MA, Diploma and Certificate (part time)
Christian preaching is often understood merely as a ‘practice’ of communication, as though one can learn to preach merely by learning the appropriate techniques in public speech. One widespread effect of this kind of approach is that sermons become formulaic: preaching loses its cutting edge, appearing to be of significantly less consequence to the life of the Church or the public square as other activities and agendas. Such an outcome is the result of the neglect of the vital theological foundations which make Christian preaching distinct, undergirding its practice. This course aims to explore some of these neglected theological foundations, including: a Biblical-theological account of preaching’s importance; historical patterns of preaching in church history; the relationship between sermons and Scripture; the role of the Holy Spirit in preaching; the role of personality in preaching; and the context of sermons in contemporary culture. The course encourages critical reflection not only on the substance and delivery of preaching, but more particularly towards a deeper understanding of what preaching is at its theological core, and the significance this might have for how it is practiced in the contemporary world.
There are two main units of study which cover a range of themes:
PTC1: Theology of Preaching
Main themes include:
- investigate the significance of the theological foundations of preaching
- evaluate a range of contemporary issues pertaining to the practice of preaching in the contemporary context
- explore a range of doctrinal connections within the practice of preaching
- explore critically a range of contemporary homiletical approaches
- explore the relationship between the theology of preaching and the practice of sermons.
PTC2: Preaching and the Digitised Mind
Main themes include:
- evaluate a range of contemporary issues pertaining to contemporary preaching in a digitised context
- explore the impact of digitisation upon the cognitive reception of contemporary sermons
- explore critically the possible intersections between preaching and meta-learning
- reflect theologically upon homiletical theory and practice in a digitised context
- explore the theology of preaching in a digitised world.
Students who successfully complete these two units will obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Mission (Preaching in the 21st Century). Students wishing to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma or MA in Mission (Preaching in the 21st Century) may take these two units and any two other units from the programme, plus a dissertation for the MA.