Now Accepting Applications for the Bowden ThD Scholarship in the Visual Arts

Duke Divinity School is accepting applications for the Bowden ThD Scholarship in the Visual Arts, for students enrolling in the Fall of 2020. The Scholarship seeks to promote and support the highest levels of scholarly excellence and innovation at the intersection of Theology and the Visual Arts. The award will provide five years of funding, including additional funds to support research and travel during the dissertation.

Qualified applicants must apply to the Duke Divinity School’s ThD program by December 15, 2019 and should note their interest in being considered for the scholarship along with a description of research interests in their personal statement.

For questions regarding this scholarship, please contact the Duke Divinity Admissions Office or Dr. Daniel Train, Associate Director of DITA.

The award is made possible through the generosity and vision of Sandra and Robert Bowden and is an exciting development for DITA as it significantly strengthens the research and teaching mandates of its mission. The Bowdens have worked tirelessly for several decades to make visual artwork available to colleges, churches, and other institutions around the United States. Sandra is a painter, printmaker, and scholar, and was President of the Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) for fourteen years. She was also on the board and founding member of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City. Sandra currently serves on DITA’s advisory board.

The Bowden’s generosity is a significant investment in doctoral education at Duke Divinity School and will doubtless have a tremendous impact on the field of theology and the arts in years to come.


Christina Carnes Ananias, the first recipient of the Bowden Scholarship

I feel deeply honored to be the first recipient of the Bowden ThD fellowship. Before learning of the fellowship, I knew about the important work that the Bowdens have been doing in the Christianity and Visual Arts world for decades. As an accomplished artist and collector herself, Mrs. Sandra Bowden is a strong voice for the importance of fine art in local congregations and Christian institutions. Her work with CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts) and her writings have already been an important influence on my own work, which makes this fellowship a particularly rich privilege.

In the past year, their generosity has supported my research in Christology and Modern visual art, enabling me the time and space to explore early Christian expositions of Jesus Christ, history and criticism of late nineteenth and early 20th century abstract painting, and to build fruitful connections between the two areas. I have also had the opportunity to travel to Chicago and St. Paul, MN to share my work with other scholars in this field.

Throughout the year, I’ve had the joy of encouragement and conversation in the form of emails, notes, meetings, and meals with the Bowdens. As a scholar whose research sits between two worlds that at times seem unrelated or even at odds, it is very meaningful to be supported by a family that that has given so much of their lives to building a bridge between them. Thanks to their generosity, I am learning to build this bridge alongside of them.