This last month we welcomed a remarkable group of faculty to join us for our first Scholarly Storytelling workshop in the Learning Studio. We wanted to explore the potential of mixed-media storytelling to communicate messages drawn from research and professional writing with a wider audience.

Al Haley and Kyle Dickson led the workshop which paralleled the basic structure of a three-day storytelling workshop with the exception that the final products didn’t follow any one basic format. Presentations included expanded training in the proper use and citation of digital sources and advanced production options like working with a green-screen or teleprompter. The workshop also coincided with planning for the One-Button Studio which will make these types of stories even easier to produce in the future.

Here are just a few examples from the workshop.


Faculty Examples



Copier – Al Haley

Different – Jeff Childers

Hope & Tragedy in Amos – Mark Hamilton

Modeling Intentional Community – Kent Smith



Each of the projects was produced with a particular audience in mind. Al was presenting at a conference and wanted a way to talk about his interest in mixed-media texts. Mark was thinking about videos to introduce biblical texts for a media commentary project he was considering. Kent was working with colleagues on a research project to share interviews with members of intentional communities around the country. Jeff had a particular role for his project to play within a graduate theology class. This last demonstrates the complexity of these messages for particular audiences:

“This project is intended to stimulate conversation about synthesis in a graduate class. All the students will have read assigned texts, and one of the themes on which I will focus in class is the attempt in early Syriac Christianity to have radically different styles of discipleship co-existing in the same communities. It was difficult for them, as for us, and I prepared a film that 1) underscores a range of related themes in certain texts (which they will have read), 2) grounds the topic in a particular socio-historic setting, yet 3) suggestively associates their struggles maintaining unity-in-diversity with our own struggles to do so, in several different arenas of interest to Christian communities (i.e. worship styles, fellowship, ministry, race, etc.). The music is that of Syrian Orthodox hymnody.”.

Overall, a remarkably diverse group of teachers and scholars thinking about the potential of media tools to forward their work across campus.