The Initiative is built for the task of preaching by preachers. We are pleased to offer a rich buffet of speakers who will provide meaningful tools and dialogue for the weekly rhythm of preaching. The schedule is varied with lecture and “workshop” type presentations. Each session offers an invitation into the world of preaching through scholarship, practical application, and collaborative learning.

william_willimonSpecial Guest – William Willimon

A bishop in the United Methodist Church, Professor Willimon served as the dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He returned to Duke after serving as the bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004 to 2012. Willimon is the author of 70 books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the 10 most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. More than a million copies of his books have been sold. His articles have appeared in many publications including Theology Today, Interpretation, Liturgy, and Christianity Today. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. His book Pastor: the Theology and Practice of Ordained Leadership is used in dozens of seminaries in the United States and Asia. His He has taught in Germany, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia in various seminaries. He is a trustee of Wofford College, Emory University, and serves on the Dean’s Committee of Yale Divinity School.  In early 2017 he will publish Who Lynched Willie Earle? Confronting Racism through Preaching.

You may be thinking, “So what? He’s written some books and teaches at Duke…” Though that sentiment may be fair, Willomon is one of the best preaching resources of the last 25 years. His influence cannot be underestimated as he has been a dominant voice for training preachers. Please do not miss this opportunity to hear this gifted communicator as he invited us into the world of preaching.


Also Featuring

Chris Seidman

Sam Souder

Bryan Moss

John Alan Turner

Sean Palmer

Randy Harris

Mallory Wykoff

Rhesa Higgins

Heather Hodges


We will also have panel presenters and new Tuesday afternoon offerings.  I hope you can taste the feast that awaits!