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Winter 2013/Phoenix


L. Lamb

PR500: HOMILETICS. Lisa Lamb.

DESCRIPTION: The call to preach provokes a potent mix of terror and delight in those to whom it comes. Our goal will be to cut down the angst and to grow in boldness, passion, and joy as we explore the ministry of preaching the gospel. This course will build a biblical and theological foundation for preaching and attend to the nitty gritty aspects of sermon design and delivery. Student will develop their skills as they preach two sermons, hear and offer constructive feedback, evaluate their own sermons, and complete other written assignments.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a central and essential means through which God grows God’s church. Those who are called to pastoral and evangelistic leadership are called to develop their skills in biblical exegesis and their capacity to preach with genuine love, faithfulness, passion and joy.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: As a result of this course students will demonstrate growth in the following:

  1. Students will grow both in their conviction that the biblical text is the proper foundation for preaching and in their skill in unfolding the biblical text in a way that is compelling to hearers (through exegetical work, preaching of text-based sermons, and through class discussion and written feedback from professor and class);

  2. They will increase their skills in articulating biblical truth in a coherent and interesting way; appreciating the need to preach out of genuine love for their listeners;

  3. They will improve their delivery skills (through spoken exercises and two sermons, through reviewing recordings, class feedback and written feedback from professor and class)

  4. They will gain ability in evaluating both their own preaching and that of others (through reading and hearing sermons, receiving feedback on their own preaching and through providing written and oral feedback to classmates).

COURSE FORMAT: The class will meet weekly for three-hour sessions. Students will preach twice; sermons will be recorded. Attendance is mandatory due to the highly experiential and participatory nature of this course.


Long, Thomas. The Witness of Preaching. Westminster John Knox, 2005.

Pitt-Watson, Ian. A Primer for Preachers. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986. (Used copies can be expensive online! Order it from the Fuller bookstore.)

Lowry, Eugene. How to Preach a Parable: Designs for Narrative Sermons. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989. $21.00

Taylor, Barbara Brown. Your choice of one of these three collections of her sermons:

Seeds of Heaven, Gospel Medicine or Bread of Angels

One of the following:

Nieman, James R. and Thomas G. Rogers. Preaching to Every Pew: Cross Cultural Strategies.

Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001. (Chapters 1 and 2 and pp. 100-111)

LaRue, Cleophus, The Heart of Black Preaching. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999. (Chapters 1 and 4)

In addition:

Commentary reading as needed to prepare two high-quality exegetical notes and sermons.

Three other written sermons found online or on reserve, and five heard sermons.

RECOMMENDED READING: List will be given in syllabus.


  1. First Sermon: Pass/Fail, 20 points (20 points will be given to those who preach with reasonable evidence of solid effort): upload manuscript of sermon to Moodle and print one copy for class as well.

  2. Second Sermon: 35 points, same as above.

  3. Exegetical papers of roughly 4 pages demonstrating the scholarly and reflective work you did with your text will accompany each sermon: 25 points each

  4. Self evaluations of each sermon will be due a week after they are preached (one page): 10 points each.

  5. Book Report on Long, Pitt-Watson, Lowry (4-5 pages): 25 points

  6. Paper evaluating five written sermons (roughly one page per sermon): 25 points

  7. Paper evaluating five heard sermons (roughly one page per sermon): 25 points

Regular, punctual class attendance is required, and grades will be lowered for lateness/poor participation. Each unexcused absence will lower the course grade by 5 points. (You may make up two legitimate absences by reading lecture notes and your peers’ sermon manuscripts and posting feedback to Moodle for them and for your professor.) Missing more than two sessions for any reason will almost certainly result in failure of the course.


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets M.Div. coure requirement in Preaching andCommunication (MIN2) and MA programs Communication requirement (COMM).



NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification.