Center for Faith and Vocation

Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts Seminar Information

An Initiative of Butler University's Center for Faith and Vocation


Congratulations to the next group of 12 artists partipating in the second seminar in the fall of 2014.  They are as follows:

Jean Arnold, Gabrielle Cerberville, Anthony Elia, Kim Charles Ferrill, Heidi Fledderjohn, Sofiya Inger, Bruce Loewenthal, Gail Payne, Kyle Ragsdale, Wendy Vergoz, Shelly White Wood and Roger Roe.

What is the Seminar?

Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts: A Symposium is a new initiative to bring people together from diverse artistic disciplines, practices and religious/spiritual perspectives for a sustained study and reflection on a Biblical text. Twelve selected participants will be part of a seminar that will engage the sacred text as they seek inspiration to create new work (music, poetry, visual art, dance, drama, narrative, liturgical art). These works will be shared in the seminar and in a final community exhibition.  

The selected text is "The Binding of Isaac", Genesis 22. The narrative raises many theological and human questions and has been the inspiration for musical compositions, paintings, sculptures and poetry.


Participants for the first seminar Included  Dawn Batson, Jean Benabou, Dan Cooper, John Domont, Casey Eskridge, Jason Griffith, Pam Blevins Hinkle, David Landis, Ray Marquette, Callie Smith, Julie Stewart and Denise Williams.  Artistic disciplines include music composition, painting, photography, poetry, fiction and sculpture.

Who are the Faculty? 

Religious leader and author, Rabbi Sandy Sasso (who has been adjunct faculty at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary) will direct the seminar. The faculty for round one was Dr. Hilene Flanzbaum, Dr. Elizabeth Mix and Dr. Michael Sells, professors of creative writing, religion, art, music, dance and theater respectively, from Butler University and Dr. Frank Burch Brown, theologian on faculty from Christian Theological Seminary. The faculty for round two of the seminars, in the Fall of 2014, will be Dr. Hilene Flanzbaum, Mindy Taylor Ross, and Dr. Michael Sells.

What to Expect:

  • A respectful and stimulating environment that is designed to nurture creativity.
  • A world class faculty from Butler and CTS from across the disciplines of religion and the arts.
  • A diverse group of students respectful of belief and non-belief.

Who is Invited to Apply?

Applicant may be anyone in the community who is active (as a professional or amateur) in one of the artistic disciplines. Selected applicants must be able to make a commitment to attend all six seminar sessions and engage in open and respectful dialogue. There will be a matriculation fee of $100. Seminar participants will produce creative work to be performed and/or exhibited in a public forum.

When and Where Will We Meet?

Sessions will be held for 2.5 hours weekly for a total of six weeks and will meet on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m.-8:30p.m. on the campus of Butler University and the Christian Theological Seminary.  

Session I Spring 2014 seminar dates are January 28, February 4, 11, 25, March 4 and 18.

Session I Spring 2014 culminating Exhibition and Program date is April 30 from 5:00p.m. - 7:30p.m.

Session II Fall 2014 seminar (proposed) dates are September 16, 23, October 7, 14, 28 and November 4 (participants must be available to attend seminar dates).

Session II Fall 2014 culminating Exhibition and Program date early in 2015

What is Required for Consideration?

  • Fill out the application form (link below for form) and return with your submission
  • Artist Resume 
  • 3 examples of your work, no web-site links are accepted 

How to Submit:

  • Please send ALL three completed requirements as attachments (incomplete submissions will not be accepted) by email to: Dr. Sandy Eisenberg Sasso at, subject line: RSA submission Your Name.  

1.  Completed Application Form (please click on this link to download form)

2.  Artist resume

3.  3 examples of work, no web site links please

  • Applications being accepted April 1 through June 2, 2014, 2014 (including June 2).
  • For further inquiries, please contact Dr. Sasso either by email or at (317) 789-8853.
  • A committee will review all submissions and respond with acceptance/non-acceptance by email on June 20, 2014.

This project is being made possible through the generous support of Lilly Endowment Inc.