early-career

four-day morning workshops

Engle fellows choose one (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.)

Preaching Place: The Challenge and Promise of a Global Gospel

Leader:  Jerusha Matsen Neal
Description: This workshop will focus on how the global church is transforming preaching through its attention to “place.” Global case studies will highlight the impact of land, cultural identity, and displacement on proclamation, reflecting on how particularity and globalization are shaping the gospel’s proclamation. The class will provide strategies to de-center privileged preaching practices in local contexts and discern the gospel across borders of difference. In response, students will deliver sermons that attend to the places they serve as sites of God’s sacramental grace.

Words that Heal: Preaching Hope in the Wake of Trauma

Leader: Joni Sancken 
Description: This workshop provides a brief background on trauma, including definitions and how trauma can affect people, and explores how preaching can participate in healing and resilience for those struggling in the aftermath of trauma and other wounding events in our world. The sessions will include introducing trauma-sensitive exegetical tools for preaching, theological frameworks, and concrete suggestions for worship and preaching.

Off the Page!

Leader: Michael Brothers 
Description: With an emphasis on speech performance, this workshop strives for preaching that is oral/aural, visual, contextual, and faithful to the gospel. Particular attention will be given to writing for the ear, preaching with and without a manuscript, voice, visual engagement, gesture/body movement, and improvisational speech. Participants are to come prepared to preach the beginning of a sermon and the ending of a sermon. You may preach from the same sermon or from different sermons. Either the beginning or the ending should include story, imagery or experience. 

Preaching as a Subversive Act

Leader: Adam Hearlson
Description: The history of Christian practice is filled with examples of faithful people engaging in imaginative acts of resistance shaped by the gospel. This workshop will draw inspiration from the Christian history of subversion and discuss how examples of holy subversion in the past might inform our preaching in the present. We will commune with our subversive ancestors, hear their stories, and seek guidance on how we might address the needs of today. Students will create and deliver a subversive parable that addresses their local congregational context.

The Synergy of Proclamation and Song in Worship

Leader: Catherine Williams
Description: This workshop explores the synergistic relationship between preaching and music in the context of corporate Christian worship. Participants will explore the hymnal as a sermonic resource, and examine the texts of a variety of congregational songs to identify their proclamatory function. We will examine sermons where music is used explicitly or implicitly to achieve the outcome of the sermon. The workshop includes discussion of best practices for effective collaboration between pastors and music leaders.

Narrative Preaching: A Postcolonial View from the Caribbean

Leader: Pablo Jimenez
Description: This workshop will introduce participants to narrative preaching from the perspective of the Caribbean. Together, we will explore the intersection of biblical, personal, and social narratives. Particular consideration will be given to the postcolonial condition of our world.

Two-day afternoon workshops

Engle fellows choose two (Monday/Tuesday, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. and Wednesday/Thursday, 2 p.m.–4 p.m.)

Preaching and the Problem of Evil

Leader: Gerald Liu
Description: This course aims to empower the preacher with questions and methods of careful exegesis and cultural interpretation for proclaiming better sermons in the face of tragedy and confounding evil. The class will explore theodicy — the believability of God’s justice and mercy within the reality of human suffering — with two foci in mind: 1) selected biblical writings and 2) current events that raise questions regarding the presence, activity, and goodness of God.

The Haunted Pulpit: Getting Rid of Preaching's Unholy Ghosts

Leader: Jerusha Matsen Neal
Description: Preaching is one of God’s greatest gifts to the church, but walking into a pulpit often means facing unholy ghosts. Fears of other’s expectations, confusion about preaching’s goal, and the weight of our own histories can mute our voices and make us doubt our calls. The Spirit works to replace these fears with a living relationship with a living God. What does preaching that testifies to that kind of embodied encounter look like? What are the marks of preaching that flows from a loving, living engagement with the scriptures, the gathered community, and with Christ? Through contemporary case studies and the Gospel of Luke, preachers will ask what it means to be “overshadowed” by God’s Spirit.

Preaching in a Disenchanted World

Leader: Joni Sancken 
Description: This workshop uses insights from Charles Taylor’s work in A Secular Age to unpack contextual dynamics preachers are facing today and suggests a path forward for hope-filled, contextually relevant preaching.

Creativity and the Demands of Ministry

Leader:  Adam Hearlson
Description: The creative pace of ministry is exhausting. Ministers who preach regularly are expected to produce polished creative work at a pace that would trouble even the most prolific artist. Ministers who preach weekly will create the equivalent of a single book over the course of a year. Without practice, good habits, and a community of practice, burnout is inevitable. In this workshop, we will discuss recent ideas of creativity and how we can create habits and postures to support the creative demands of a preaching ministry.

Diverse Exegetical Approaches For Preaching

Leader:  Kamalesh Stephen 
Description: This workshop will deal with diversity in preaching in terms hermeneutics/interpretation, context, and social location. Participants will engage in hands-on exercises, group discussions, and a short reflection paper.  

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