4 Forerunner


4 Forerunner


 Forerunner is our international work with adults within churches, helping them better appreciate visual language, and Biblical aesthetics,  helping artists and church leadership work together. This work has included projects in Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Morocco,  France, The United States, China and South Africa. The goal in this is to gradually integrate artists into levels of leadership, and restore the artist to his once central Levitical role in Hebrew culture. Interestingly enough these courses in local churches have been made possible almost exclusively with the cooperation of a concerned Pastor who has some appreciation for the arts and the artists in his church or community.

This work has been going on since 2002 in one form or another. It has in part taken the form of two well established courses of study, each programmed for 12, 3 hour sessions over a semester: and three more which are in development at the present time.

See registration page for what is being offered this coming semester.

One: The Dreaming Of Lions Project Seminars and Exhibition; James Tughan
An exploration of three stories in parallel; the Dreaming Of Lions fantasy narrative (James’ Drawings), the Biblical narrative of patriarchal Joseph, and the students own stories. The focus is on the God who speaks in pictures as we encounter adversity; a basic introduction to visual language and personal journaling. (For all Christians, whether or not they are artists)

Two: The Eyes of Zerubabel;  Sharon Tiessen
An introduction for artists and church leaders to understanding their own gifting languages and creative process. We explore the Biblical foundation for the role of artists as prophets, linguists and healers in spiritual community, as guardians of aesthetic languages and communal perception and communication. We explore ways of taking a fresh look at how we do church but from an artistic point of view. (For visual artists, church educators and pastors)


Course Body Column 2

Three: The Eyes Of The Body;   James Tughan
An introduction to teambuilding and project management for artists and church leaders. This course explores the challenges of integrating the creative processes of two groups, artists and traditional leadership in concrete planning processes, spanning the entire liturgical year. This course explores the issue of defining leadership as facilitation and teambuilding first, and the dynamics and pitfalls of managing committees, meetings, and architectural space itself etc. (for visual artists, worship leaders and pastors)

Four: Managing Collaborative Projects:  Anita Van Zumeren
An introduction to designing, managing and installing collaborative (congregation-involved) visual projects in worship, education and community outreach. This course explores working through all the dynamics involved in a single project that may involve many people that are not artists, and how this can impact an entire congregation, and architectural environment.

Five: Imagination and Identity; Dr. Colleen Butcher
An introduction to the centrality of imagination, visual language and creativity to the Christian scriptures. in shaping a communal narrative. This course will explore the roots of aesthetics in the very creative nature of God, and the creation and the myriad ways it worked itself out in Hebrew culture, architecture and literature. It will clearly impact how we practice walking with God in the age of the Church both as individuals and spiritual communities. (For artists and church leaders)

Six: Visual Art As Therapeutic Healing;   Jennifer Scott
An introduction to a whole new way of understanding art as an encoded picture of our emotional and spiritual condition. This course explores the therapeutic/healing role of visual art experience inside and outside our religious communities; a visual practice that redefines how we practice compassion and what we have always called “mission”.  (for artists, educators and church leaders)

Our hope is to begin an annual conference for arts teams from local churches within two years to better support congregational leadership groups in their applications.

Click here for the Call For Entries