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Spring 2014/Seattle



PR500: HOMILETICS (4 Units). H. Mark Abbott.

DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to give a full introduction to the theology and craft of preaching. This will involve an examination of the biblical and theological understanding of preaching, principles of sermon construction, and the practice of material gathering, as well as the actual delivery of the sermon.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: At the successful completion of this course the student will (1) increase his/her conviction that the biblical text is the proper foundation for preaching; (2) be helped to grow in his/her ability to frame coherent content; (3) be helped in improving his/her delivery skills; (4) be helped to increase his/her skills in evaluating his/her own preaching/speaking, as well as that of others.

COURSE FORMAT: This course will meet weekly 4 hours for ten weeks. The course has lecture, practicum, reading, sermon listening, and mentorship components. A major component of this course is practicum, in which each student will deliver two sermons before his/her peers. Students will be expected to attend at least half of Festival of Preaching Northwest, April 28-30 (Go to festivalofpreachingnw.org for further information including reduced student rate.) OR spend approximately 5 hours of interaction with a preaching mentor of their own choosing plus at least two hours of sermon listening.

REQUIRED READING: 325 pages from required books plus one further book from the list below.

Abbott, Mark. Something to Say, Say it Well. WinePress Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 978-1414119618, Pub. Price $14.95 [127 pp.].

Long, Thomas G. The Witness of Preaching. 2nd ed. Westminster John Know, 2005. ISBN: 978-0664229436, Pub. Price $25.00 [280 pp.].

And one book selected from the following:

Brooks, Gennifer Benjamin. Good News Preaching. Pilgrim Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0829818222, Pub. Price $25.00 [158 pp.].

Craddock, Fred B. Preaching. Abingdon Press, 1985. ISBN: 978-0687336487, Pub. Price $23.00 [222 pp.].

LaRue, Cleophus J. I Believe, I’ll Testify: The Art of African American Preaching. WJK, 2011. ISBN: 978-0664236779, Pub. Price $17.00 [176 pp].

Miller, Calvin. Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition. Baker Books, 2010. ISBN: 978-0801072437, Pub. Price $18.99 [288 pp.].

Stott, John R.W. Between Two Worlds. Eerdmans, 1982. ISBN: 978-0802806277, Pub. Price $24.00 [351 pp.].

Willobee, Sondra B. The Write Stuff. Westminister John Knox Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0664232818, Pub. Price $17.00 [136 pp].


  1. Preparation of two sermons, including submission of manuscripts for each one. First manuscript and sermon presentation (30%), second manuscript and sermon presentation (30%).

  2. Reading of the three assigned books, with a written response to each (Your affirmation of completing the reading, what you thought was most helpful, and questions it raised.)

  3. Attendance of at least half of the Festival of Preaching Northwest sessions or two hours of listening to taped sermons with brief, written responses plus brief report on approximately five hours of interaction with a preaching mentor (20% total for 2 and 3 above).

  4. There will be a take-home exercise over theoretical elements of the course and practical exercises in working with texts (20%).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Preaching and Communication (MIN2) and the Communication (COMM) requirement in MA programs.


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.

For your convenience, order these texts online through the Archives Bookshop.