The Compelling Preaching Coordination Program celebrates the unique contributions that very different kinds of institutions— congregations, denominations, seminaries, universities, colleges, non-profit organizations, informal peer leader learning groups— can make to strengthening the ecology of North American Christianity, while discerning how we can collaborate for greater fruitfulness.

Compelling Preaching Initiative Grantees

Logos Evangelical Seminary will establish a Center for Compelling Preaching to research the needs facing Chinese American preachers in America today, provide continuing education opportunities for active pastors (including a new certificate program in preaching), and form mentoring groups through which pastors will receive coaching, engage in peer learning and participate in spiritual formation experiences. Grant awarded in 2022.

Luther Seminary will form pastors into peer learning communities that will meet for three- to six-months and help participants gain a clearer understanding of their listeners, reflect on their own identities as preachers, connect with pastoral peers for mutual encouragement, support, sermon feedback, and community, and strengthen their preaching skills. Luther plans to integrate these efforts with its Working Preacher website and its Festival of Homiletics and Craft of Preaching events. Grant awarded in 2022.

Macedonian Ministry Foundation will help diverse cohorts of pastors strengthen practices of preaching to reach audiences in increasingly complex and diversifying cultures. Programming will focus on developing approaches to preaching that instill hope in listeners and promote human flourishing, exploring and using newer digital communication technologies and attend to interpersonal dimensions related to the rapid evolution of language, and learning more about the perspectives of congregational lay leaders in order to craft sermons that are more relevant to their lives. Grant awarded in 2023.

Made to Flourish will work with a national network of congregations to help congregations use its proprietary Skill Mapping Survey tool to provide pastors with greater insights into the daily work lives and activities of congregants, enhance its Preaching Workshops to assist preachers in understanding and using data from the survey tool to craft sermons, work with coaches who are exemplary preachers to help pastors and church teams develop and implement new preaching strategies, and feature preaching exemplars on its The Flourishing Pastor podcast. Grant awarded in 2023.

Mahibere Kidusan Coordinating Center in North America will train U.S.-born Ethiopian-Americans to preach to the growing population of Ethiopian Orthodox adherents through Esderos Theological Seminary Training in preaching will be provided through a virtual platform, coordinated preaching internships, and five-day intensive coursesMahibere Kidusan will also train preachers to use social media and to contribute to the broadcasts on its television station. Grant awarded in 2024. 

Marian University will host preaching roundtables that will gather experienced preachers, creative pastoral leaders, and scholars to explore what it means to build relational authority through preaching, offer a new Certificate in Relational Preaching to help preachers deliver sermons that connect more effectively to the lives of hearers, develop a micro-credentialing educational preaching program for lay leaders, and host a preaching competition to encourage young Catholics to discern callings to ministry. Grant awarded in 2023.

Massachusetts Council of Churches will serve Black clergy from across its network through cohorts of preacher-practitioners, regular podcasts, a “Preachers-in-Residence” program, peer-to-peer support, and an annual preaching symposium called “Blow the Trumpet in Zion.” They will prioritize Black preacher mental health and engage in a pilgrimage to the African Meeting House on Nantucket, an icon of local resilient Black preaching. Grant awarded in 2024. 

McCormick Theological Seminary will work with preachers serving African American and African diaspora communities to develop a micro-credentialing program featuring creative learning opportunities for preachers to work on sermons, podcasts and homilies for multimedia platforms, collaborative efforts between preachers and congregational leaders to design and test new approaches to preaching that are appropriate for their communities, and the collection and circulation of digital resources that share insights from these preaching practices with wider audiences. Grant awarded in 2023.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio will work in collaboration with WomanPreach! to expand the Jarena Lee Preaching Academy, which provides training and support to women who preach, and host a national conference on preaching to bring together preachers, religious leaders and advocates for women in ministry, to raise the profile of exemplary women preachers who serve in a variety of ministry contexts, and to share insights about what makes preaching compelling for listeners. Grant awarded in 2022. 

Metropolitan New York Synod, ELCA aims to reinvigorate preaching, especially for younger generations.  Program activities will include a landscape analysis of effective preaching practices in growing churches, especially churches attracting young people, peer-to-peer learning about the preaching and other related ecclesial practices that foster the growth and vibrancy of these congregations, and the development of digital and print resources to share insights with other preachers and congregational leadership teams. Grant awarded in 2023.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will establish the new Midwestern Institute for Preaching & Preachers, which will host 6 annual preaching workshops in major cities throughout its region, provide preaching resources and preaching courses through the existing For the Church platform, and provide additional preaching training for on-campus students. Grant awarded in 2024. 

Milligan University will establish a new Center for Preaching to work with local pastors and congregations to help them develop a clearer sense about how congregations are responding to contemporary practices of preaching, conduct special testimony-sharing events for youth and young people and provide them with mentors to encourage them to explore potential callings as future pastors, and serve early-career preachers through peer learning cohorts led by veteran preachers. Grant awarded in 2023.

The Ministry Council of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church will host preaching conferences to foster competency in preaching, hold spiritual retreats for active preachers focused on spiritual wellbeing and community building, organize online cohort preaching groups that meet quarterly, provide training in effective preaching practices for both ordained pastors and candidates for the ministry, and offer small technology grants to help participating pastors use new digital and other technologies to enhance and extend the reach of their preaching ministries. Grant awarded in 2023.

Moody Bible Institute of Chicago will launch a new Center for Compelling Biblical Preaching.  Its key activities will include hosting preaching-focused workshops for pastors and other Christian leaders, organizing conferences and monthly seminars on preaching, publishing essays on the art and science of Biblical preaching, establishing an apprenticeship program that provides mentoring to preachers, providing resources and ongoing services for pastors that promote compelling Biblical preaching. Grant awarded in 2023.

The Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church aims to create communities of practice for preachers to hone their skills alongside peers. The program will form preachers into cohort groups that will participate in multi-day in-person events filled with workshops, worship and training and then continue to meet monthly for the next six months. MSC will facilitate separate cohorts for lay preachers seeking basic training in preaching as well as for experienced pastors who will explore more advanced concepts. Grant awarded in 2023.