DR. LINDA STRATFORD is an art scholar, historian, writer and educator whose chief mission is to stir up thoughtful discussion about art. 

Linda Stratford’s passion is to cultivate fruitful interplay between artists past and present, and today’s spiritual pilgrims. Both Art and the Church serve as arenas for contemplative awareness; both Art and the Church rely on the revelatory power of expression; both Art and the Church serve as “laboratories” for imaginative cultural change; and both Art and the Church serve as agents of social transformation. It is the nature of Art to disclose in imaginative ways; it is the nature of Christian faith to welcome honest seeking.  

Professor Linda Stratford’s style is intimate, personal, and conversational, inviting the widest range of viewers “inside” works of art over the centuries, facilitating fruitful interplay between art and the spiritual pilgrim. 

A historian of art and society, Dr. Linda Stratford addresses the ways in which the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion have impacted the reception of art. Her chief interest is in societal response to and interaction with, art movements. Under Herman Lebovics at The State University of New York she completed the dissertation Artists into Frenchmen:  Art and National Definition in France, 1945-1960, examining a discernibly national aesthetic “call to order” in postwar France. She has several published articles on French art in the 1950’s including her Millstone Prize article “American Art in France Following the Liberation” in The Journal of the Western Society for French History

Her research interest in the means by which artistic initiatives come to be viewed as belonging, or not belonging within the framework of a community led to her interest in expanded methodologies in art history. She is the co-author with James Romaine, of ReVisioning: Critical Methods of Seeing Christianity in the History of Art and continues to explore the theological relevance of the “affective space” of the visual arts. 

She is founding director of Asbury University’s Paris Semester program where she teaches art history and French history. Originally trained as an artist, her career trajectory is that of innovative teacher-scholar birthing creative higher education deliverables.

“Linda’s infectious passion for the language of visual art inspired even the most uninitiated in our group. The presentation welcomed us to see the world and its struggles through lines, colors, and form, and to use these tools to reach toward redemptive possibilities. It is an incredibly timely and inspiring message for the contemporary Church.”

Lisa Swartz, Plowshares Peace Club – Wilmore KY 


Project Director, Art and the Search for Meaning
Art and the Search for Meaning for which Linda Stratford serves as Director, is a proposed set of videos supported by smart, user-friendly materials, to invite personal and group study as a means to draw near to God through master works of art.

ASCHA Co-Founder and Board Member
In connection with the ASCHA mission to facilitate and promote scholarship examining In 2010, in conjunction with a summer seminar taught in Paris for Asbury undergraduates, Linda Stratford and colleagues gathered a group of scholars interested in the intersection of art history and Christianity. At this symposium, participants came to the consensus that the field of art history lacked scholarly forums in which issues of the history of Christianity in the visual arts could be openly, charitably, and critically addressed. The symposium became the inaugural event of The Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA) In February 2011, ASCHA held a symposium in New York at the Museum of Biblical Art; in February 2012 a symposium in Los Angeles at the Cathedral of Angels; and in March 2012 a symposium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; in February 2013 at the Pratt Institute in New York; in 2014 at the Chicago Art Institute; in February 2016 at Wesley Theological Seminary; in 2017 at The Union League Club, New York; and in 2019 at New York University. The majority of ASCHA’s programs were held to coordinate with the annual national meeting of The College Art Association. In 2019 ASCHA was named an Affiliated Society of the College Art Association, holding an annual session at its annual national conference.

Book Publication, ReVisioning 
In connection with the ASCHA mission to facilitate and promote scholarship examining the historical and contemporary relationship Edited by Linda Stratford and James Romaine, ReVisioning: Critical Methods of Seeing Christianity in the History of Art examines the application of art historical methods to the history of Christianity and art. This book represents the first critical examination of scholarly methodologies applied to the study of Christian subjects, themes, and contexts in art, with focus on select works of art 3rd century to the present.  

VCG Scholar  
The Vocation and the Common Good Project (VCG) arose from University of Virginia sociology professor James Davison Hunter’s book To Change the World. That book and this project aThe Vocation and the Common Good Project (VCG) arose from University of Virginia sociology professor James Davison Hunter’s book To Change the World. That book and this project address the prevailing dualism that separates faith from everyday life in the late modern world. Through the combined resources of The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at UVA and the Charlottesville-based Christian think tank New City Commons the project created working groups made up of leading scholars and practitioners in nine vocational sectors (Medicine; Clergy; Philanthropy; Education; Art; Business; Politics; Law). Each group conducted theological, historical and sociological research on the meaning and shape of faithful presence in a particular field by means of the combination of biblical and theological imagination and clear, critical and grounded reflection. Linda Stratford served as one of five scholars and practitioners named to the project. 

Founding Director, Asbury University’s Paris Semester 
In 2014, Linda Stratford launched Asbury University’s Paris Semester program. Offering a full 15-hr semester of liberal arts credits earned in Paris, Paris Semester provides focus on modern and contemporary history, culture and language study — embellished with field practicum matched to a wide range of undergraduate majors. Dr. Stratford initiated the program conception, establishes and maintains internship contacts for a wide variety of majors, teaches two courses within the program for its three-month duration, and oversees growth.

Board President, Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) – 2009-2013 
Linda Stratford served as the Board President for Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) from 2009-2013.

Professor, Asbury University 
Linda Stratford teaches Art Theory and Criticism; Aesthetics; Twentieth-century Art; Art History Survey; History 393 Seminar in FrLinda Stratford teaches Art Theory and Criticism; Aesthetics; Twentieth-century Art; Art History Survey; History 393 Seminar in French History and served as Art Dept. Chair 2007-2009; 2013-2014. Her pedagogical style fosters interdisciplinary questions and connections. Modern art movements are mined for expression of historical conditions and ideologies. War footage; artist statements; political manifestos and philosophical currents make for exploration dense in the ways in which art must be seen as an inseparable part of the larger cultural, political and social context of which it forms an integral part. Secondly, her pedagogical style makes use of concrete embodiment. She regularly conducts student trips to museums in the States and directs a semester program in Paris where the city becomes the “classroom.” There she awards credit for mentored experiential learning within internships and within all academic credits. In History of France 393 and Intercultural Studies: The Church in France 330, students investigate the foundations of law, politics, morality and religious belief, literally walking from ancient to contemporary history in Paris. A course segment on the rise and fall of monarchy begins at Pont Neuf with its commemorative statue of Henri IV and ends only a short distance away at the site of royal executions within the Place de la Concorde.

2016 Scholar in Residence, The American Church in Paris
Linda Stratford teaches Art Theory and Criticism; Aesthetics; Twentieth-century Art; Art History Survey; History 393 Seminar in French History and served as Art Dept. Chair 2007-2009; 2013-2014. Her pedagogical style Linda Stratford served as Scholar in Residence at The American Church in Paris in the fall of 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.

Rouault Initiative

Inter-Varsity Press Theology and the Arts Series Advisory Board 
IVP’s Studies in Theology and the Arts seeks to enable Christians to reflect more deeply upon the relationship between their faith and humanity’s artistic and cultural expressions. By drawing upon the insights of both academic theologians and artistic practitioners, this series encourages thoughtful engagement with and critical discernment of the full variety of artistic media—including visual art, music, literature, film, theater and more—which both embody and inform Christian thinking. 

Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) Advisory Board  

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 theological discussion in the Church, academy, and society. 

The initiative was established in 2009 at Duke Divinity School by its current director, Dr. Jeremy Begbie, a leading voice in the conversation between faith and the arts. Since then, DITA has established graduate-level courses in theology and the arts, a bi-annual distinguished lecture series, an artist-in-residence program, concerts and exhibitions, and major trans-Atlantic collaboration with the University of Cambridge. In Addition, the initiative supports the work of doctoral students and a post-doctoral associate. 

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