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Nuts and Bolts – Degrees and Me: Should it be?

May 8 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm CDT


Panel: Maria Fee, Nate Risdon, Robert Feuge, & John Cobb

This Nuts and Bolts webinar is meant to be an honest and transparent sharing of experiences, opinions, advice to those who are struggling with making a decision to further their formal education or not. We will delve into questions such as:

  • Do I need an MFA to be a good/successful artist? What about a PhD?

  • Can I learn more (or equally as much) by investing in life experiences rather than tuition?

  • What are the benefits of particular degrees (MFA, PhD, DMIn, etc…) that I can’t get from life in general?

  • Are degrees for everybody?

  • Are my career goals dependent on such degrees?

  • Does the degree-granting institution make a difference? What about areas of specialization? What degrees translate to other disciplines? Do I need a fluid degree or one that is specifically fixed?

Asking that honest question “Who and what are degrees for?” and “Am I wasting my money or making a wise investment?”

Additionally, we’ll touch on that elephant-in-the-room question of “Wait! I have a degree. Why isn’t everybody clamoring to hire/commission me?”


All Nuts and Bolts webinars are FREE for CIVA members. Not a member? Become a member! 


*All five Nuts and Bolts webinars share the registration. Attend one webinar or all five!

About the Panel

Maria Fee

Pasadena, California
Artist | Theologian | Educator │ CIVA Board Member

Maria Fee is an artist, theologian, and educator. Her visual art explores ideas of fragmentation, metizaje (cultural mixing), alienation, and hospitality. These notions also drive her theological research currently explored through the art of Theaster Gates and other social practice artists. As an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary, she delves into theology and art topics through courses like Visual Arts and the Christian and Capstone Theology and Art. Maria has also contributed her expertise and energies to the Brehm Center’s Visual Faith initiative. She currently lives in Pasadena with her husband Brian Fee, who is also an artist. 

Follow her on Instagram: @mariafeeart


Nate Risden

Pasadena, California
Director of Operations and Programs │ CIVA Board Secretary

Nate Risdon has served in leadership roles in the non-profit and educational sectors for the past 13 years, having most recently served as the Director of Operations and Programs for the Brehm Center at Fuller Theological Seminary. In the Spring of 2019, he successfully completed his PhD in Higher Education administration with an emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion. His background in the creative arts coupled with his experience in research and analysis and administration helps him provide organizations with creative solutions based on sound information. Nate is married with three children and resides in Southern California.



Robert Feuge


May 8
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm CDT
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