Frequently Asked Questions

26th Festival of Homiletics - 2018 Washington, D.C.

"Preaching and Politics"

Lincoln Memorial Statue, Courtesy of Destination DC


The Festival of Homiletics is a week-long conference that brings together a wide variety of outstanding preachers and professors of homiletics to inspire a discourse about preaching, worship and culture. Our goal is to engage theologically the practices of preaching and worship, as well as issues related to congregations in the 21st century.


This year the 26th Festival of Homiletics will be held in Washington, D.C., from May21-25, 2018. Our venue hosts will be the Washington National Cathedral on Monday evening and Metropolitan AME Church, National City Christian Church and Luther Place Memorial Church the remainder of the week. To help orient yourself make note that the main venues are all on or around Thomas Circle.


Participants are invited to consider various styles and methodologies of preaching in the hopes that they will renew their faith and refresh their spirits through engaging worship, lectures and workshops. Throughout the week we aim to inspire preachers in their role of proclaiming the gospel.


Contact Information:

Find out more about this event at, or Questions about the event can be directed to,

651-523-1645 or mailed to:

Festival of Homiletics

2481 Como Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55108



Registration is required to participate in workshops, lectures, worship services and evening events. Early-bird registration opens on November 1, 2017 and runs through February 16, 2018. During Early-Bird registration the cost is $280 for a single person or $260 for a group (2 or more persons registering together). Beginning February 17, 2018 the cost goes up to $300 for a single registration and $280 for a group.


Single day registration will open beginning April 1, 2018, with Monday and Friday daily rates of $75 and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday daily rates of $100. Please be sure to factor in the expenses you will incur for travels, lodging, and food.


Registering a Group:

Use the online registration.The registration process begins the same for either an individual or group registration. At the end of the first registration page for the first registrant you will be prompted to the billing page. It is on this page that you can scroll up the page to locate the add a registrant or edit the current registration. Should you add a 2nd registrant, the rate for both with automatically drop to the group rate. Once you have added all of the participants in your group you will need to complete the billing information. Please note online you are only able to use one form of payment for the entire group. Mail-in the registrations that need to pay separately for group members.


Is there scholarship money available?

At this time there are no scholarship dollars available. We have worked donations into our registration process so next year we will post opportunities on the website: and Facebook or Twitter pages: or

Each year we hope to be able to scholarship 5-6 full registration.


What if I change my mind?

The cost of registration includes a non-refundable processing fee of $50 per registrant for each cancellation. No refunds will be granted after Sunday, May 20, 2018. However, if a registrant is unable to attend the festival for any reason they may substitute, by arrangement with the registrar, someone else at no additional cost.


I only want to attend one day of the conference. Is that possible?

Yes, one-day conference registration is available. Single day registration will open beginning April 1, 2018, with Monday and Friday daily rates of $75 and %50 respectively with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday daily rates of $100. Please note that your registration is valid only for sessions and events on that day and badges will be actively checked throughout the conference to ensure that participants have registered properly.


How many participants do you expect to attend?

Our attendance is between 1500-1800 preachers, pastors and lay people from all 50 states and 20+ countries with 50% returning participants.


What are the accessibility issues?

We strive to accommodate all who wish to attend the Festival of Homiletics and are work hard to minimize any inconveniences. Each year the festival takes place in an urban setting, at multiple venues with differing accommodations. All 2018 venues have elevators, an accessible entrance and restrooms, and there will be reserved seating for those needing accommodations. We will also have a limited number of hearing assistance devices at all of the venues. Please contact no later than February 15, 2018, to request ASL interpreter services or other accommodations for special needs. If you have dietary preferences, please be sure to mark those on the space provided on the registration form when you register. Should you have special needs or questions please contact the Festival at or 651-523-1645.

For Visitors with Disabilities DC 2018


Can seminarians attend?

Yes, we encourage seminarians to attend the Festival by offering students registered in a full-time seminary program a 50% discount off the conference registration fee. The Early-Bird rate for seminarians is $140 and after February 17, 2018, the rate goes up to $150.


Are children welcome to attend?

Small children are allowed to attend the Festival with their parents, however we are not able to offer childcare or child-appropriate activities at the Festival. We also ask that you be respectful of the other paid participants should your child become fussy by removing them to a better location until they are settled as to not disrupt the session.


Can my spouse/partner or friend attend?

The Festival of Homiletics is a paid conference that includes worship services, lectures, workshops and concerts, so seating is reserved solely for paid participants. Your spouse/partner or friend is welcome to accompany you to enjoy and explore Washington, D.C., but will have to pay if they plan to attend Festival events.


Is there public Wi-Fi available?

Most often there is not public Wi-Fi available at the church venues used during the Festival. The sheer volume of users overloads the smaller, older systems. Be sure to download or print anything you need before you arrive at the Festival.


Is the Festival of Homiletics a “green” event?

By popular request we no longer distribute plastic water bottles to attendees. We have made arrangements with one of our sponsors, Thrivent Financial, to provide refillable water bottles for your convenience. We also no longer print our worship service bulletins to save on paper. Instead we project the bulletins on screens and provide PDF’s of the bulletins to download ahead of time on your smart devices.


Is there time built into the schedule for free time?

Plan ahead and use your time wisely! The week can be overwhelming so don’t feel like you need to do everything. Take a break, relax and take some time for yourself as needed. This year we have built in a free evening on Thursday to take advantage of all D.C. has to offer. The Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau have put together several options at a discounted rate for several local attractions. Check here to signup for one before you arrive! 


Do I have to choose what I attend ahead of time?

No, you are free to move between venues choosing the events that speak to you the most! Be sure to use the schedules provided online and in your program to plan out your week. There is a lot going on and it will help you avoid missing your favorite speakers! Use the At-a-Glance schedules on-site and in the program to orient yourself.


Are there any workshops to attend?

Each year the workshops are different. This year there will be 2 workshops available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10 am and 11 am  at Luther Place Memorial Church. Check out the schedule for Workshop facilitators and titles!


Are there any service learning opportunities planned?

We were approached by Sojourners to help promote a night of engaged activism. Please join them for the following if you are interested.

Reclaiming Jesus Church Service and Candlelight Vigil to the White House

Thursday, May 24, 7 p.m.

National City Christian Church 

5 Thomas Circle - Washington, DC 20005

"We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith. We believe the issues are more deeply theological than merely political or partisan. We believe it is a time for prayer and response, for contemplation and action. In this moment of political, moral, and theological crisis in America we are deeply concerned about the resurgence of white nationalism, racism, and xenophobia; misogyny; attacks on immigrants, refugees, and the poor; the regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders; and moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We invite you to join us for a service of prayer and gospel proclamation, followed by a procession to the White House and a silent prayerful candlelight vigil as a witness that the church will not be complicit, but faithful. For more information about the Reclaiming Jesus Declaration, and the church service and candlelight vigil taking place on Thursday evening at 7 p.m., please visit:"


Will there be an offering? If so, who is the recipient of the money collected?

There will be an offering on Friday morning at Metropolitan AME Church. The recipients of the funds will be chosen by our host congregations.

"An offering will be collected during the 11 a.m. Friday worship service with Anna Carter Florence at Metropolitan AME Church. The organization receiving the offering will be Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation. This organization sponsors educational and cultural events in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for children and families in the Washington, D.C., area. A highlight of their recent work is Girls Who Code, a program that teaches girls how to build applications for smartphones and computers. Their work facilitates academic excellence and community building for many families each year."


Are all of the sessions recorded and are their recordings available?

We have contracted Abila Freestone Learning Management System to record all of the sessions this year at the 2018 Festival. Sometimes a speakers is contractually unable to be recorded; for those keynotes we will make a note in the schedule of who is not being recorded. You are able to purchase your recordings for the current Festival as well as archived recording from the Festival website:

A coupon code for a discounted rate is provided to all registered participants! Be sure to take advantage of this great deal!


Will I receive Continuing Professional Education Units (CEU) for attending the Festival of Homiletics?

The Festival of Homiletics offers a Certificate of Completion, found in the program for daily contact hours. There will be a total of 26 hours offered for the week and generally 10 contact hours equals one CEU credit.


What should I wear? For your comfort, business casual is appropriate, but not required. Attendees’ attire ranges from casual shorts to suits, clerical collars to Hawaiian shirts!  We suggest you dress in layers as the temperature in the venues can vary considerably.


What hotel should I stay at during the conference?

Hotel information is available on the festival website

Connections Housing is handling all of our hotel courtesy blocks. They have compiled a list of the area hotels with courtesy blocks, or discounted rates. The hotels offer a variety of prices and amenities. Many of the hotels are within walking distance to the venues. More distant locations are along a bus route or Metro line. The rooms has been reserved at a special rate and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. After the allocated rooms have been filled, reservations may be made at the regular room rate if space is available. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the hotels available to participants, utilize all resources when looking for a hotel to fit your budget or expectations.


I am an overseas participant and need a letter of invitation before I can receive my visa. What is the procedure? The Festival of Homiletics is happy to provide an invitation letter to accompany your visa application after full payment is received. We recommend that as soon as you register and pay the full registration fee, contact with your request. You will receive a PDF printable file on Festival of Homiletics letterhead via an email attachment. The Festival of Homiletics will not supply an invitation letter to unpaid or unregistered participants, and FoH reserves the right to refuse to provide invitation letters for attendees. Please note that FoH does not give any further support to the visa application process. Kindly note that this invitation does not, in any way financially commit either the Festival of Homiletics for the expenses you incur for travels, lodging, and food. All conference participants are expected to take full financial responsibility for their stay in Washington, D.C. Obtaining a visa remains the sole responsibility of the participant. Regular cancellation deadlines apply, regardless of whether your visa was granted or not.


My question is not listed here. Who should I contact?

Please contact for assistance.