The Studio for Art, Faith & History promotes activities that re-connect the three terms of its name:

  • Re-connecting Faith with History, by creatively adapting the practices and disciplines of the historic church to 21st century faith and community life;

  • Re-connecting Art with Faith, by exploring the role of the arts in catechesis, theological reflection and spiritual formation as well as in liturgy and private devotion;

  • Re-connecting Art with History, by engaging contemporary artists not only with the themes and narratives of historic Christian tradition but with the media and modes of production used to create the rich heritage of sacred art and drama particularly in Italy.


Recent activities of the Studio:

  • A production in an Orvieto palazzo of Claudio Monteverdi’s Renaissance opera Orfeo, with professional musicians from New York City and Orvieto, in association with the Compagnia de’ Colombari theater company (June 2014).
  • Production in Italian by professional Italian actors of one of the mystery plays on the Harrowing of Hell (La Discesa agli Inferi), from a new text created by Skillen from various versions in English and Italian (January 2014).
  • A show of photographs of the interiors of Italian churches entitled Light from Light by Douglas Gilbert (author of several Eerdman’s books on Bonhoefer, C. S. Lewis and Flannery O’Connor) and creation of gallery space in the monastery as the permanent exhibition home of the Florence Portfolio, now retired after 20 years of traveling exhibitions through CIVA (May 2014).
  • A two-week academic program (July 2014) for students from classical-Christian academies, organized with the Society for Classical Learning, exploring Tertullian’s question “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” via the art and literature close to home in Orvieto – repeated in the summer of 2015, with a 2016 seminar planned for administrators from classical academies.
  • A month-long graduate-level summer seminar in Theology and the Arts developed with the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto and its professor of art history and aesthetics, Dr. Rebekah Smick (July 2015). 
  • A J-term Seminar (January 2015, 2016), opens Gordon College’s Jerusalem & Athens Honors Program to a wider circle of students, alumni and adult learners, on the theme of the Virtues and Vices in medieval-Renaissance philosophy, theology, literature and art.
  • A two-week winter program developed with Cameron Anderson, executive director of Christians in the Visual Arts, that gathered a dozen CIVA members to study “Who made the Art Work?” in medieval-Renaissance Italy, compared with nowadays.
  • Another of the regular pilgrimage-retreats using the great Umbrian saints and mystics from Benedict to Francis to explore themes of spiritual formation, co-led by Rev. Adele Calhoun, author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook (IVP, 2005) and Rev. Dr. Susan Skillen (Canon for Spiritual Formation in the Anglican Diocese of New England) in June 2015, with another version co-led by artist Judy Pelikan in January 2016.

For more information regarding our past events, conferences, exhibitions and performances please visit