THE PREACHING PROJECT
Following each Residency, participants focus on the Preaching Ministry Project. This is an action/reflection experience requiring integration of course learnings with the participant’s local ministry site. During the Residency participants plan and design the Preaching Ministry Project with the assistance of an advisor, colloquy leader and peers. After Residency, participants work in collaboration with ministry members to finalize the design and implementation of the project.
The Preaching Ministry Project addresses a personal learning goal and explores an issue in preaching that is of particular concern to the participant and ministry members. Each project is designed to:
• Explore an issue or concern related to the preaching ministry that is relevant to both the pastor and ministry setting.
• Develop a learning partnership and shared preaching ministry between the pastor and members.
• Integrate Residency course work with local ministry practice.
• Assist the participant in clarifying issues to be addressed eventually in the thesis.
The format of the project requires participants to preach a series of three sermons, averaging one every eight weeks from September to January. Each of these sermons is videotaped for evaluation. These sermons are designed to demonstrate learning from the residency courses and are the vehicle through which the participant pursues his or her learning goals. At the end of the third sermon, participants write a final Integrative Paper reflecting on the year’s experiences and suggesting possibilities for the next year’s work.
The culminating experience of the program is the Thesis, a publishable article concerned with contributing to the understanding and practice of preaching. During Colloquy 2 and Colloquy 3 with input from faculty and peers students plan the shape and content of the thesis. Throughout the program the student also receives guidance from their Advisor. After the third Residency, participants carry out a final ministry project relating to their Thesis. The concluding step in the process is an oral examination o¬n the thesis in March prior to graduation. The oral examination takes place through the auspices of the seminary through which the participant was admitted.