The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, working collaboratively throughout all 13 of its Episcopal Districts in the United States, will provide skill development and spiritual formation for at least 1,000 AME clergy and 1,000 lay ministers. Led by Scholars-in-Residence, each district’s program will include quarterly learning labs, sermon construction webinars, focus groups, and conferences.
The Alliance for Christian Media, known for broadcasting sermons on its Protestant Hour radio program for the last 75 years and now making those and other sermons available on its Day1 media platform, will improve accessibility and functionality of the Protestant Hour/Day1 archives for preachers and teachers of preaching. Also, the Alliance will develop teaching tools for preaching via new media, and equip lay leaders, both to partner with preachers in sermon preparation and evaluation and to engage in pastor search activities more effectively.
America Press, Inc., a Jesuit media organization that is a trusted resource for Catholic priests and lay leaders, will develop “The Word” mobile application that will provide preachers with easy access to 50 years of content from America’s long-running column focused on sermon preparation. Through the app, America Press will launch a weekly podcast that will feature great homilies with commentary and occasional interviews with the participating preachers, and expand the production and distribution of the popular video series, One-Minute Homilies.
The Aquinas Institute of Theology will develop and launch an Academy for the Mastery of Preaching with individual tracks focused on Hispanic/Latinx communities and the Black Catholic Church. This academy will provide permanent deacons and lay pastoral associates with the skills necessary to offer preaching that is meaningful, theologically and pastorally insightful, and personally transformative within their own communities.
The Archdiocese of Chicago will launch a foundational preaching skills program to educate priests in effective communication practices, develop a centralized digital preaching platform to curate and promote homilies as well as other preaching resources for priests and others who preach and equip clergy and laity to initiate non-judgmental spiritual conversations with nonchurchgoers to help them encounter Jesus.
Assemblies of God Theological School (AGTS) will offer workshops on preaching at the Assemblies of God’s biennial gatherings and host major national preaching conferences featuring AG’s most exemplary preachers in the Pentecostal tradition. AGTS also will develop a new cohort-based certificate program in preaching, facilitate ongoing preaching peer groups and produce digital preaching resources for AG pastors.
The Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church will develop video resources for preachers as well as design and launch a two-year masterclass intended to help preachers grow deeply as pastors and preachers. The masterclass will prioritize mentor support, peer engagement, and community building. Those who complete the master class may also go on to become mentors and content creators for the program.
Calvin Theological Seminary, through its Center for Excellence in Preaching, will gather pastors into peer learning groups to explore hybrid worship, preaching that navigates hyper-partisanship in congregations and society, prophetic preaching, and how to build congregational unity through preaching. Calvin will convene peer group leaders as well as other preachers in consultations and colloquia and will also develop week-long summer seminars for preachers.
The Center for Pastor Theologians will guide pastors through a study of the doctrines of Word, Spirit and Church and explore with them how these doctrines shape compelling preaching, expand its Local Theologian Fellowship groups for pastors from six to 40 each year (with a focus on preaching), develop web-based resources and other media content related to preaching, and host a national conference focused on the theological and formational aspects of compelling preaching.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will develop a robust preaching resource library, host biennial preaching conferences featuring exemplary preachers from the denomination and other churches; invite pastors to join clergy cohort groups for collegial support, learning and resource sharing; and provide financial assistance to enable bi-vocational pastors to participate in programs that will strengthen their preaching skills.