One of the congregational vitality goals within the Matthew 25 initiative is Spirit-inspired worship. In the Reformed tradition, the central aspect of worship is the preaching of the Word as it points to the scriptures, which point to Jesus Christ. To this end, the Synod is offering several opportunities to train and strengthen preachers.

For Frequent Preachers

If you are a regular preacher and would like to strengthen aspects of your preaching, you might find helpful a series of monthly zoom workshops. Coordinated by Synod Interim Executive Chip Hardwick (Ph.D., Homiletics/Preaching, Princeton Theological Seminary), this series of one-off workshops will include preaching scholars from across the country.  Each zoom will be held the first Wednesday of the month from 10:00 to 11:30 am.  Sessions will be recorded for those who cannot attend live.

This schedule will be updated as it becomes more finalized.

October 5, 2022: “Exploring the Themes of Advent 2022,” The Rev. Dr. Chip Hardwick, Executive, Synod of the Covenant

November 2, 2022: “Preaching in the Valley of Dry Bones,” Luke Powery, Duke University

There is no workshop in December 2022; see you in 2023!

Past Offerings

September 7, 2022: “Sunday’s Sermons for Monday’s World,” Rev. Dr. Sally Brown

August 3, 2022: “When Good News is Harder to Find: Preaching in the Wake of Trauma,” The Rev. Dr. Kimberly Wagner

June 1, 2022: “O Say Can You See: Images and Illustrations in a Virtually Saturated World,” The Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Candler School of Theology at Emory University

May 4, 2022: “Preaching Jokes to Power,” The Rev. Dr. Jake Myers

April 6, 2022: “Preaching in Polarized Times,” Rev. Dr. Angela Dienhart Hancock

March 2, 2022: “Stretching into Prophetic Preaching,” Chip Hardwick, The Synod of the Covenant

February 2, 2022: “Getting Helpful Listener Feedback,” Chip Hardwick, The Synod of the Covenant

January 5, 2022: “Performing the Word…Online,” Jana Childers, San Francisco Theological Seminary

December 1, 2021: “From/To: Preaching that Accords with Covenant and Commission,” Tim Slemmons, Homiletics Professor at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

November 3, 2021: “The Peoples’ Sermon: Preaching as a Ministry of the Whole Congregation,” Shauna Hannan, Homiletics Professor at Lutheran Pacific Theological Seminary

October 6, 2021: Exploring the Themes of Advent 2021, Chip Hardwick, Synod Interim Executive

September 1, 2021: “What Poets Can Teach Preachers About Surviving, Thriving, and Talking About What We Do,” Anna Carter Florence, Homiletics Professor at Columbia Theological Seminary

August 4, 2021: “Opening Your Listeners to New Perspectives,” Chip Hardwick, Synod Interim Executive

July 7, 2021: “Preaching Justice and Hope in Turbulent Times,” Kenyatta Gilbert, Homiletics Professor at Howard University School of Divinity

June 2, 2021: “Preaching about Racial Justice without Losing your Conviction or your Job,” Chip Hardwick, Synod Interim Executive

Preaching & Teaching: Lifelong Learning: Alma College

If you would like to be on a supply preaching list, Alma College, in Lake Huron Presbytery, is offering a short course called ‘Preaching and Teaching:  The art and science of inspiring hearts and minds through spoken words.’  It is designed to help prepare you more thoroughly than the Maumee Valley Presbytery offering. Taught by Denise Anderson, former co-moderator of the PC(USA), Andrew Pomerville, chaplain of Alma College, and Chip Hardwick. Sessions will be held four successive Thursday evenings by Zoom beginning July 8, 2021. For more information or to register, visit Preaching & Teaching: Lifelong Learning: Alma College. Questions? Please contact Andrew Pomerville at

Me? A Preacher?:  A Preaching Workshop

If you have been wondering about what it might be like to preach in your home church, a two-day workshop coordinated by Maumee Valley Presbytery will be very helpful for you!  “Me? A Preacher?:  A Preaching Workshop” will be held on Saturday May 8 and 22, 9:30 am -12:30 pm via Zoom. Rev. Jeanne Gray, pastor of Collingwood Presbyterian Church, and Synod Interim Executive Chip Hardwick, will be the leaders.  Learn more here:  Me? A Preacher?: A Preaching Workshop (