Academy of Preaching and Celebration

Welcome to the Academy of Preaching and Celebration

My name is Frank A. Thomas, and I serve as the Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration as well as the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary. Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit our Academy. We began our work as one of five initiatives in the Center for Pastoral Excellence in July of 2013.

Our purpose is to generate excellence in preaching and worship by exploring the genius of the African-American tradition to transform the church and world through deepened faith and biblical practice.

We are proud to have you connect with us in a variety of ways. We hope you will explore the resources available to you here, learn more about the nation’s first PhD in African American Preaching, and invite you to connect with us on Facebook.

Resources

In the pew, in the pulpit, and in the world, there is a hunger for high-quality, effective preaching.

These resources explore, from the method perspective, what is good preaching and what mode of sermon preparation, formation, and delivery produces good preaching. For some, preaching is more a matter of innate gift for the task than a method to be learned. For the rest of us, high-quality and effective preaching can be achieved with and by method.

Following the African-American preaching tradition, we believe that the nature and purpose of preaching is to help people experience the assurance of grace (the good news) that is the gospel of Jesus the Christ. Despite this definition, there are many varieties and differences of homiletical method, delivery styles, theological viewpoints, ethnic, gender, and denominational perspectives in the African-American tradition.

Attending to these diversities and convinced of the value of method resources in developing excellence, we are excited to present preaching tools: lectures, articles, video clips, recommended books, and other resources to help preachers improve their craft.

Introduction
Most Common Mistake #1

Structure: Preachers have a Lack of Structure
See Chapter Five, “Designing for Celebration” in They Like to Never Quit Praisin God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching, (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2013) by Frank A. Thomas.

Most Common Mistake #2

The Close and Celebration is Not Connected to the Sermon
See Chapter Six, “Guidelines for Celebration” in They Like to Never Quit Praisin God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching, (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2013) by Frank A. Thomas.

Most Common Mistake #3

Too Much Bad News in the Sermon
See Chapter Three, “A Theology of Celebrative Preaching,” in They Like to Never Quit Praisin God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching, (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2013) by Frank A. Thomas.

Most Common Mistake #4

The Biblical Text is Not the Central Focus of the Sermon
See Chapter Five, “Designing for Celebration” in They Like to Never Quit Praisin God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching, (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2013) by Frank A. Thomas.

Most Common Mistake #5

Preachers Only Read the Bible to Develop Sermons
See Chapter Four, “The Dynamics of Celebration” in They Like to Never Quit Praisin God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching, (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2013) by Frank A. Thomas.

Looking for more online resources to assist in your preaching? These Centers and Projects offer excellent resources and gateways into more resources to help with your own sermon method, your own sermon preparation.

Academy of Preachers
The Academy of Preaching and Celebration

Opened in July of 2013 under the leadership of Frank A. Thomas.

The African American Lectionary

The African American Lectionary is a resource tool that not only highlights the African-American ecclesial traditions and moments that creatively express the joy, freedom, and the challenges of being both African American and Christian (e.g., Watch Night, African Heritage Sunday, Usher’s Day, and Women’s Day), but also recognizes days on the liturgical calendar that are celebrated across a variety of ecclesial traditions (e.g., Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost). By incorporating both the moments of significance across many African-American ecclesial traditions and some of the traditional moments of any lectionary cycle, The African American Online Lectionary allows users to select from a vast array of material that will exactly fit their congregation’s needs and expectations.

The African American Pulpit Magazine

The magazine is not operative, but resources and back issues are available.

Alyce M. McKenzie

Weekly column on the gospel lectionary text.

Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary
The Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary
Day1

Peter Wallace
Over 15 years’ worth of lectionary-based sermon transcripts, as well as audio sermons, video interviews, blog posts, and other resources for preachers and church leaders. We are in the process of expanding our website in order to offer the vast majority of Protestant Hour sermons from 1945 to 1995 in audio and text.

Huffpost Religion

Peter Wallace

KnackforNoticing

Weekly blog on noticing details in daily life for preaching.

Luther Seminary
“ON Scripture – The Bible”

Odyssey Networks produces this weekly online resource. Each week scholars connect the Common Lectionary texts for the coming weekend to current issues, and we produce an accompanying video. We also have just begun a similar resource for the Jewish audience, “ON Scripture – The Torah.”

Patheos

Peter Wallace

Preaching blog by David Lose
The Text This Week

Run by Jenee Woodward
This site features a wide variety of resources for study and liturgy based on the three-year Revised Common Lectionary cycle. I intentionally include a diverse variety of resources for scripture study, reflection and liturgy, and purposefully do not restrict the resources to any particular theological/ideological position, including my own. The site is a work-in-progress. I spend between 40 and 60 hours each week updating links and finding more resources to link.

Western Theological Seminary
A REPORT ON THE 2014 CONSULTATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HOMILETICIANS

We are pleased to share this important report on an historic event at CTS. On April 28-29, 2014, the Academy of Preaching and Celebration hosted a gathering of African-American homileticians to address together the future of teaching African-American preaching. This challenging report, entitled, “For Such a Time as This”, is available for download as an e-book version. To sum it up briefly, a vision of African-American preaching as a full and equal partner in circles of homiletic discussion was birthed, as well as the commitment to establish African-American preaching as a field or discipline. You will find many details of the discussion contained in this report.

Please download the report and share your feedback. Follow the Academy of Preaching and Celebration on Facebook and Twitter to join the discussion.

If you would like printed copies, please contact Amelia Walker at awalker@cts.edu or 317-931-2319.

Help us spread the word of both the exciting happenings at Christian Theological Seminary and the beginning of the realization of African-American preaching as a field or discipline.

Note: You will need a minimum of Flash Player version 11 installed on your computer in order to properly view this report.

People

Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics, Director of the PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric Program