The opinions are still coming in about that sermon – yes that one (no not yours…sorry, the British Royal Wedding one).
Oh perhaps it has been a long time since the old days when a sermon could elicit such interest and controversy from the style, to the content, to the preacher. Just when we though the old preaching thing had had its day – it springs back up to surprise us as a form of public discourse and as a stimulus to such.
Of course not all sermons get such coverage or are so public, but week by week people are engaging in something that at the very least is taking up 15 – 20 – 25 … (oh my) minutes of our listening worship service time.
Reactions are not always good – some sleep some do not but are glad that their Church has the internet and they can enjoy some time on social media…oh yeah, of course you are just looking at an online version of the Bible. Of course others do appreciate and respond.
My thought – if we are going to do this, if it is a practice of value,let us understand it and do it to its full strangely human and divine potential with all of it rich variety of styles as appropriate for context and purpose.
Acadia Divinity College offers a long established Doctor of Ministry Program designed to allow those in ministry to enhance their practice through robust biblical, theological, and practice based thinking and research. Wherever I got it from, I still like the idea that theological education should help us think tough, feel deep, and act courageously (I think a paraphrase from MLK).
The Doctor of Ministry program at ADC does not “stream” as such into specific types of DMin (e.g. a DMin in this and a DMin in that) rather we require all participants to engage in advanced biblical and theological courses as part of the program to provide skills and competencies that will go beyond the one DMin project you will do. This said, through reflection on one’s own ministry, Directed Studies options, certain ministry electives, and of course the “Thesis Project” where participants are encouraged to make a contribution to the understanding and practice of ministry, it is possible to focus on a particular area and aspect of ministry. One such area can of course be preaching.
As the Associate Professor in the John Gladstone Chair of preaching and Worship I would love to see a “cohort” of people studying preaching at the same time along with the wide variety of people studying other different critical facets of ministry practice. Of course there are already Doctor of Ministry alumni that are both notable preachers and or have studied preaching as part of their DMin. A cohort, however, would mean that in addition to the regular peer and tutor support we could offer one another additional subject specific support benefiting from one another’s research and practice.
This is not an advert (yet)…but the idea…
If you are in the practice of ministry and would be eligible to do, and interested in the Doctor of Ministry program, check out the website for requirements. If this seems to fit and preaching might be your thing also feel free to get in touch with me through my College contacts to discuss ideas.
In addition to the above, if this is not quite where you are at, in the next year we will be delivering initial and advanced courses in preaching which you may wish to take either for credit or to enhance your own development.