Introductory Preaching

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4 credit points
16 credit points of foundational biblical studies
Semester 1, 2019
Mike Raiter with online tutors

In an information-rich context, seeking transformation through communication, not just transfer of information can be a challenge. Add to that the ancient text we want to share, and the question is: how can we take ancient words into the modern world and have them impact people’s hearts?

This unit gives you practical experience preparing and delivering sermons, but more than that, it gives you the opportunity to learn how to make the Bible come alive to people. In this unit, you will explore the nature and purpose of preaching, the identity and calling of the preacher, theological and pastoral issues in preaching, as well as the methods and techniques of public speaking.

You will have three to four opportunities to preach and receive feedback from peers and as well as from an experienced preacher. And you will also have the opportunity to ask questions and develop strategies for sermon preparation.

This is a vital unit for anyone wanting to learn how to better communicate God’s word.

Mike Raiter
Mike Raiter is probably Melbourne’s most experienced preacher and teacher of preaching. Mike is currently the Director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching, an organisation that seeks to train and equip churches around the globe in expository preaching. Mike is also the author of a number of books, including Stirrings of the Soul: Evangelicals and the New Spirituality which won the 2004 SPCK Australian Christian Book of the Year Award. Mike worked with Church Missionary Society Australia and Interserve in Pakistan. From 2006–2011, Mike served as the principal of the Melbourne School of Theology.

Mike brings his many years of expertise and warm teaching style as the main video presenter for this online unit.

Study Expectations and Assessment:

This unit runs over 12 weeks (1 semester) with weekly online learning materials, readings and activities. A significant proportion of your time and work in this unit will be devoted to preparing, delivering, and giving and receiving feedback on sermons.

Workload in this unit will be divided roughly as follows:

  • 3–4 hours per week preaching preparation & assignment work
  • 2 hours per week on working through online materials
  • 2 hours per week on set online learning activity, including peer interaction and feedback
  • 2 hours per week on reading

Students are expected to preach 2 sermons in public during the semester, at least one should be expository. The other may be from a different text type or on a topic or given in an occasional or evangelistic context. Students will also need to prepare and record two ‘mini-sermons’, or portions of sermons such as introduction, illustrations, for peer feedback.

Public sermons can be preached at a place that is convenient to the student, usually the student’s own regular congregation. (Where it is not feasible for s student to preach in a public context, it may be possible to record a sermon to camera.) All sermons must be video-recorded and the recording uploaded to the provided online space for review by the tutor and other students. For each public sermon comments are to be obtained from at least one regular preacher present and at least two congregational members. Students should also submit a 500 word written critique of each sermon.

Assessment summary

  • Sermon x 2 1500 words ea video recorded, and full text/notes provided 50%
  • Personal review/critique x 2 500 words ea 10%
  • Write an article (for Christian publication or for secular context) explaining why preaching is essential for the Church OR addressing the challenge ‘Expository preaching is of little relevance for the church today.’ 1200/1500 words 20%
  • Weekly online tasks: forums, peer review, mini-sermons, reflections, critique sermons, book review 20%

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