Foundations of Art Ministry

O N L I N E   C O U R S E   A P P L I C A T I O N

W E E K L Y   R E L E A S E   V E R S I O N

Hello and Welcome! 

This is the APPLICATION FOR ACCEPTANCE into the program. 
Enrollment is selective (not everyone is accepted).
Students are notified within 1 week of applying.

This online course in art ministry is 8 months long. 

Cost: $110/month for 8 months.
Students are free to cancel their subscription at any time.

Allow at least 45 MINUTES to complete this application.
Course Begins: 
(you will select one start date during this application)
September 12, 2017 through May 22, 2018
January 16, 2018 through August 28, 2018
September 11, 2018 through May 21, 2019
January 15, 2019 through August 27, 2019

To complete this application you will need:

• a credit or debit card for the $10 application fee (secure payment) 
• letter-size paper and a thick marker, crayon, etc. for writing your name 
• an image of something you've created (can be anything...fabric art, a painting, a baked item, a music video, a poem, etc.) to upload in this application 

This in-depth ministry course practices the foundations of visual art through a theological lens in order to explore ways of ministering through the arts in practical and inclusive ways in the name of Christ. Video lessons must be watched and art/writing assignments uploaded.
Time commitment is 4 hours per week.

This course is for ages 16 and up.

This website will NOT save your progress if you quit before you're finished.
W A R N I N G :

If you accidentally close this internet tab, you'll have to start your whole application over. :(

If you need to do another task on your computer while you fill out this application, DON'T CLOSE THIS TAB! Instead, create a second tab for your internet while you keep this tab open, so you don't lose your place on this application.

Choose the start date you are applying for: *

This course is taught in small groups of 7 to 10 students who are randomly (prayerfully) assigned.

Optional: Do you have a Classmate Request?

If you're applying with friends and you'd like to be within the same group of classmates, please type everyone's name(s) along with the city and state where they live. 

And tell your friend(s) to list YOU as their classmates, too.
(Make sure all your requested start dates are the same!)

If you're not sure yet whether your friend will apply, you can still list them anyway and mention that you're not sure if they'll apply, and we'll keep an eye out for their application. 

Classmate requests after you've applied: After you've applied, email anytime to add a name to your classmate request.
The deadline for a classmate request is 3 weeks before each class start date.
Hi there! Allow me to introduce myself:
I'm Jessie Nilo, and I live in Boise, Idaho. I've been ministering to artists since 2004 when I began VineArts in my local church. I'm also the founder of Art Fruition and the main instructor for this course. 

I made a quick name-doodle just for you. Next it will be your turn.

Okay, I'm actually just checking your DIGITAL UPLOAD CAPABILITY. But it's still kind of fun.
If I were you, I'd limit your drawing to a 10 minute doodle. 

Take a letter-size paper (8.5 x 11" or thereabouts), and draw your name LARGELY so it's readable from 3 feet away.
Use a method in any medium, any color, quick and simple, to create your name. 

Then, take 2 photographs of what you made: 
1) a close-up photo of your name-doodle,
2) a photo of YOU holding up your name-doodle. Don't hide your face.

Are you ready? 

Click on "B" if you need advice on uploading images from your phone or camera. *

Uploading Photos (advice):

Below is some advice in uploading images. You can even highlight these words on your screen, copy it, and paste the instructions into a new document (like in Word) and print it out for your future reference, if you want.

DIGITAL CAMERA: If you took your photos on a digital camera, connect your camera to your computer with the cable, and open whatever program you use to transfer photos from your digital camera to your computer. Make sure to tell it what folder you want to save the photos in. Now those photos are hanging out in whatever folder you picked inside your computer. You can now go to the tab that has your Art Fruition application, click the cloudy-looking upload symbol, find that photo in the folder where you saved it, and choose the photo that’s needed for that step.

SMART PHONE: If you took your photos with a smart phone, you can do it a few different ways:

1) To e-mail it from your smart phone to your computer: On your phone, open the photo and select "share" (the box with an arrow coming out the top). You can even select both photos at once. Your phone will then let you e-mail both photos to your own email address. Then go to your computer and open your email program in that new tab (not this tab), refresh if necessary, open that email you sent to yourself, and click the button that says "Download all attachments." Now both of those photos are hanging out in your "downloads" folder. You can now go back to the tab that has your Art Fruition application, click the cloudy-looking upload symbol, look in your “downloads” folder, and choose the photo that’s needed for that step.

2) If you have “Air Drop” or other wireless sharing network between your smart phone and computer: On your phone, open the photo and select "share" (the box with an arrow coming out the top). You can even select both photos at once. Your phone will then let you “Air Drop” both photos to your own computer. Then go to your computer and you’ll see both of those photos are now hanging out in your "downloads" folder. You can now go to the tab that has your Art Fruition application, click the cloudy-looking upload symbol, look in your “downloads” folder, and choose the photo that’s needed for that step.

3) To download photos using a cable connected bewteen your smart phone and your computer: Connect your cable between your smart phone and computer, open whatever program you use to transfer photos from your phone, and make sure to tell it what folder you want to save the photos in. Now those photos are hanging out in whatever folder you picked inside your computer. You can now go to the tab that has your Art Fruition application, click the cloudy-looking upload symbol, find that photo in the folder where you saved it, and choose the photo that’s needed for that step. If it’s hard to figure out, it might be easier to just email the photos to yourself (see step 1, above).

If you SCANNED your drawing with a scanner hooked up to a computer, or want to scan it, go to your computer’s control panel and click on the printers, scanners, and devices icon. But before you tell your scanner to scan the picture, first tell it what FOLDER to save it in, so you can find it easily. Then scan it. Now your photo of your drawing is hanging out in whatever folder you picked inside your computer. You can now go to the tab that has your Art Fruition application, click the cloudy-looking upload symbol, find that photo in the folder where you saved it, and choose the photo that’s needed for that step. If it’s hard to figure out your scanner, it might be easier to take digital photos of it and send the photos.
Sweet! You took a close-up photograph of your name.
Here is where you will upload it.
BUT WAIT: Before you upload it, make sure your photograph is:

- in focus (not blurry)
- good lighting (move to a room with bright enough lighting)
- good contrast 
- doesn't have a huge glare in the photo
- no unintended shadows across it (like, yours)
- a good crop (image is not crooked; no huge awkward space on one side for no reason) 
- it's just your art, alone; there's no distracting clutter in the background.


Not sure how to accomplish this? Try editing the photo, or retake the photo in a better location.

Not sure how to edit the contrast, cropping or saturation? Computers have basic editing built right into their viewing tools.
• If you have a Mac, open the photo in Preview and click Tools > Adjust color. To crop, drag to select an area, then click Crop or Command K.
• In Windows Media (PC), you can adjust a photo this way: Click the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Center. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Pictures + Videos, and then click Picture library. Right-click the picture you want to edit, click Picture Details, then click Touch Up.
• Or use a free photo editing program such as downloading GIMP onto your computer, a free and safe program for editing photos; download it at
And here is where you should upload the photo of YOU, holding up your name-doodle. BUT WAIT: If you know how to re-name your file, please FIRST rename your picture with your first name-last name before you upload it. (Usually if you slowly double-click on a file name, it will highlight the current name and then you can type something new.) In my case, I would name it Jessie-Nilo.JPG or something similar.

However, if you don't know how to re-name your picture before uploading it, it's okay! Just upload your picture the way it is. 

P.S. - I want to see your face. *

P.P.S. - A little background clutter is all right in this one. :)

P.P.P.S. - You look marvelous!!
Thanks! You're a fine-looking human.

Now, upload an image of something else you have created. First re-name the file with your first name-last name-type of object (if you know how to re-name the file).

For example, Jessie-Nilo-Pencil-Drawing.JPG *

It could be a pie, if you baked a pie.
It could be a sketch, a vase, a video, a sculpture, a painting, a photograph, or a poem.
Now that we have your name in pictures, let's type it.

What is your FIRST name? *

Last name? *

How old are you, {{answer_sw9F}}? *

You must be 16 years or older to apply.
Street address? (for mailing) *

City *

State, if in the USA
(use 2-letter abbreviation)

If outside the USA, please type your province and country *

Zip code

Phone number with area code: *


You can always scroll upwards to change something you missed.

For open-ended questions, the blinky thing will stop typing if you reach 600 characters (around 140 words). That's a medium-sized paragraph.

Just wanted you to know!

Writing tip: This is NOT a scholarly course, and you're welcome to write informally, but please use proper spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Sentences that run together are very difficult to read and understand.

Please answer the following:

Why do you want to enroll in this course? *

In your own words, please explain how you feel about loving and helping creative people. *

Choose: 1= NO WAY!   2= not really.  3= meh.  4= kind of. 5= YES!There are no "right" or "wrong" answers in this section... just be honest.

I am a follower and believer in Jesus Christ of Nazareth in my personal life. I have come to salvation through the grace of Christ's death and resurrection. *

I am very sensitive to beauty when I experience it. *

I am very sensitive to emotional pain when I experience it or see others experience it. *

This isn't negative or positive.
When you see pain, does it affect you MORE DEEPLY than it seems to affect other people?

Artistically-inclined people seem to approach me more often than they approach other people when they're in need of counsel or support. *

Doing and turning in assignments is not difficult for me. It's generally easy for me to follow rules and procedures. *

Please make sure you're telling the truth.

I have a reputation of awesomeness when I'm under someone else's authority, and I don't struggle with rebellion or authority issues. *

Think about what others would actually say about you.

People say I'm organized and I'm good at administrative tasks. *

When I'm struggling in my own artwork, the dialog in my head tends to be very supportive and positive. I usually try to be my own friend, not my own worst enemy. *

When I see someone else struggling in their artwork, I have the urge to say encouraging and positive observations to them-- anything true I can find to say about their work that will hopefully give them hope and courage. *

When I see someone else struggling in their artwork, I like offering critique on their work in ways that will help them advance in their art. I value and enjoy the process of critique and giving constructive criticism for the benefit of others. In my own work I routinely seek honest critiques from artists in my field in an attempt to improve my craft. *

If I see people in conversation with each other, and then they discover they have different viewpoints on an important issue, I don't feel anxious or upset as long as the conversation remains respectful. *

When it comes to people who have a DIFFERENT viewpoint from my view of government or politics, they say that I have a reputation for being gentle, sensitive to others, open-minded, a good listener, and slow to speak. *

When it comes to people who hold MAJORLY different beliefs from what I believe about religion, theology, doctrine, and scriptural interpretation, they say that I have a reputation for being welcoming, gentle, quick to listen, and slow to speak. *

When it comes to people who hold SLIGHTLY different beliefs from what I believe about religion, theology, doctrine, and scriptural interpretation, they say that I have a reputation for being welcoming, gentle, quick to listen, and slow to speak. *

I have a lot of prior experience in making visual art of some kind or other. *

If you don't, it's totally okay! We'll be changing that soon.

It's easy and natural for me to show patience and grace toward people who don't know anything about visual art techniques when they're trying to learn art. *

It's easy for me to show patience and grace toward myself when I'm trying to learn new art techniques. *

I enjoy studying and discussing topics I know absolutely nothing about. Learning new things is intriguing and exciting to me, and I don't usually struggle with feeling insecure or negative when I'm learning something new. *

From time to time, I will be agreeable to studying or discussing topics I already know a lot about, as long as it's not very often. *

I enjoy writing about deep concepts. *

I enjoy creative writing and/or I enjoy writing poetry. *

I have a lot of experience in helping others, either through serving in a church ministry or in serving the people in my city/community. *

What kind(s) of art and/or writing do you like to do, and why? *

Tell me about yourself, {{answer_sw9F}} -- not about art, not about ministry. Just YOU.

Who is your family? Or what is your favorite food? Where do you like to take walks?

Stuff like that.

Or: Who is your hero and why?
Or how about: What was your favorite moment as it unfolded at your house this week? 

Those are just a few suggestions to get you thinking, so make up your own questions to answer if you prefer. *

Psst... I love pizza. 
I also love stir-fried Asian green beans sauteed in garlic and oyster sauce. 
My husband is Filipino, and he's a great cook!
Art and Vocation: Pick all the statements that CURRENTLY describe you. *

There's art for income, and there's art you love to make. 
Are they the same for you?

How do you feel about this? Do you feel satisfied? a sense of freedom? frustrated? bored? Do you wrestle with regret? 
Are you exhausted? happy? energized? proud? fragmented? yearning for things to be different?

Please tell me how you feel about your art and your vocation (how it applies to you in the church, in the marketplace, or both). *


This school is unique. Please indicate your interest and agreement by clicking yes or no below:

I verify that I do want to connect with other art ministers and explore ways of practicing spiritual growth through the visual arts and creative writing. I'll sometimes work in the rhythm of practicing in my own solitude, and at other times I'll be creating in community with other artists. *

I agree with the following statement:

I understand that many students who enroll in this course are unsure of exactly "how" or "when" or "where" they'll be able to apply what they learn from this course, and many students may be uncertain about their future plans after taking this course. This does not disqualify anyone from taking this course. *

I agree with the following statement:

I am aware that some Foundations of Art Ministry students may be very seasoned in leading artists, while others may be just starting out in ministry or haven't had an opportunity to serve or lead artists yet. This doesn't make anyone better than anybody else. Everyone will be learning.

Regardless of my own career plans or my own level of ministry experience (or lack thereof), I agree to contribute richly to our class discussions of ministry and theology while fostering an inclusive environment of humility, grace, and education in our training and practice of both art and ministry. *

"Paul says to be clothed in humility.
So I'm thinking that if humility is some kind of garment,
it surely must be underwear." 
-- Pastor Mike Freeman, Art Fruition faculty
I agree with the following statement:

Similarly, I understand that some Foundations of Art Ministry students will already have extensive experience in visual art, whereas other students will be just starting out in their journey in visual art.

I understand that to foster a safe learning environment, there will be no tolerance of:

-- elitism or put-downs
-- jealousy of others' success 
-- negativity toward others
-- self-negativity or self-pity 

I understand that every student, from the least experienced to the most experienced, will be expected to give artistic encouragement, feedback, understanding, grace, and support to all other classmates, wherever they happen to be in the learning process.

I agree to respect people who have different natural abilities and artistic passions from mine. I understand I will be invited (often!) to honor, celebrate, and appreciate the work of people who have very different vocational and artistic ambitions from mine.

I agree to do my part to love amateur, emerging, and professional artists toward the mutual support of every artist because we all need each other. *

I agree with the following statement:

I agree that healthy sharing happens when people are open and vulnerable in ways that are good for themselves and others. I agree to not get inappropriately clingy toward certain classmates, and I will engage in healthy communication with everyone, to the best of my ability. 

I agree to not show blatant preference toward certain classmates while ignoring others. *

I agree with the following statement:

I understand that because artists have developed thousands of philosophies throughout history, respectful disagreements will certainly arise in this course. I will not be threatened but will remain open to learning, remembering that my value lies in Christ alone. If I am hurt by others, it is my responsibility to gently and respectfully convey the problem to my classmates. If problems persist I will bring the situation to Jessie Nilo's attention.

I understand that philosophical differences should only be aired selectively, with wisdom and careful timing. 

I agree to refrain from making any belligerent, divisive, insensitive, or derogatory comments toward or about my fellow students, and to instead be considerate and kind toward my fellow students. 

I understand that if there are ongoing problems in this area, it could result in my removal from class discussions and/or my removal from this course. *

I agree with the following statement:

I understand that if I am accepted into this course, I'm asking for feedback from Jessie Nilo, from Foundations team members, and from my classmates. This includes feedback for my spiritual journey as well as my visual art and writing learning process.

I agree to give and receive feedback according to the model of grace and gentle education that will be shown throughout the Foundations of Art Ministry course.

I agree to refrain from giving other students unwanted critique or unasked-for advice, always making sure I'm being asked for specific feedback before offering it.

I will be open to receiving appropriate critique from others, and I agree to not confuse my value and God-given worth with my potential for growth. With careful discernment I will consider the feedback offered to me by others. I agree to tell the Foundations staff right away if problems emerge for me in the critique process. *

I agree with the following statement:

I understand that Jessie Nilo and Art Fruition are widely known for promoting unity and mutual appreciation among Christians who belong to a wide variety of worship traditions, styles, expressions, and denominations just as Jesus prayed for all of His disciples to love each other and be one (John 17).

The instructors and staff of Art Fruition are spiritually mature Christians who value our different backgrounds. We strongly believe in the unity of the worldwide Church (people who have been saved by grace through Jesus Christ).

I understand that I am required to show respect for, and hopefully will choose to honor, celebrate, and appreciate, the many beautiful expressions within the bride of Christ. I will refrain from making belligerent, divisive, or derogatory comments regarding methods or worship expressions of my fellow believers in Christ. Serious infractions will result in removal from discussions and may result in removal from this course. *

I agree with the following statement:

I realize that all movements start out "grassroots," and those of us in this course are simply moving in the groundswell of God's Spirit as He stirs the hearts of artists around the world.

As artists in churches we are pioneers--there are relatively few paid staff positions for visual artists or writers in churches at this time. I also realize that many innovative, service-oriented people create their own jobs, often initially as volunteers. 

With this in mind, regardless of whether I'm eventually hired somewhere or not, I sense that God is leading me to explore methods of serving through art in the context of Christian community. I will pursue my own spiritual and artistic growth--not with the mindset of jockeying for a position in ministry or climbing some kind of career ladder, but with the mindset of a servant and a vessel for God's glory, trusting the Lord to bring me opportunities in His timing. *


I accept the following terms:

If selected for this school, I will commit to finding the time to do 4 hours of homework per week. I will create the time for that in my schedule.

I commit to not miss more than 3 weeks of homework during the time that I am enrolled in this course.

I understand the video lessons will be ready for me to download every Tuesday morning.** 

Sometime between Tuesday and Sunday, I will be expected to:

STEP 1. Watch the video and read the accompanying handout (approximately 45 minutes of recorded material)...

STEP 2. Complete the assignments, which will vary between visual art and written assignments (approximately 2 hours)...

STEP 3. Upload each week's assignment to my small group by Sunday night.

And sometime between Saturday and Tuesday, I will be expected to

STEP 4. Discuss that week's material with my classmates, and give at least 2 of my classmates encouragement and feedback about the work they've uploaded (30-45 minutes).

**NOTE: There is no class on the following weeks: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. 
We also build in one "break week" per month for rest, reflection, and catching up on missed assignments. *

You will not be considered for this course unless you agree to the following conditions.
I accept the following terms:

Even if I have to miss a week or two of uploading my homework assignments, I commit to staying in discussion and community with my classmates in our group discussions. I will stay current and be present in our community of students. The most important aspect of this school is the ongoing support within our student body. *

You will not be considered for this course unless you agree to these conditions.
I accept the following terms:


If selected for this school, I will commit to paying $110/month for the entire 8 months that I am enrolled in this Foundations of Art Ministry Course.

I understand that during this course, all monthly payments of $110 will be collected automatically, starting in the first week of class, and will be automatically withdrawn each month on the same calendar day thereafter (for instance, on the 14th of each month), until the last payment is collected when the course ends, totaling 8 monthly payments. 

Course certification is achieved if and when I complete 90% or more of the course material. My subscription will automatically stop after 8 monthly payments have been made, and the entire class will be unsubscribed at the same time at the end of the course, whether I or my fellow students have individually achieved course certification or not. 

After Certification

If/when I reach certification, I will be offered the opportunity to re-enroll, this time as an Alumni in our Self-Paced version of the Foundations course, at the low price of only $5/month, to enjoy continued access to all course material, including all lessons and videos, and to enjoy community with other art ministers around the world. This $5/month access to material and community can continue for as long as I wish to subscribe for $5/month, with no obligation to repeat or upload any of the actual lessons or to share my own course assignments (but I can if I want to).

I will not share any Foundations of Art Ministry content with non-subscribers, either in person, electronically, or in print, for groups or individuals, without emailing and asking for express written permission from Jessie Nilo and Art Fruition.

Cancelation Policy

If I want to unsubscribe without achieving certification, I understand that I’m free to cancel anytime, for any reason, and that I must fill out a Stop Subscription Form and pay $15 if I wish to cancel my subscription before reaching certification.

If I ever fall behind in my coursework or feel inadequate, I am highly encouraged to stay in the course if at all possible. I will keep in mind that it's common for art students and ministry students to feel painfully inadequate, and the best solution is to press through and grow.   

Reasons for stopping before I reach certification could include personal health or spiritual reasons, an emergency in my family, or personal crisis. Or it could turn out that the course is not resonating with me.

Stop Subscription Forms are read and evaluated by Art Fruition staff. The status of my spiritual health will always be treated as confidential and of the utmost priority. 

The Stop Subscription Form takes 10 days to process, consists of 4 steps with assessment surveys, and requires a $15 administrative fee, paid by the student.  
10 calendar days after submitting the Stop Subscription Form, the student will then be dis-enrolled, at which time all present and future subscription payments will stop.

If I ever fall behind in my coursework, I will be encouraged to stay in the course, if at all possible. This course features built-in weeks of rest, reflection, and catch-up times expressly for this purpose.

Temporary Pause to Navigate Emergencies

If I have a real health or family emergency that doesn't allow me to engage in this course for several weeks, Art Fruition will keep my enrollment open for whenever I can jump back in. 

Temporary Pauses can have 2 outcomes:

1) Temporary Pause followed by Re-Entry:
During this course, if I have a life emergency, I can simply explain the situation to my classmates and not feel any pressure to upload new assignments until the emergency has lifted. Then I will resume my coursework when I have the time and energy to engage again. I'll be strongly supported and encouraged to remain part of class for community and prayer support, even while my homework assignments are temporarily on pause. I will remain subscribed to the course during this time and engage with my classmates, while only doing minimal or no work, as is comfortable. After the emergency has lifted I'll resume my coursework and lessons, starting with the current lesson that my classmates are now working on and commenting on, and I’ll catch up on previous lessons that I missed as I have time to complete them. (Students who have missed lessons can and do achieve certification in this way by using their catch-up weeks to regain momentum.)
2) Community Support with Future Re-Start: 
If there is no way for me to catch up, I can still choose to stay subscribed and connected for the duration of the course for support, and not be required to upload any more assignments, finishing the course without becoming certified, as is comfortable for me. If I'm in good community standing with my classmates and faculty at the course's end date, I will be offered the opportunity to re-enroll in a future Foundations of Art Ministry course for only $5/month (choosing either the Weekly Release or Self-Paced Course), the second time through hopefully completing 90% or more of my coursework to certification.   

Your health and well-being are important to us! 

You will not be considered for this course unless you agree to these conditions.

Much of the art we create for this course will examine spiritual mysteries and realities of the Bible.

Students will have a lot of freedom in choosing materials and concepts.

Advanced students can skip the basic art tutorials if they would like. Optional art demos and tutorials are provided in the video lessons as a resource for anyone who wants guidance in specific art techniques.

Is this okay with you?
1 = strongly not okay   5 = absolutely awesomely okay *

Great job, almost done!

As a class, we will be doing a fair amount of visual art and writing assignments.

Students are required to upload weekly drawing or writing assignments to a small group of classmates who will share encouragement and feedback.

How do you feel about this?
Be honest.

Rate how you FEEL about showing your projects to your classmates.
(...Not that you're going to get out of it or anything, because you're not.)  
1 = hate the idea  3 = okay I guess   5 = totally excited! *

In your own words, explain how you feel about the requirement to make and share your art in this course. *

Do you have any additional comments, questions, or concerns?
Write them below.

If you have a website, paste the url here:

(If you don't, it's perfectly okay.)
Application fee

Please enter your Credit or Debit Card number: *

The CVC number: *

(3 or 4 digit security number on the back of your card)
The name on your card: *

Your card's expiry month: *

Your card's expiry year: *

{{answer_sw9F}}, thank you for applying to
Art Fruition's Foundations of Art Ministry.

You will be notified of your status via the e-mail you provided within one week.

If you are accepted, you will need to purchase 
the following books:


Foundations of Art Ministry Workbook, $35, 
by Jessie Nilo (a link will be provided to you upon acceptance to this course).

Heart of the Artist
 by Rory Noland (Zondervan, 1999).

Finding Divine Inspiration by J. Scott McElroy (Destiny Image, 2008)

Recommended reading (not required):
The Creative Church Handbook by J. Scott McElroy (IVP, 2015).

If someone else wants to apply, click below.
A new application fee will be required for each applicant.
All students need a unique e-mail address.
fresh new application
I'm sorry, but you will not be able to complete this course unless you have the capability to upload photos and images.

Please ask if there's someone else's computer you could borrow, or see if someone will teach you how to upload pictures, and then re-apply. 
If you have questions, email