Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Dwight K. Nelson
Preaching has always been at the center of Christianity and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is the most visible part of a pastor’s ministry, and it has a significant influence on the spiritual journey of a congregation. It is the express desire of the homiletics teachers at the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary to guide students to be the best preachers possible. However, the problem that is a review of the dissertations at the James White Library revealed that in the last 35 years no attention has been given to evaluating the effectiveness of methods used in homiletic classes at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.
A semester-long approach more focused on the discipline of practice was formed and implemented in one of two biblical preaching classes taught in the seminary. Two specific focuses were on the impact peer accountability (classmates were paired off and gave each other feedback) and task repetition (practicing the sermon) make on one’s preaching ability. The project success was measured by observation of both classes and interviews with the students using questionnaires to determine what they felt were the most impactful disciplines.
Overall, 18 of the 20 students and 12 of the 20 in the two classes, respectively, responded that accountability and task repetition were significantly instrumental in their growth as preachers. Both classes included peer accountability and the percentage of students reporting that this discipline was helpful was similar—64% and 67%. In one biblical preaching class, twice the required practice or task repetition was included. In the questionnaire, 43% of the students identified it without prompting as a significant factor compared to only 17% in the class with less required practice. In the questions where the student preachers were specifically asked to evaluate the impact of task repetition on their preaching, 71% compared to 33%, respectively, described it as having had a significant impact.
This study demonstrates that the disciplines of peer accountability and task repetition are vital factors in raising the level of preaching. It also demonstrates a need for more attention to be given to the homiletical pedagogy at the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary. Methodology can be a natural emphasis in the preaching classroom, but this will be a barrier to raising the effectiveness of preaching. Understanding preaching as a practice helps keep a balance.
Preaching--Study and teaching, Andrews University. Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Goetz, Michael Lawrence, "Testing a New Method of Teaching Homiletics at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary: CHMN 505" (2015). Project Documents. 284.
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