Black United Methodists Preach!

Black United Methodists preachBlack United Methodists Preach! explores the dynamic tradition of Black preaching within The United Methodist Church.

What accounts for the spiritual power and vitality of Black preaching? What are the distinctive contributions of Black preaching to the life of The United Methodist Church? How must Black preaching evolve if it is to rise to the new challenges facing the UMC?

Fifteen distinguished preachers from across the connection answer these and other questions in this important and illuminating volume.

Gennifer Benjamin Brooks not only edits this collection, she also shares one of her own sermons along with the sermons of the following fourteen other preachers: Rose Booker-Jones, Leo W. Curry, Safiyah Fosua, Telley Lynnette Gadson, Linda Lee , Pamela Lightsey, Okitakoyi Lundula, Tracy Smith Malone, Gregory Palmer, Vance P. Ross, Robert O. Simpson, Rodney T. Smothers. James E. Swanson, Sr., and Dorothy Watson-Tatem.

A Partnership in Effective Proclamation

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's Styberg Preaching Institute, with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., is launching A Partnership in Effective Proclamation. This program focuses on effective seminary teaching of preaching and on peer support for improving the preaching of those already working in congregations. Two key components of this program include peer learning groups for active pastors under the direction of trained facilitators and the development of teachers of homiletics through a pre- or post-doctoral fellowship in teaching preaching.

You can learn more about our peer learning groups, facilitators, and teaching fellowship using the tabs below.

Pastoral leaders interested in joining one of the peer learning groups are encouraged to learn more about the groups in the tabs below and submit an application by June 1, 2015. Pastors who are also interested in being a peer learning group facilitator will need to submit both an application to join a peer learning group and an application to be a facilitator by June 1, 2015. Ph.D. candidates or post-doctorate Ph.D.s with an emphasis in homiletics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary must have their materials and references submitted by May 1, 2015.

Peer Learning Groups

Peer Learning Groups

The purpose of peer learning groups is to give local church pastors from any denominational context the opportunity to engage with their peers in a group setting with an agenda that focuses specifically and deliberately on preaching. We believe that this will help clergy gain new perspectives on the challenge of preaching, discover new resources that will help them in their ministry, and learn to continuously develop their understanding and practice of preaching. Additionally, as preachers begin to improve their preaching skills, congregations will be led to greater engagement with the pastor and the sermon.

Each group will consist of ten members who are either lead pastors in their churches, responsible for preaching on a weekly basis, or associate pastors who preach regularly in a worship setting. The group will be formed of persons within a twenty-mile radius. A trained facilitator will provide leadership for the group. Members of the peer learning group will be selected by the Garrett-Evangelical program faculty, based in part on their location, in order to facilitate group meetings. Group participants will meet for up to three hours each month for ten months out of the year and will be asked to commit to the group for at least one year.

The monthly meetings will be focused on areas of learning for the members and will include group discussion and personal sharing. The meetings will be designed to encourage collaboration by members in the development, review, and critique of each other’s sermons and preaching practices, and will engage topics specific to preaching, which the group determines will be most helpful.

Members of the peer learning groups will receive a refund of their registration fee and a certificate for three continuing education units at the end of the first year if they have maintained their membership through their participation in the group for the full year.

Applications are due by June 1, 2015, and group members will be notified by July 15th. The registration fee of $100.00 will be due by September 1, and groups will begin meeting by the end of September. Please direct any inquiries to

Click on the button below to submit your application electronically. If you prefer, you can download an interactive .pdf application here.

Application button

Peer Learning Group Facilitators

Peer Learning Group Facilitators

Peer group facilitators will be selected by the Garrett-Evangelical program faculty based on criteria associated with their preaching and leadership skills and their availability and willingness to commit to the requirements of the facilitator role. They will have expressed their interesting in participating in the peer learning groups through the application process. Facilitators will be trained in group dynamics and group leadership as well as other areas specific to preaching. They will be required to commit to the program for three years and will receive a stipend each year for the three years of their tenure.

Along with their leadership of the group and the learning group meetings, facilitators must maintain a personal connection with all participants and will be responsible for recruiting additional persons as needed to maintain the group at the required level. Diversity is a key criterion of the peer learning groups, and facilitators must be committed to both facilitating intercultural engagement and maintaining a diverse learning experience.

There will be two major training events for new facilitators each year, each two and a half days long. Facilitators, who have been trained previously, will be invited to participate on a limited basis in the subsequent training sessions in order to share what they have learned and provide helpful hints to facilitate the success of the new groups. During each year, facilitators will meet as a group once by video conference under the Garrett-Evangelical project leadership as a check-in of group performance and to address any issues that may have arisen in order to ensure the proper functioning of their role as facilitators.

Facilitator requirements are: proven skill in preaching, experience in group dynamics, motivational skills, administrative skill and experience, and commitment to fostering diversity. An advanced degree in preaching or church leadership is desirable. Facilitator applications must be accompanied by a peer group application, and are due by June 1st, 2015. Facilitators will be notified by July 1st and must be available to attend training sessions on August 19th – 21st and September 16th – 18th. Please direct any inquiries to

Click on the "Application" button below to submit your application electronically and the "Reference Form" button to download the reference form. If you prefer, you can download an interactive .pdf application here.

Application button       Reference form button

Teaching Fellowship

Teaching Fellowship

The Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce a full-time Teaching Fellowship in the area of homiletics. The fellowship will provide financial support to a promising Ph.D. candidate or post-doctorate Ph.D. with an emphasis in homiletics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. The recipient of the Teaching Fellowship will have taken the doctoral-level course, “Teaching Preaching.” Additionally, he or she will have served at some point prior to receiving the award as a teaching assistant in the introductory preaching course at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

The fellowship recipient will gain hands-on classroom experience by co-teaching the introductory preaching course under the supervision of and in collaboration with the homiletics faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and will have the opportunity to develop skills in teaching, course planning, and syllabus design. The fellowship provides an opportunity for the candidate to develop his or her unique pedagogical style and refine his or her teaching skills in a challenging and supportive environment.

Additional responsibilities of the Teaching Fellow will include facilitating an online peer support group for students in the Advanced Preaching Class. The Teaching Fellow will be expected to demonstrate competence in using technology in preaching and to teach the same. The Teaching Fellow will also be required to participate in the Academy of Homiletics, in part by presenting a paper at the academy meeting during the fellowship year. There will be no faculty committee responsibilities involved. The fellowship may be renewed once.

The Styberg Preaching Institute is fully ecumenical. The institute does not unlawfully discriminate and aims to employ persons of various backgrounds and experiences to help constitute a diverse community. In addition to strong academic qualifications and excellence in teaching, the institute highly values experience in working across cultural boundaries and other significant differences.

Application materials: (Please direct any inquiries to

  • A CV including degrees, teaching experience, and publications.

  • Three letters of recommendation. Download Reference Form

  • An application essay of not more than 1,000 words on the sources of the candidate's interest in this fellowship, the candidate's preparation for and dedication to teaching preaching, and the candidate's immediate and long- range research interests.

  • Doctoral transcripts.



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Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grant-making is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. More information can be found at


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Styberg Preaching Institute

Founded in 2005, the Styberg Preaching Institute has established an intentional and persistent agenda of addressing the need for relevant, effective preaching in the church. Its motto, The Seminary and the Church: Partners in Proclamation, speaks to the mandate of the Seminary to equip pastors for transformative ministry and recognizes preaching as a critical aspect of that mission. Through programs and activities, the institute engages persons of diverse preaching traditions and cultures, with the aim of improving the preaching skills of established preachers as well as preachers in training at the Seminary.


Continuing Education Units

Members of the peer learning groups will receive a certificate for three continuing education units at the end of the first year if they have maintained their membership through their participation in the group for the full year. Please direct any inquiries to

Styberg Preaching Workshop

Proclaiming Justice: Affirming Abundant Health in the
African American Community

May 20-22, 2015
St. Mark United Methodist Church, Chicago, IL

For the next three years (2015-2017), the Styberg Preaching Institute will be focusing on the theme of "Proclaiming Justice." This year, the Styberg Preachign Institute is pleased to welcome Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson for the first workshop in the Proclaiming Justice series.

As Christians, we know that according to the Gospel of John, Jesus came so that we may "have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10). Yet African Americans sometimes struggle to see signs of abundant health in our lives and in our communities. During this year's workshop, we will identify the range of challenges faced and then, using contextual approaches, we will develop biblically based messages that affirm abundant health.

Cheryl Anderson HThis three-day workshop will be feature Dr. Cheryl Anderson. Dr. Anderson is professor of the Old Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church. Her research interests focus on women and biblical laws as well as liberationist readings of biblical texts. Her first book, Women, Ideology, and Violence was published by Continuum Press in 2004. Her second book, Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies: The Need for Inclusive Biblical Interpretation, was published by Oxford University Press in the fall of 2009. She has also published numerous articles, in addition to lecturing extensively in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa.

During the last few years, Dr. Anderson has studied the Church’s response to the AIDS pandemic in the African American community and in South Africa, the country with the highest number of persons in the world who are living with AIDS. She has received two major grants for her work—one was from the Louisville Institute and the other one was a Fulbright award. Dr. Anderson is committed to using her academic background to help African and African American communities face this pandemic.

The registration fee for the two-day preaching workshop is $100 per person. Registration fee is waived for Garrett-Evangelical and ACTS students, as well as 2010-2014 Garrett-Evangelical alums, but registration is still required. For fee waiver code, please contact Shane Nichols at

There are a limited number of scholarships available. Please contact Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Director of the Styberg Preaching Institute, at 847-866-3888 or for more information.

A 0.5 CEU credit is available for people who attend all of the sessions of this workshop. The cost for the CEU certificate is $25.00 and can be purchased at the end of the workshop.

To register, please go here.

Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events

Coming soon!



St. Mark UMC is located at:
8441 S. St. Lawrence Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60619

Styberg Preaching Workshop - Holy Homiletics: Legitimate Encounters with the Living God

Register for Two-Day Workshop Now

Both the lecture and workshop will interface the theology of divine presence with Dr. Isaac R. Clark, Sr.’s rhetorical method, wherein we break open the usefulness of our ah- hah experiences, so that as people seeking faithfulness to God our ethical utterances beg the macro question “who is God?” and the micro question “how is God acting in the social fabric of our lives?”

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 10.09.51 AMThe lecture and two-day workshop will be led by Dr. Katie Cannon. Dr. Cannon is first African-American woman to be ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Her work focuses in the areas of Christian ethics,Womanist theology, and women in religion and society. She has lectured nationally on theological and ethical topics and is the author or editor of numerous articles and seven books including Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community and Black Womanist Ethics. 

Download Flyer


There is no cost for the lecture on April 30 and all are welcome to attend. The registration fee for the two-day preaching workshop is $100 per person and a limited number of scholarships are available. Registration fee is waived for Garrett-Evangelical and ACTS students, as well as 2009-2013 Garrett-Evangelical alums, but registration is still required. For fee waiver code, please contact Shane Nichols at

A 0.5 CEU credit is available for people who attend all of the sessions of this workshop. The cost for the CEU certificate is $25.00 and can be purchased at the end of the workshop.

To register, please go here.

Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Public Lecture: Holy Homiletics: Legitimate Encounters with the Living God

Thursday, May 1, 2014

10:00 a.m.  On-Site Registration Opens

11:15 a.m. – 12:15p.m.  Worship Service – Preacher Dr. Ouida Lee


1:30 – 1:45 p.m.  Greetings and Introductions

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.  Session 1: Preaching as Divine Activity

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.  Break

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.  Session 2: Preaching as the Word of God

5:00 – 5:15 p.m.  Break

5:15 – 5:45 p.m.  Logos Presentation

6:00 p.m.  Dinner in Loder Hall

Friday, May 2, 2014

8:30 a.m.  On-Site Registration Opens

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.  Breakfast available in Cross Tower Room

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.  Opening Devotions

9:20 – 10:50 a.m.  Session 3: Preaching as Proclamation

10:50 – 11:05 a.m.  Break

11:05 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.  Session 4: Preaching as Emmanuel - A Very Present Help in Times of Trouble

12:35 – 1:35 p.m.  Lunch (provided)

1:40 – 3:10 p.m.  Session 5: Preaching as an Ultimate Response to Our God

3:10 – 3:30 p.m.  Wrap Up and Closing Prayer

**All workshop sessions will be held in Room 205 on the 2nd floor of the Main building.

Directions and Accomodations

Directions and Accomodations

Directions and Parking to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Parking is available at $7 per day and may be purchased on the day of the event.


A select number of rooms are available at Loder Hall, on the campus of Garrett-Evangelical, for $75 a night. To inquire, contact Diana Ahn in the Housing Office at 847.866.3950.  For a list of hotels in the Northwestern University/Evanston area click here.

Super Sunday XV

This event, co-sponsored by the Styberg Preaching Institute, will be a life-changing afternoon of equipping for effective ministry inspired by Jesus’ great commission to make Disciples. Get help for ministry places that matter with the help of world class leaders.

Click here for more information, including schedule, location, and speaker!

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.