Preaching Lab

Online: February 5 – April 2, 2018, with videoconference Monday evenings 6:3- 7:30 Central Time
In person: Saturday, March 3, 2018 at St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville

Designed for those who already have a little or a lot of preaching experience, this course invites you into a learning community, focusing on tools for storytelling in your sermons.

Every sermon tells a story: the intersection of God and humanity. No matter what kind of sermon it is, whether pastoral, teaching, prophetic, every sermon tells a story of God who chooses to interact, love, and redeem us. Every sermon can be made better when preachers hone their storytelling skills.

This course will help preachers become better storytellers for their sermons. What are the foundations of good storytelling? Should we tell personal stories, and if so, how and when? How can we retell Gospel stories to sound alive, fresh, and new again? How do we summarize and make compelling a story we found in a book or movie? And how do we use stories from contemporary culture and the news in ways that reveal the Gospel?

Talking about storytelling is one thing. Actually telling them is another! This preaching course will be an experiential, interactive Preaching Lab. Live, online every week, Monday evenings from 6:30-8:00 PM CST. Students will be guided and asked to tell stories based on the questions above, and will engage in ongoing discussion in a closed Facebook group. Participants will record and upload a sermon for appraisal by the instructors as the final project. (Instruction will be given for those unfamiliar with recording and uploading sermons.)

Course Instructors are the Rev’ds Cathie Caimano and Lisa Cressman, Preaching Instructors for the School for Formation, ECMN, and Preaching Mentors for Backstory Preaching® (

Required materials: Available from the instructors at no additional cost.

Cost: $300  Register here.

Deacons and Priests in ECMN:  Take this course for free! Upon completion, receive a voucher to take half off the cost of your next course in Fall 2018. Use code LABCOAT when you register — space is limited, so don’t wait! Fine print: this promotion is limited to vocational deacons and priests currently serving in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota.