Lifelong Learning

Preaching & Teaching

July 8

Location: Online

Preaching & Teaching:

The art and science of inspiring hearts and minds through spoken words.

July 8-29, 2021

Online, immersive learning experience for lay leaders, commissioned ruling elders, and those 18 years and older preparing to enter the pulpit supply ranks.

Instructors: 

  • Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville, Chaplain and Director of Campus Spiritual Life, Alma College
  • Rev. Dr. Chip Hardwick, Interim Executive Director, Synod of the Covenant
  • Rev. Denise Anderson, Coordinator, Racial and Intercultural Justice, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Format:

  • Four week, fully online course featuring weekly, live group instruction as well as individual coaching sessions on Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. 
  • Participants will engage in both independent and group work based in Alma College’s Canvas learning management system. 

Course Description:

Homiletics is the study of the art of preaching. The term is derived from the Greek word homelia, meaning “discourse or conversation.” At the heart of religious preaching is a conversation. This conversation is as varied as all our daily dialogues and interactions. The homily/sermon is the preaching moment when this conversational experience is manifest in the ears, hearts, minds of the preacher and congregation alike. The person delivering the sermon is as much a part of the sermon as the listener(s). Understanding the context of the hearers, as well as one’s own narratives, biases, and tendencies, allows for an authenticity in the delivery and reception of a sermon. This course is an introduction into homiletics for those who will deliver, receive, and/or interpret sermons.

Throughout the course, students will be introduced to sermon preparation, construction, delivery, and evaluation through readings, class discussions, lectures, and the practice of public preaching. This course assumes that through these practices, students will identify their own preaching voice, how others practice the art of preaching, and what tools/talents/skills help a sermon effectively meet the preacher’s desired focus and function. In order to achieve these goals:

  • Students will participate actively and authentically in class discussions, drawing on personal experiences, class assignments, and lectures.
  • Students will prepare, write and deliver two sermons to the class, one based on a text selected by the instructor and one selected by the student.
  • Students will respond to the sermons offered by their peers with critical questions, observations and guidance based on knowledge acquired from coursework, personal narratives, and individual experiences.

Course Outcomes:

  • Participants will be prepared to lead worship services and deliver sermons in face-to-face and online contexts. 

Course Materials (provided with registration):

  • The Witness of Preaching, third edition (Thomas G. Long) 2016
  • A Lay Preacher’s Guide: How to Craft a Faithful Sermon (Karoline M. Lewis) 2020

Cost: 

  • $150.00 per person, includes materials
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