Throughout the semester in which students are enrolled in Introduction to Preaching, seasoned mentors accompany students, providing support in finding a voice in the pulpit, feedback on sermons, and advice during sermon preparation. Mentors enhance the learning process in this core class of Perkins’ M.Div. curriculum
The mentoring element of PCPE is made possible by a gift from Louise Bray and Nancy Hardin in honor of their parents, Grady and Rowena Hardin. Grady taught preaching at Perkins from 1957 to 1981 while Rowena managed the seminary bookstore for many years. The story of the Hardins and their love for Perkins that resulted in this generous gift can be found on pages 34–35 of the Fall 2015 issue of Perkins’ publication, Perspective. Click HERE to read the article.
When I began my Introduction to Preaching class, it quickly became apparent that the gulf between “mediocre” or “adequate” preaching and sermons that are accomplished, compelling and essential was far greater than I imagined. My mentor first calmed my panic, then coached, nurtured, and prayed with me for the presence to scripture and my community needed to construct a sermon that was more focused and purposeful. My mentor’s questions and insights were pointed and revealing. Working with her was a terrific gift, invaluable to the preaching task. Frankly, I believe such dialogue should be an essential part of any preacher’s preparation—and mandatory for new or developing preachers.
—Eric Markinson, M.Div. student