We are excited to announce that Lauralee Farrer, Storyteller and Editor-in-Chief of FULLER magazine, is newly named Storyteller and Chief Creative of Fuller Theological Seminary, giving primary leadership to FULLER Studio—a new venture to provide formation resources to the global Christian church and for all who are interested in spiritual growth.
Under Farrer’s creative direction, FULLER Studio will be guided by the aesthetic and the ethos of FULLER magazine as a natural expansion of the stories, theology, and voices found there. While she will lead all creative operations, including content development and production, trustee Jeff Wright will lead the business, legal, and financial development—all under the aegis of the Division of Communications, Marketing, and Admissions (CMA).
“We are very grateful for Farrer’s increased leadership,” says Irene Neller, Vice President for CMA. “We look forward with anticipation for her role in the integration of content and aesthetic in this new season at Fuller as we aspire to extend our reach and resources.”
An award-winning filmmaker, Farrer has over 20 years’ experience as a filmmaker, is president of Burning Heart Productions, and just finished production on a six-hour narrative film project called Praying the Hours—a portion of which premiered at President Mark Labberton’s inauguration eve service. An alumna of over 40 film festivals, Farrer is a speaker, author, jurist, panelist, and moderator for film events.
Earlier in her 13-year tenure at Fuller she was editor of both Theology, News, & Notes and Fuller Focus. In 2014, she integrated the two publications and oversaw the redesign that became the new FULLER magazine—already the recipient of two Evangelical Press Association awards and two top UCDA awards for excellence in design and content. An artist associate of Fuller’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts from its inception, she was also artist in residence between 2010 and 2015.
“An integrated aesthetic will go a long way to strengthening Fuller’s voice in the world,” Farrer says of her enthusiasm for the work ahead. “More importantly, we will be able—with the guidance of our faculty and administrative advisory boards—to portray what is unique about Fuller in a way that resonates with our deepest narratives while fueling the innovations ahead of us.”
Reflecting on this new position, President Mark Labberton says, "Lauralee Farrer's exceptional gifts and abilities are a remarkable fit for the kind of creativity, leadership, and production expertise we need to make Fuller's treasure of theological assets available to a wide global audience." The wider Fuller community joins the president in gratitude for her increased leadership and anticipation for this new creative role.
More about FULLER Magazine and Studio: Formation Resources for the Global Christian Church and All Who Desire Spiritual Growth
Through FULLER studio and magazine, the seminary aspires to provide formation resources for the global Christian church as well as for individuals worldwide who seek deeply informed and embodied spiritual lives.
FULLER magazine is a collection of stories, theological reflections, and conversations intended to reflect Fuller Theological Seminary to the extended community of alums, staff, trustees, and faculty as well as to prospective students, donors, and new friends.
FULLER studio will share the same ethos, aesthetic, and categories of Story, Theology, and Voice, with the purpose of extending the reach of Fuller's unique resources to a global audience eager for Christian and spiritual formation.
FULLER studio will ultimately be sustained by a free-to-fee scale (e.g. chapel would be free whereas Fuller Forum would be fee-based), with a low, monthly subscription model as an additional future possibility. The catalog necessary for this online model will be generated from new content as well as video and print resources curated and repurposed from existing materials. The first audience is Fuller's alumni—who, conveniently, already receive FULLER magazine—with a goal to grow into a delivery system of robust educational resources for the global church.
FULLER magazine and studio will be integrated to support one institutional narrative, curated from the same well of resources, with the magazine continuing to act as a reflection of Fuller life, while also being a glimpse into resources available for anyone wishing to go further online
More about Lauralee Farrer
As president and principal filmmaker of Burning Heart Productions, award-winning director Lauralee Farrer is the writing and directing voice behind many short and long-form documentaries and narrative features. Her first personal documentary Laundry and Tosca (2004) investigates the life of soprano Marcia Whitehead, and explores the idea of whether simply following a dream can be enough to build a meaningful life. An event combining the film screening, Whitehead singing, and Farrer speaking was presented in the years following, and the film continues to be used in screenings and classrooms as a conversation pivot. Similarly, her feature documentary The Fair Trade (2008) has continued to have a rich life beyond normal festival and distribution including events with various combinations of film screenings, music, social activism awareness, and Farrer’s speaking. Her freshman feature narrative Not That Funny (2012) starring Emmy Award winner Tony Hale won numerous audience awards and was a festival favorite.
Much of the material from which her voice emerges is due to Farrer’s early writing and directing work for humanitarian organizations that took her, among other places, to Spain when Franco died, to Kenya during the droughts of 1981 and 1991, to Somalia when the war broke out, and to Uganda to write about early outbreaks of AIDS and the plight of its orphans. She wrote of the Sisters of Charity in Ethiopia, was in Moscow when the 1991 coup took place, and when Leningrad became St. Petersburg again. She was in East Germany before and after the wall went down, in Mexico City to write about cultures of poverty, and in U.S. cities like Philadelphia, Houston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Boston to write about American life. She lived in a Benedictine community in Denver, Colorado for three years—a providential experience that formed much of the basis for her current Praying the Hours project.
As writer/director Farrer completed production in 2014 on Praying the Hours, a six-hour narrative project composed of eight 30-minute featurettes interlocking with a two-hour drama. Under the Burning Heart Productions banner, she is in development on a suite of features on Auguste Rodin and the Burghers of Calais, a narrative non-fiction feature on Evangeline Booth, and several other narrative and documentary projects. An alumna of over 40 film festivals, Farrer continues to be a speaker, author, jurist, panelist, and moderator for festivals, conferences, colleges, and professional and private events.
For more information about the launch of Fuller Studio, click here.