Austin Seminary’s Beyond the Walls courses include upcoming workshop on women and preaching

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary promotes the “outward-looking face” of the institution through a diversity of programs aimed at clergy, church leaders, congregations, and communities.

Under the heading of Education Beyond the Walls, Austin’s workshops and other learning experiences seek to meet pastors, the laity, and others at their greatest theological education needs.

One of the upcoming offerings is the workshop Women, Voice and Preaching, taking place May 12–15. Led by the Rev. Dr. Jennifer L. Lord, the Dorothy B. Vickery Associate Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies at Austin Seminary, the workshop will focus on strengthening participants’ voices as preachers.

A Presbyterian minister who served congregations in New York state before landing at Austin Seminary in 2005, Lord knows all too well the issues pertinent to women and preaching. Lord’s current interests and course offerings are in the areas of liturgical theology; preaching and the sacraments; women, authority, and voice in preaching; preaching and the Revised Common Lectionary; and creative processes in sermon preparation.

“It takes commitment to make a sound. As a way of learning this truth, participants will begin by working with drumming master Sherry Gingras at her studio,” says workshop information focusing one of three core workshop areas, “Commitment and Voice.”

“This experience surfaces the questions at the heart of the journey to voice: When have we been silenced or silenced ourselves? What is our ongoing commitment to voice? What does that mean in preaching? What has changed for us? How do we have our voice and make room for others?”

The other two core workshop areas to be covered are “Communication and Voice” and “Creativity and Voice.”

“Participants will be led to think though current demands for good speech communication which is not only about speech but also body,” the workshop material says. “This work is informed by performance theory, theatre studies, and speech communication.”

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