The Unending Pursuit of Growth in Gospel Preaching: a Comprehensive Plan for Continuing Education in Preaching for Pastors of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Gurgel, Richard L.
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Good preaching has always been vital to the health of Christ's church. hl order to strengthen preaching, this project designed a comprehensive program in continuing education in preaching for pastors of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). To assist in designing an educationally sound program, this project has drawn on the insights of continuing professional education in the United States, all the while evaluating those insights through the lens of Scripture. The research focused on designing a program that meets the unique needs of preaching in the WELS in the 21 8t century. The research included a survey of active parish pastors; interviews with pastors, church administrators, and homiletics professors; and a Delphi group of congregational members, both men and women. Based on that research, ten key issues for growth in preaching were identified as the central focus ofthe plan. The core of the comprehensive program will be delivered through twelve issues of the bimonthly Preach the Word newsletter that is received by all WELS pastors. The newsletters will be supplemented by online resources found on the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary web site as well as by in-person and online courses and workshops delivered through the seminary's continuing education program. hl keeping with the confidentiality promised to all who were interviewed for tIns project, all quotations included from those interviews are anonymous. Therefore, the reader will find no parenthetical references in the body of the project or any listing of the interviews in the reference list. When such quotations are used, any peliinent infonnation that can be shared (identifying, for example, whether the one interviewed was a pastor, professor, church administrator, or lay person) is incorporated into the text surrounding the quotation.