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. Individual preachers 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 roles of proclaiming the gospel. Between 1,500 and 1,800 preachers, pastors and lay people from all 50 states and 20+ countries attend the conference each year, around 50% being returning participants.
The Festival of Homiletics began in 1992 with a gathering of 400 pastors from around the country for the purpose of learning and conversing about preaching in a contemporary context. The Rev. David Howell, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, created the festival as an extension of his preaching journal Lectionary Homiletics.
The Festival’s ownership, leadership and planning efforts are with Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Howell continues to consult in the Festival planning and production process in light of its new team approach. “We continue to demonstrate for people the finest preaching and the finest cutting-edge thinking about preaching, homiletics, church and culture.”
“It came at a time that I needed to renew my soul and energy for preaching. It fulfilled this and more. I was especially thrilled to be in the presence of Father Rohr and Walter Brueggemann, both I consider heroes of the faith.”
“Simply the timing. This is a hell of a time to be a pastor preaching the Gospel in the United States and this was the perfect tonic.”
“The theme was so relevant because of the political crisis in our country, and the location could not have been better. All the sessions I attended built on previous sessions. I also took advantage of opportunities in DC that enriched the experience: – visiting the Lincoln Memorial – visiting the African American Museum – participating in the Reclaiming Jesus Prayer Vigil.”
“Being enriched and inspired through worship and lectures, as well as gaining preaching ideas and insights. I was also thrilled with the having the opportunity to participate in the Reclaiming Jesus Prayer Vigil and Candlelight Procession.”
“I intentionally planned to hear as many women as I could preach and lecture. I felt encouraged, inspired, and emboldened by each of them.”
Photos from the 2019 Festival of Homiletics in Minneapolis. See more photos on Flickr.