Nida School of Translation Studies

The Nida School of Translation Studies (NSTS), an annual two-week seminar, brings together experts from translation studies, religious discourse translation, and other cognate disciplines in a fully transdisciplinary working environment. Each seminar critically explores translation theory, linguistics, semiotics and cultural studies as they pertain to a well-defined topic or problem. Lectures, guided readings, participant-led discussions, and tutorials provide the pedagogical tools for this exploration. The defining character of these seminars lies in their transdisciplinary nature, which allows theorists and practitioners from many fields to cross disciplinary and methodological boundaries and, in so doing, to develop new ways of thinking not only about the general topic of translation, but also about their own particular fields of research.

NSTS attracts faculty and associates from around the world and contributes materially to the advancement of translation studies. Original research, often presented for the first time at NSTS, not only contributes directly to enhancing translation quality and upgrading professional skills, but may also find outlet in subsequent publications.

History of NSTS

The tumultuous world of international affairs, borderless commerce, globalized realities, and glocalized religion has pushed the translation and interpretation industry onto a center stage unlike any it has ever occupied. As a result, many branches of this industry, including that one concerned with the translation of religious texts and discourse, have begun to reorient their approaches to research and training around new and increasingly important centers of interest. These include postcolonialism and subalternism, ideology, ethics, and competing models of theory and practice, as well as consideration of mounting costs, shifting market forces, and multiple standards for measuring acceptability, accountability and adequacy.

Since its inception in 2001, the Nida Institute has sought to actively collaborate with other researchers and research institutions around the world to critically examine emerging issues and concerns, and to provide training appropriate for this new world of translating and interpreting. From 2001 – 2006, the Institute facilitated this work by inviting scholars from its staff and colleagues from United Bible Societies to attend the renowned CETRA Summer School for research in translation. Then in 2007, the Institute launched the Nida School of Translation Studies (NSTS) with a program designed to integrate the work of sacred text translation more fully into the burgeoning field of translation studies. In 2011, the Nida School formally became a program of the San Pellegrino University Foundation, of which the Nida Institute is a founding member.

Each year, NSTS recruits two scholars of international reputation, with innovative research records and strong interdisciplinary interests, to take on the role of Nida Professors, presenting current and original research to those gathered at the school in a series of six lectures. The Nida Professors are supported by a diverse array of additional faculty, and the lectures are complemented by directed readings, individual tutorials and roundtable discussions. Nida Professors to date have included Kent Richards and Peeter Torop (2007); Edwin Gentzler and David Tuggy (2008); Theo Hermans and Tan Zaixi (2009); Maria Tymoczko (2010); Martha Cheung and Vicente Rafael (2011); Anthony Pym and Musa Dube (2012); Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Sherry Simon (2013); Timothy Beal and Lawrence Venuti (2014); and, Susan Bassnett and Sandra Bermann (2015).

Since 2007, an international cohort of more than 160 associates from translation studies and religious discourse translation have attended the Nida School. These associates come from every continent and bring to the school a formidable linguistic and cultural diversity, materially contributing to the advancement of translation studies.

Philip H. Towner (Dean of the Nida Institute), James Maxey (Associate Dean of the Nida Institute), and Stefano Arduini (President of the San Pellegrino University Foundation) serve as co-directors of the Nida School of Translation Studies, which convenes for two weeks each spring in Misano Adriatico (Rimini), Italy.  

Nida School of Bible Translation

Religious discourse translation – more specifically, Bible translation – lies at the very heart of the mission that the Nida Institute and its parent organization, American Bible Society, carry out. The Nida Institute entrusts this work to a Translations Unit that collaborates extensively with its project partners.

Professional Development

Ongoing developments in biblical and translation studies along with the rapid deployment of software and digital solutions within theological education make continuing education a must for religious professionals. The Nida Institute customizes programs of professional development that are mobile and up to date. It offers graduate level classes in Bible engagement, biblical studies, globalization, media-translation, and software tools.


Biblical research and translation scholarship continually refresh and improve ABS’s line of products and services. Thanks to several provisions and venues for such research and scholarship, the Institute advances translation studies, critically examines religious discourse, and advocates for new approaches to the theory and practice of translation. Among these provisions is the Nida School for Translation Studies and the journal translation.