About this Class
Dr. Bryan Chapell explores the unifying principle of grace that binds all Scripture together. He outlines and demonstrates the principles and practice of sermon-crafting and delivery to illuminate the message of grace in each passage, and to submit it to God's Spirit for the transformation of lives through preaching. Dr. Chapell is making these recorded lectures available for you to access at no charge on BiblicalTraining.org. However, there is no personal interaction with Dr. Chapell in this format. The assignments and activities described are for classes that he teaches in person. We left the descriptions in for your benefit, but we do not offer personal or group interaction to participate in these activities.
Dr. Chapell is helped in this course by Zachary W. Eswine, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program (BSW, Ball State University; MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD, Regent University). Dr. Eswine served as senior pastor of Grace Church of the Western Reserve in Hudson, Ohio, for six years before joining Covenant Seminary's faculty in 2001. He has served as a campus minister with the Navigators, as a church youth director, and as a chaplain-evangelist in retirement facilities. Since arriving at the Seminary, Dr. Eswine has also served as interim pastor for Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, as advisory pastor for the Chinese Gospel Church of St. Louis, and as interim pastor for Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in St. Louis. He has taught New Testament in Ukraine and served as a short-term missionary in the Caribbean. Dr. Eswine is a gifted preacher and has authored the book Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C. H. Spurgeon Can Help Your Preaching and numerous articles on homiletics. In addition, as an accomplished musician and songwriter, he has recorded three collections of original songs.
Philosophy and Goals of the Course
1. "Prep and Del" is an introduction to the basics of sermon construction and delivery. This is not primarily a course on the theology of preaching, but rather is a practical introduction to the tools, structures, and concepts that help preachers learn to put a sermon together.
2. Because this course is introductory, certain standards of sermon construction are taught that I hope you will consider "foundational" rather than universal. There is not only one "right way" to preach. However, mastering the methods of this course will help you develop the tools needed for many kinds of future sermons. Students from many backgrounds and preaching traditions have found these tools helpful even as they prepare for other styles in the future. Other methods and styles will be taught and encouraged in future semesters.
3. In Dr. Chapell's seminary class, you would be asked to present some short oral assignments to the class in order to: a) begin integrating the information presented in lectures; b) begin honing your preaching skills; c) and, remove some of the intimidation of your first preaching experience next semester.
(At this time, we do not provide personal interaction to evaluate your progress. We included the suggested assignments and activities to give you direction as you apply the principles you are learning to your own sermon preparation and delivery.)
Materials you can take into the pulpit when you preach can include notes, outlines and manuscripts.
Using your voice and gestures to communicate energy and enthusiasm with sincerity makes your communication powerful.
You can deliver your message more effectively by considering how you dress in a way that identifies with your congregation.
Changing formally worded outlines to fundamentally reduced outlines can help you make your main points concise and memorable.
Reading the Bible meaningfully and referring to the text often while you are preaching helps you demonstrate that the Word takes priority in your preaching. Preaching is a redemptive and a supernatural event that depends on the conviction and illumination of the Holy Spirit.
We are fallen creatures in a fallen condition and God's redemptive work is making us whole in ways we cannot by ourselves. Just as every scripture echoes our incompleteness, it also in some manner signals the Savior's work which makes us whole.
Using "redemptive lenses" to preach the whole Bible emphasizes the person and work of Christ as revealed in all Scripture. This is different than teaching that our relationship with God is based on our own efforts to be "good."
The ultimate goal of a sermon is not simply proclaiming more duty or doctrine, but promoting a more dear relationship with God (i.e., love).
One way to learn how to apply redemptive principles to a sermon is by listening to a master preacher do so and then evaluate his message.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.