The Festival of Homiletics is a weeklong 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 27th Festival of Homiletics will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from May 13-17, 2019. Our venue hosts for the week will be Central Lutheran Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church . To help orient yourself make note that the main venues are both near the Minneapolis Convention Center.
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.
Questions about the event can be directed to Festival of Homiletics, 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, 2018 and runs through February 15, 2019. During Early-Bird registration, the cost is $280 for a single person or $260 for a group (Individual rate for 2 or more persons registering together). Beginning February 16, 2019 the cost goes up to $300 for a single registration and $280 for a group.
Single day registration will open beginning April 1, 2019, with Monday and Friday daily rates of $50 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 a 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 if paying separately for group members, please note on registration members of your group.
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 16, 2019, the rate goes up to $150.
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.
Is there scholarship money available?
We have added a donations component to our registration process so as the year goes we will post opportunities on the website and Facebook or Twitter pages. Each year we hope to be able to scholarship 5-6 full registrations.
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 12, 2019. 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. See the full listing of our Registration and Refund Policies.
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, 2019, with Monday and Friday daily rates of $50 each, 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 checked throughout the conference to ensure that participants have registered properly.
I am unable to attend the conference, is there a way for me to live-stream any of it? Watch the festival online for $75. Access the live video feed from Central Lutheran Church to see Tuesday through Thursday daytime sessions (excludes Monday, Friday, and evening sessions). Live-stream cost is the same for all registrants and registration periods. Live-stream registration ends on May10, 2019. Our live streaming platform is compatible with both Mac and PC, as well as IPhones, IPads, Android devices, and most other mobile devices. It does not require Adobe Flash, or any downloads or plugins to run. Users will be allowed to create an account with a password. To join a live session, they’ll log back into that account and see a list of all the courses for which they’ve registered, with special notifications next to those that are live streaming. When they click on a course, the course viewer window will appear, with the live stream of the session. Customers who register for a live stream will also have automatic access to the video recording of the session.
There is ample parking in downtown Minneapolis, however most of it is in paid city lots or ramps. There is a city-owned lot/ramp directly behind Central Lutheran Church that has a daily fee of $10, probably the best in the city. Please check out the following for other parking options. You can also go to the “Getting Around” page on the website.
- MPLS Parking provides daily parking with 16 parking ramps and metered curbside parking spaces situated near downtown businesses, shopping and entertainment.
- Meet Minneapolis has partnered with Spot Hero, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow visitors to purchase guaranteed parking near their destination. Once purchased, parking is 100% guaranteed even if the location otherwise fills up.
What are the accessibility issues?
We strive to accommodate all who wish to attend the Festival of Homiletics and work hard to minimize any inconveniences. Each year the festival takes place in an urban setting, at multiple venues with differing accommodations. All 2019 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 Festival of Homiletics no later than February 15, 2019, 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 Festival of Homiletics or 651-523-1645.
Are children welcome to attend?
This year we are trying out childcare for a limited number of children. It will be on a first come basis for 20 children ages 6 months to 5 years at the cost of $150 for the week. It will be located on-site at Central Lutheran Church near the Information Center in the nursery: Tuesday–Thursday, 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break for caregivers. Additional information to be collected via email to finalize childcare arrangements. Call 651-523-1645 with questions. Small children are allowed to attend the Festival with their parents, however, 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 Minneapolis, but will have to pay if they plan to attend Festival events. Call 651-523-1645 with questions.
Is there public Wi-Fi available?
Most often public Wi-Fi is not 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 arranged 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 PDFs of the bulletins to download ahead of time on your smart devices. Please help us be good stewards of the Earth!
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 extended the lunch and dinner breaks to allow you time to unwind or see some sights. Meet Minneapolis has lots of ideas for what to do in the city.
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 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. The Festival App is also a valuable resource.
Are there any workshops to attend?
Each year the workshops are different. This year there will be 3 workshops available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church located in Westminster Hall. Check out the schedule for Workshop facilitators and titles.
Are there any service learning opportunities planned?
We are hoping to add something into the program as we move forward with planning stay tuned.
Will there be an offering? If so, who is the recipient of the money collected?
There will be an offering on Friday morning at Central Lutheran Church during the closing worship service. Our host congregations will choose the recipients of the funds. We also donate all of the leftover break food and lunches each day to a local food shelf recommended by the venues. It allows us to help out with a local need each week of the festival in whatever city we are in that year!
Are the sessions recorded and are their recordings available?
We have contracted Community Brands – Freestone Learning Management System to record all of the lectures and sermons this year at the 2019 Festival. Sometimes a speaker is contractually unable to be recorded; for those keynotes, we will make 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: Festival Recordings
This year we are planning a special offer – the full package of recordings on our registration page at the extremely discounted rate of $75! We listened to your requests and want to make these recordings more accessible to our attendees – don’t miss out on this great offer!
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 Hotels.
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 routes or Metro lines often at a more deeply discounted rate. The rooms have 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. Meet Minneapolis – Hotels has a full listing of all available hotels in the area. You can all use the many travel sites to look for the best option like Airbnb or Kayak.
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 Festival of Homiletics 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 anyway 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 Minneapolis. 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. Whom should I contact?
Please contact Festival of Homiletics for assistance.