The Ph.D. in Preaching program provides an opportunity for qualified students to engage in graduate work in the discipline of homiletics at the highest level. It provides preparation for research and teaching in undergraduate and graduate theological education and for the development of pastor-scholars. The Baylor program offers a rich study of preaching in relation to exegesis, history, theology, ecclesiology, homiletical structure and practice, and teaching.
Applicants will be required to have a Master of Divinity degree (or 72 hours of graduate credit from an accredited program) with a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average.
Students must submit the following items as part of the application process:
- Provide a statement of purpose of 7-10 pages (single-space) indicating rationale for pursuing graduate work in preaching.
- Applicants will also be required to submit two sermon manuscripts and recordings of two preaching events.
- Applicants will demonstrate their facility with the biblical languages by submitting exegetical papers for both sermons and by taking a language competency exam during the admissions process. One foreign language must be completed before the end of the first year of the program. Until then, the student will be admitted on probation.
- Applicants will provide a sample of scholarly writing. One example (not exceeding 25 pages double-spaced) of a recent work of scholarly writing that provides evidence of one’s capacity to think analytically and critically about homiletics.
- Applicants will provide a resume or Curriculum Vitae. Include a list of publications and professional presentations.
- Applicants must have three to five years of full-time pastoral/preaching ministry.
- Applicants will submit official transcripts of all degree work: undergraduate, master’s degrees, and specifically the master of divinity degree (with a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale) from a regionally accredited seminary or university.
- Applicants will provide three letters of recommendation.
The Ph.D. in Preaching program has both residential and distance students. A Ph.D. in Preaching orientation will take place before the first seminar for each entering class. Total hours required for the Ph.D. in Preaching is 57 hours beyond the master’s degree.
Given the hybrid structure of the program, students will enroll in two one-week intensive courses in the fall and two in the spring. Students will take two courses in one summer and one course in the two other summers. All Ph.D. seminars involve pre-seminar and post-seminar work, in addition to the hours in the classroom during the seminar. After three full years of course work, students will take comprehensive exams in the fall of the fourth year and begin work on a prospectus. The remainder of the program will be devoted to the dissertation. Students will satisfactorily complete a dissertation in accordance with guidelines provided by the Ph.D. in Preaching and by the Graduate School.
Students may take up to 9 hours in graduate programs external to Baylor University with the approval of the Director of the Ph.D. in Preaching program.
- Prior to completion of their degree, all students will have a minimum of one article and one book review submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.
- Upon admission, if not already, students will become members of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and must attend the yearly Annual Meeting.
PhD Preaching Courses
|History of Preaching from the First Testament to Wycliffe
|History of Preaching from the Reformation to Post-Modern Preaching
|Homiletical Theory and Methods
|Studies in OT and Proclamation
|Studies in the New Testament and Proclamation
|Studies in Theology and Proclamation
|Hermeneutics for Preaching
|Victorian and Edwardian Preaching: Preaching in the Grand Style
|Studies in Minoritized Preaching Traditions
|Preaching and Culture: Engaging Societal Shifts in North America
A detailed historical study of preaching in the First Testament, the development of the synagogue sermon, the forms of preaching in Christian Scripture as kerygma and didache, preaching in the earliest church, Hellenistic rhetorical influences on preaching, patristic preaching in the East and West, the Alexandria and Antioch schools, monastic preaching, and preaching of the Middle Ages and High Middle Ages to Wycliffe.
An analytical study of primary preaching sources and contemporaneous homiletical theory from the Reformation to the present, an analysis of the sermonic contexts in political and intellectual history, the hermeneutical and exegetical approach to scripture, the rhetorical models, the theosymbolic impact, and the use of cultural references in sermons.
A detailed examination of exegetical method as supportive of biblical preaching. Stress is placed on primary research in the consensus representative authors and works for each exegetical school.
Based on the literature of the last 100 years, modern and early post-modern developments in preaching are examined against larger trends in church and society. The psychological, neo-orthodox, deductive, inductive, narrative, phenomenological, law/gospel, and postmodern schools of preaching will be considered as the major representatives of each homiletic approach.
A detailed examination of the role of delivery in the effectiveness of preaching through careful analysis of the practice of preaching through delivery. Attention is given to the place vocal dynamics (volume, pitch, pace, pause, etc.) and body language (facial expression, eye contact, posture, gestures, etc.) have in effective communication. Members of the seminar each preach a sermon for careful analysis.
A study of selected Old Testament texts. While considerable attention will be given to historical, literary, and theological issues, the course will also address hermeneutical matters related to proclamation. Course may be repeated when content differs for a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
A study of selected New Testament texts. While considerable attention is given to historical, literary, and theological issues, the course also addresses hermeneutical matters related to proclamation. Course may be repeated when content differs for a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
An examination of various topics in systematic or historical theology. Implications for proclamation will also be considered. Course may be repeated when content differs for a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
A detailed consideration of hermeneutical approaches to the biblical text and their impact on contemporary preaching. The seminar includes examination of biblical passages with a view to varied hermeneutical outcomes that stand with, in front of, behind, and beyond the text. The seminar will examine perspectives in minoritized, feminist, European, Global South, and non-Protestant hermeneutics.
This course enables doctoral students of homiletics to develop skills for teaching an entry-level course in preaching. The course provides students with a background in educational theory and curriculum design, pedagogical/andragogical tools, and practice in sharpening their skills as instructors of preaching.
This course examines research approaches and methodologies as related to preaching and writing. The course explores writing for research and other platforms and includes reading assignments, discussion, presentations, and writing assignments, preparing the student for academic article writing, dissertation writing, and other writing platforms.
Informed opinion considers the Victorian and Edwardian eras the zenith of English language preaching in the grand rhetorical style and tradition. The literary remains of these periods embrace preaching from the poetic, cultured sermons of F. W. Robertson to the rugged Anglo-Saxon speech of C.H. Spurgeon.
A detailed study of minoritized culture preaching traditions in the U.S. context. Participants engage with preaching theories and practices in minoritized homiletics, wrestle with the significance of context and location in reading and preaching biblical texts, increase their levels of intercultural competence as preachers and teachers of preaching, and enhance their homiletical capacity to serve an intercultural church.
This seminar examines how recent societal shifts have impacted homiletical engagement with culture in the North American context(s). After constructing a biblical-theological rationale for cultural engagement, participants will analyze three shifts in particular – secularization, technologization, and interculturation – and their broader impact on preaching, congregational life, and society.
For research credit prior to admission to candidacy for an advanced degree. Credit will be given for the amount of work done. May be repeated for credit through 45 hours.
Supervised research for the doctoral dissertation. A total of nine semester hours is required for the completion of the dissertation. Students register for dissertation hours during dissertation research and receive credit for them when the dissertation is approved.