What is PCPE?


The Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence at SMU was launched in 2013 with a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Center’s Director is the Rev. Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie, Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology. Its mission is to enhance transformative preaching in local congregations. In the past seven years the Center has accomplished its goals through varied initiatives: one-on-one mentoring, workshops, lectureships, publishing projects, and preaching peer groups.


Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie, Director of PCPE, and Dr. O. Wesley Allen, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Perkins, prolific author, compelling preacher,  and Consultant to PCPE, are both sought after speakers who travel widely preaching in local churches and offering a variety of workshops on topics related, both to their published books and current research.


The Preacher’s Toolbox

PCPE at SMU also sponsors workshops for licensed local pastors throughout the Southwest entitled, “The Preacher’s Toolbox.” These daylong workshops offer a refresher course in the basics of the art and craft of preaching for local pastors.

“Preaching and…” Workshops and Publishing Project

Yet another initiative of PCPE at SMU is the Preaching and…project. Preaching and pairs an expert in the field of preaching (a homiletician) with a scholar from another field in a collaborative workshop held each April at Perkins School of Theology and a preaching textbook, published by Westminster John Knox Press.

Preaching Peer Groups

A crucial initiative of PCPE at SMU is the formation of preaching peer groups around the country. These groups consist of 8 to 12 pastors who meet regularly to discuss readings in the field of preaching and to review one another’s sermons. Each group has a local convener and a homiletical consultant, a professor of preaching with a strong record of teaching and publication in the field of homiletics.  Over the years, PCPE has sponsored peer groups in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas/Nebraska, and Georgia, impacting nearly 200 pastors.

If you are interested in forming a group, contact us at .  


PCPE at SMU hosts the following blogs:

Passion for Preaching is a blog by different writing about a range of topics related to preaching. Many of the writers are participants in the Peer Groups or the Coaching Program, but other voices are welcome as well. If you would like to submit a 500-800 word essay to be considered for the blog, please email .

Passion for Preaching

Ask a Professor is a blog in which questions about ministry, theology, and especially preaching are submitted by readers and answered by Alyce McKenzie, Wes Allen, or a guest writer invited from the Perkins faculty or staff. If you would like to submit a question, please email .

Ask a Professor

Must Reads

Must Reads is a collection of book reviews that we believe might be are of interest to preachers. Many of the writers are participants in the Peer Groups or the Coaching Program, but other voices are welcome as well. If you have a book you would like to recommend or if you are interested in reviewing a book related to preaching, please email .

Must Reads Classics is a series of reviews of classic books in the field of Homiletics, both historically and today. It’s a great way to visit and revisit the preaching approaches of the most influential preachers past and present!

Must Reads

Lively Lectionary

For lectionary preachers,  we offer a resource called “The Lively Lectionary.” Each week you’ll find a blog post by homiletician and Hebrew scholar Dr. John Holbert on the Old Testament and on the gospel text for the day by Dr. Alyce McKenzie. 

Lively Lectionary - Old Testament
Lively Lectionary  - New Testament

What's a Preacher to Do?

In response to Covid-19, the Perkins Center for PreachingExcellence is producing a series of brief videos: "What's aPreacher to Do?" In each short video scholars with differentspecialties
answer the question: What is a key insight from yourarea of expertise that would be helpful to preachers in preparingsermons in these difficult times?

Amid the protests at violence against African Americans, thiseries of brief interviews with church and community leaders,scholars and artists seeking their wisdom for preaching during apandemic of racism.