Mixed Methods Preaching Conference
October 21-24, 2024
The very best preachers within the African American preaching tradition have always been creative artists. Art, poetry, and storytelling in preaching lifts and elevates the human spirit by facilitating wonder, mystery, and hope in the human heart and community. Come join us as we learn methods of picture painting that make the preacher an artist, poet, and storyteller.
The Mixed Methods Preaching Conference focuses on improving participants’ preaching through providing insight from renowned preachers, teaching clarity of method, and practicing the art live with immediate feedback.
*More details to come in early 2024, including registration information.
In our preaching labs, students from the PhD program will teach method and offer constructive analyses of sermons preached by participants. Lab times are:
- Preaching Lab 1: May 2 – 2:45 – 5:15pm
- Preaching Lab 2: May 3 – 1:50 – 4:20pm
- Preaching Lab 3: May 4 – 12:55 – 4:55pm
- Sermon Critique: May 5 – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Meet Our Panel Moderator:
Pernessa C. Seele
Pernessa C. Seele is an American immunologist, interfaith public health activist and founder and CEO of the Balm in Gilead, Inc. Today, Balm in Gilead—which provides technical training and services to help faith institutions promote health education and disease management—includes more than 10,000 churches and numerous branches in the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. Time named Seele one of the 100 Most Influential People. In its 35th-anniversary edition, Essence selected her as one of the 35 Most Beautiful and Remarkable Women in the World. Ebony named her one of its Power 150, and Women’s eNews selected Seele as one of its 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. She believes loving your neighbors as you love yourself is key to healing our world of stigma, hate, fear and shame.
Meet Our Speakers
Dr. Sabrina T. Cherry has worked for nearly 20 years within the field of public health. Dr. Cherry’s professional experience started as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa. As a public health practitioner, Dr. Cherry has collaborated on Community Health Needs Assessments for the Greater Atlanta Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and two rural Georgia hospitals, as well as worked on a food insecurity and medication-adherence pilot study for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Cherry served as part of a research team that won the 2018 National Economic Development Award awarded by University Economic Development Association’s Awards of Excellence. She is also a recipient of the Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award awarded by UNCW. Her primary research interests are the intersection of health disparities and social justice, as well as qualitative research.
Trey Clark is an assistant professor of preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary. Over the last 18 years, he has served in diverse ministry contexts in Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco and, most recently, Southern California. As the recipient of the Parish Pulpit Fellowship, Dr. Clark has studied at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana in Costa Rica, and Ridley Hall, Cambridge in England. Additionally, he has been a visiting student in the Ph.D. program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at CTS. As a Merlin Call Scholar, he completed his Ph.D. in Theology at Fuller with a concentration in preaching and worship. Dr. Clark has several published and forthcoming peer-reviewed articles in journals, such as The International Journal of Homiletics, Witness, Worship, Liturgy, and the Black Theology Papers Project. Currently, he is nearing completion of a book tentatively titled Black Contemplative Preaching: Reclaiming a Hidden History of Prayer, Proclamation, and Prophetic Witness.
Leo Davis Jr. currently serves as the Minister of Worship for the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, the largest congregation within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States. He employs a wide variety of musical genres, such as traditional and contemporary gospel, African-American spirituals, anthems and classical worship selections. Among his many honors and achievements, he has served as the Resident Artist in Sacred and Classical Music with the Carr Center of Detroit, and chorus master for the “Too Hot To Handle” performance at the Orpheum Theater of Memphis. Through his No Gimmicks worship consulting services, he has supported pastors, trained music ministry teams, and lectured and conducted workshops. Most recently, he authored and published No Gimmicks – Relevancy, Commitment and Excellence in Worship Ministry.
Rev. Dr. Lisa Maxine Goods currently serves as the first woman Senior Pastor of the 172-year history of the Historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Goods holds a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Penn State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at CTS. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Good’s research interest is in the intersectionality of the prophetic and the priestly-pastoral traditions in the preaching of African American women pastors. She is examining the ways in which the womanist lens influences the preaching the prophetic preaching of African American women pastors in order to establish a Womanist Pastoral Homiletical Method.
Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder has served her call through prophetic action and ministry for justice for over 30 years. This call to “blend proclamation, worship, service and advocacy on behalf of those most marginalized in church and in society” led to the founding of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in 1991. In 2003, Rev. Dr. Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition of over 100 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity. Rev. Dr. Flunder is on the Board of Starr King School for the Ministry and DEMOS and has taught at many theological schools. She received her Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is also an award-winning gospel music artist and author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic and Radical Inclusion.
Moya Harris is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, currently serving at Metropolitan AME Church in DC as the Executive Minister and Minister to Women. She is also the Fellowship Program Director at Sojourners magazine, overseeing fellowship program details while offering spiritual guidance and pastoral support to Sojourners’ fellows. Recently retired from a 27-year nursing career, she is a third-year PhD student in the African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric Program at Christian Theological Seminary, interested in the intersection of homiletics, rhetoric, womanism and hip hop. In the words of the late Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, Moya is attempting to do the work her soul must have, marrying theory and praxis, scholarship and service. She believes that justice and faith are inseparable and is quick to challenge violent theologies that attempt to oppress and marginalize.
The Rev. Dr. Nicole McDonald is a native of Hampton, Virginia. She attended the University of Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology and a Master of Science in Patient Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2016, Dr. McDonald completed a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Her ministerial project focused on a pastoral approach to preaching funerals. Currently, Dr. McDonald is a PhD student in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at CTS. Her research interests lie at the intersection of preaching and pastoral care with a dissertation focus on the emancipatory praxis of Black Queer bodies in Black preaching.
The Rev. Dr. Veronice Miles is a preacher, teacher, scholar, mentor and artist committed to a life of ministry in the church and in the academy She answered the call to ordained ministry in 1994 and has been involved in various facets of church and community ministry for more than 50 years. As a life longer learner, Dr. Miles has earned several degrees, including the Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Education and Homiletics from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion in Atlanta, GA and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University with certificates in Religious Education and Black Church Studies. Her publication, Embodied Hope: A Homiletical Theology Reflection (CASCADE Books), explores the human capacity to live with Hope and the power and potential of preaching to amplify Hope’s resonance in our lives.
Rev. Larry J. Morris III is an apostle, digital marketer, scholar and spiritual director based in Henderson, NV. He is the co-founder of Communion Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) a new church in Henderson, NV. Larry serves as the Managing Editor of the Homiletic Journal and his scholarship focuses on the intersections of Blackness, queerness and sacred rhetoric.
The Rev. Dr. Gina Marcia Stewart is an energetic, faithful, and loving pastor, visionary, preacher, adjunct professor, teacher and community advocate. She has led the congregation of Christ Missionary Baptist Church since 1995. She is the first African American female elected to serve an established African American Baptist congregation in Memphis and Shelby County. Dr. Stewart is a graduate of the University of Memphis (BBA), Trevecca Nazarene College (M.Ed-Administration and Supervision), Memphis Theological Seminary (M.Div), and the Inter-Denominational Center (The ITC-D.Min.). She is currently pursuing a PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at CTS. Dr. Stewart currently serves as the President of Lott Carey Foreign Missions Society and member of the National Board of the NAACP. She serves as a trustee for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology and a Co-Convener for the Women in Ministry Conference. Her awards include but are not limited to the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award and pin, bestowed upon her by President Biden in 2021.
Dr. Thomas currently serves as the Director of the PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric and the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at CTS. He is the CEO of Hope For Life International, Inc., and also serves as a member of the International Board of Societas Homiletica, an international society of teachers of preaching. Thomas is the author of The God of the Dangerous Sermon (Fall, 2021), Surviving a Dangerous Sermon, How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon and Introduction to the Practice of African American Preaching, released by Abingdon Press respectively, April 2020, February 2018, and November 2016. He also co-edited Preaching With Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons 1750 to the Present with Martha Simmons, published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2010. Thomas served with distinction as the senior pastor for two remarkable congregations: New Faith Baptist Church of Matteson, Illinois, and Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church of Memphis, Tennessee, for eighteen years and thirteen years, respectively.