Dr. Linda Stratford’s chief mission is to stir up thoughtful discussion about art. Her passion is to cultivate fruitful interplay between artists (past and present) and today’s spiritual pilgrims. She sees Art and the Church as natural collaborators in that they both rely on the revelatory power of expression and serve as arenas for contemplative awareness, “laboratories” for imaginative cultural change, and agents of social transformation.
Originally trained as an artist, Linda carries the sensibilities of an innovative teacher-scholar. She devises creative and accessible ways for both academics and ordinary people to integrate the richness of art into their understanding of the world.
Linda’s academic work addresses the ways “inclusion” and “exclusion” impact how art and art movements are understood. This idea led her to consider how she could expand methodologies in art history to better explain Christian art.
Linda’s professional life is busy and broad, including the following leadership activities:
- Source and content director for Art and the Search for Meaning, a video series collaboration with Engage Art set for release beginning in fall 2022.
- Co-founder and board member of the The Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA).
- Co-author with James Romaine of ReVisioning: Critical Methods of Seeing Christianity in the History of Art.
- A Vocation and the Common Good Project (VCG) scholar, a program built around UVA professor James Davison Hunter’s book To Change the World and directed by The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at UVA and the Charlottesville-based Christian think tank New City Commons. The book and this project address the ways that faith is artificially separated from everyday life.
- Professor, Asbury University, in History and Art, Art Department Chair for several years. In the classroom, she highlights connections and interdisciplinary questions, mining art movements for underlying historical conditions and ideologies.
- Founding director for Asbury University’s Paris Semester, which focuses on modern and contemporary history, culture and language study, embellished with field practicum matched to a wide range of undergraduate majors.
- Longtime member and past board president (2009-2013) of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA).Scholar in Residence at The American Church in Paris (2016) to support research at the intersection of art and Christian faith, deliver community lectures, and pursue planning for the Art and Christian Pilgrimage film project.
- InterVarsity Press Theology and the Arts Series Advisory Board. IVP’s Studies in Theology and the Arts seeks to enable Christians to reflect more deeply on the relationship between their faith and humanity’s artistic and cultural expressions.
- Former member of the Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) Advisory Board. Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) promotes a vibrant interplay between Christian theology and the arts by encouraging transformative leadership and enriching discussion in the Church, academy, and society.
- Advisory Board member for the Brehm Center at Fuller Seminary.