Homiletics 101
The Art of Preaching and Preparation of Sermons
Rev. Dr. Carolyn Helsel

We were privileged to have Carolyn Helsel, assistant professor of Homiletics from the Austin Presbyterian Seminary since 2015, here (on June 19th, 2016) to give us a thorough grounding in what Homiletics is and how it is taught to aspiring ministers, and others working on a Master of Divinity degree.

Carolyn, and her husband Phil and their two children, recently began attending our church. Phil was just recently invited to join the staff at the Austin Presbyterian Seminary, effective July 1, 2016, and will be an assistant professor of pastoral care.

Carolyn provided the following as a handout of the information she was presenting:

What is “homiletics”?     

     The art of preaching and preparation of sermons

 A brief history

     Greco-Roman rhetoric

     Early criteria for “Good” sermon


      Early Preachers:  Origen,    John Chrysostom,   Augustine

 What makes a sermon “good”?

“Efforts to evaluate the homily say as much about the taste of the critic as they do the quality of the homily.”(O.C. Edwards, A History of Preaching, 20).

The purposes of preaching

Preparation for the preaching moment

We began by viewing an interview that Carolyn conducted with Pastor Mark Ramsey in which she asked him the basic questions that she had asked our class by means of a handout that the class used to write in their answers. The questions were: 

Questions for Sermon Listeners*

June 19, 2016

1.   What is the ideal length of a sermon (in minutes)?

2.   List qualities of a good sermon:

3.   What did the best sermons you have heard have in common?

 4.   What is the purpose of preaching?

 5.   How long does it take or do you think it takes to prepare a sermon?

 6.   What do you think is a typical process for sermon preparation?

 7.   What do you hope to experience in the preaching moment?

You can hear Pastor Ramsey's response to these questions and Carolyn's class presentation on the Audio below. Just click on the link.

<Homiletics Audio>

And you can watch the video directly here:

<Carolyn Helsel-Mark Ramsey Video>

Homiletics 101 - Carolyn Helsel

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