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Doctoral Candidate, Rev. David M. Stark, named 2017-2018 Styberg Preaching Institute Teaching Fellow

June 26, 2017
Rev. David M. Stark

The Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the selection of doctoral candidate, Rev. David M. Stark, as the 2017-2018 Styberg Teaching Fellow. Sponsored by the Lilly Endowment Inc., this fellowship is awarded to a promising doctoral or post-doctorate candidate with a focus in homiletics or a cognate field. Stark will officially begin on July 1, 2017.

As a teaching fellow, Stark will gain hands-on classroom experience through participation in teaching both introductory and advanced preaching courses under the supervision of and in collaboration with the homiletics faculty at Garrett-Evangelical and will have the opportunity to develop skills in course planning, and syllabus design as well as in providing instruction in a multicultural context. “I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to grow as a teacher and researcher of preaching under the direction of Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks and with all of the Garrett-Evangelical community,” said Stark.

A doctor of theology candidate in homiletics and Old Testament at Duke Divinity School, Stark's research focuses on the ways power and privilege affect Old Testament homiletics. Since October 2016 Stark has served as visiting researcher at the Institut für Praktische Theologie at Universität Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany. He holds a master of arts in biblical studies from Boston College, a master of divinity from Duke Divinity School, and a bachelor of arts in Bible and Christian ministry from Anderson University.

An ordained elder in full connection with the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, Stark has served in the local church in North Carolina for over nine years. He holds membership in the Academy of Homiletics and the Wesleyan Theological Society. His latest article, titled, “Homiletical Squib: Preaching Politics,” is forthcoming in the Summer issue of the International Journal of Homiletics.

Dr. Gennifer Brooks, the Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Preaching and Director of the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical says of Stark: “He comes highly recommended by colleagues in homiletics that I respect and trust, and the work that he has done already, identifies him as one who is seriously concerned about the state of preaching in the church. His pastoral experience has already provided him with the understanding of the need for effective preaching across Christianity and the importance of the task of seminary teachers to prepare future pastors for this critical ecclesial task. I look forward to working with him.”

The Styberg Teaching Fellow is one component of the Styberg Preaching Institute's latest initiative, A Partnership in Effective Proclamation, which has been funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. This initiative also includes peer learning groups for active pastors under the direction of trained facilitators and preaching support for seminarians and new pastors. To learn more about this initiative, go to

Founded in 2005, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks, the director, 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.

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