USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Compelling Preaching

Our goal

The Compelling Preaching Initiative at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture seeks to create space for faith leaders to think about their preaching in an ever-changing social and cultural landscape. 

Why it matters

In CRCC’s conversation with faith leaders, they have voiced concerns about how their sermons fit into a world characterized by declining religious participation and cultural and political polarization. They expressed a desire to figure out how to preach in a way that engages their members and connects with the rest of their ministries. CRCC sees preaching as one way faith leaders can bring their core values to bear on efforts to improve the communities that they serve. 

What is the program?

In addition to focusing on the advanced praxis on the art and craft of preaching, the program includes training on how preachers can bring their message beyond the four walls of their congregations through media and OpEd writing. Discussions and programs allow participants to link theology to important issues that affect the lives of church members and their communities. 

Each cohort member will have the opportunity to receive funding to establish a working group of preachers interested in supporting one another.

Who can participate?

CRCC’s Compelling Preaching initiative includes public public programming directed at leaders across faiths, as well as a diverse cohort of Christian preachers in Southern California. This cohort will function as the center of this program and will build networks of support for preachers across Southern California, with the aim of re-centering the importance of preaching for congregations and in public life. 

When is the program?

The program launches in 2024, with the cohort and networks participating in programming through 2025.

How do I get involved?

Apply to become part of the Compelling Preaching Cohort (Deadline: March 15, 2024)

Sign up for CRCC’s newsletter for program updates

The Compelling Preaching initiative is supported by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment.