller in Residence (SIR) program is an opportunity for you to actively participate in the NBSI Seminar for one summer.

The SIR(s) will be chosen by the Seminar based on the connection between the storyteller’s skills, experience, and expertise and the specific needs of the Seminar for a given summer.

SIRs cover their own costs and offer their skills as needed by the Seminar.

All participants in the Seminar are asked to pay a $160 Seminar registration fee which covers the costs of meeting space and meals.

Applications open March 23 – April 15.

Apply to be a Storyteller in Residence
Observe the Seminar before the Festival Gathering
Join the Scholars' Seminar for a Day

The Seminar welcomes selected NBSI members to observe Seminar sessions on the day before the Festival Gathering.

Only 10 spaces available

Apply to Attend the Seminar as an Oberver