Workshops

Four-Day AM Workshops

Learning from Diverse Preaching Traditions

This workshop invites participants to broaden their preaching horizons through learning lessons from three non-majority-culture homiletical traditions. Participants will discuss the ways that context shapes their preaching, explore the role of context in reading and preaching biblical texts, watch video and audio clips of sermons, and conduct homiletical experiments through various learning activities over the course of the week. -Jared Alcántara

Empowering the Voice of the Female Preacher

This workshop focuses on the woman’s physical speaking voice. The voice is a full-body instrument. But many women preachers struggle to speak because we are disconnected from our own bodies and because we have trouble claiming our voices in the pulpit. Through interactive practicum, discussion and mutual support, this workshop will enable women to increase the effectiveness of their public speaking voices. -Nancy Gross

So They May Hear: Intercultural Communication & The Intercultural Homiletic This workshop is for persons interested in communicating with congregants from different cultural backgrounds. It aims to convey the importance of being able to communicate interculturally through the preached word. Exercises will aid participants in assessing their intercultural competence, recognize areas for further development and revise sermon(s) utilizing strategies for particular contexts. Some prep work is required. -Y. Joy Harris

Preaching as a Ministry of the Whole Congregation

Preaching is an ecclesial practice that belongs to the whole congregation and not only to the preacher. This workshop aims to equip you to equip all the baptized to fulfill their roles as proclaimers of God’s good news. Understanding and engaging the collaborative nature of preaching will revive your preaching and your congregation’s participation. Participants will leave with concrete possibilities for engaging a collaborative preaching ministry in their own contexts. -Shauna Hannan

Preaching with Presence

This fun four-day workshop will help you to preach with presence, to engage the congregation during the sermon whether you preach with or without a manuscript.

We’ll work on strategies for sermon composition and delivery that help the sermon come alive to the hearer, including phrasing, voice, gesture, eye contact, and ways to remember what you have written. Participants will be asked to prepare small “sermon segments” in advance, and present them during the workshop to receive feedback. -Patrick Johnson

Preaching Toward the Future of God

Revelation 7:9 imagines a future where a countless multitude of all people glorifies the Lamb. If that hope is true and not simply the stuff of dreams, how can our preaching provide a glimpse of that eschatological horizon now? This workshop introduces key considerations with respect to human diversity, multiculturalism, and unity in God so that preachers can open the hearts of their listeners to manifest the ends of God in everyday life. -Gerald Liu

Two-Day PM Workshops (Monday/Tuesday 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. & Wednesday/Thursday 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.)

How to Turn the Ear into an Eye: Preaching as an Oral-Aural Event

This workshop empowers participants to “preach for the ear” instead of “preach for the eye” through helping them to conceive of the sermon as an oral-aural event rather than a written artifact. It teaches the rules of orality in preaching, discusses practices to avoid when preparing sermons, and invites participants to learn from one another through the practice of preaching for the ear. -Jared Alcántara

Short Story Fiction for the Preacher

Plot, form, mood, psychic distance, setting, time; these elements of fiction can serve preachers in their craft. Through a “close reading” of a short story, brief writing exercises and an examination of one’s own sermon, participants will learn and utilize literary tools to analyze and explore possibilities for their own sermons. [Pre-work: 1 )read Willa Cather’s “Paul’s Case,” 2) choose and bring to the workshop one of your recent sermons]. -Shauna Hannan

The Pulpit and Politics

How do you navigate the intersection of the pulpit and politics? The gospel speaks to important questions in our national political discourse, such as healthcare or immigration or racial justice policies. On some Sundays, a faithful preacher must “go there.” Yet in a tense political climate, and in congregations that are politically diverse, how should the preacher navigate these intersections? This seminar will attend to the possibilities and the limits of the pulpit in politics, as well as strategies to address political issues in ways that are both faithful and wise. -Patrick Johnson

Preaching A Sermon Series

This workshop will explore the effectiveness of sermon series for weekly preaching and present strategies for planning and preaching a series. The workshop will focus on creating a sermon series outline for use in participants’ ministry settings. Students who enroll in this workshop are asked to come with a theme, topic, idea, or portion of scripture from which they wish to develop a series. -Raquel Lettsome

Transgressive Pasts of American Preaching & Proclaiming Redemption Now

Jonathan Edwards regarded the Native Americans as plagued by “the grossest ignorance, delusions, and most stupid paganism.” George Whitefield invited the “poor Negroes to touch Jesus Christ by faith,” but he never preached for their earthly freedom. Of the Chinese, Henry Ward Beecher vehemently preached, “We have clubbed them, stoned them, burned their houses and murdered some of them; yet they refuse to be converted. I do not know any way, except to blow them up with nitro-glycerine, if we are ever to get them to Heaven.” Even founding professors of Princeton Theological Seminary – Archibald Alexander, Samuel Miller, and Charles Hodge – preached against the ills of slavery while owning or renting slaves. How do we look that history straight in the eye and envision and practice new futures of Christian preaching in America? -Gerald Liu

Uniting the Head & Heart in Proclamation
One’s mind can ascent to things that the heart is far from. In this workshop participants will learn some spiritual disciplines of preachers/ministers from around the globe. Exercises and discussions regarding these disciplines hopes to encourage an embodied approach in ministry and preaching. Participants will share current disciplines that aid them in life and ministry.
-Y. Joy Harris-Smith