Feb. 12 and 13

Schooler Institute on Preaching

“How to Preach and Survive a Dangerous Sermon,” led by Frank A. Thomas

Author, scholar and renowned preacher Frank A. Thomas will offer Schooler Institute participants insights from his latest book, How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon, and upcoming book, How to Survive a Dangerous Sermon.

Thomas defines a “dangerous sermon” as one that refuses to reflect idolatrous, diabolical imaginings of our human future. Rather, it challenges listeners by activating the four qualities of moral imagination: the embodied presence of the preacher, empathy as a bridge between past injustice and future possibilities, wisdom found in ancient texts, and hope conveyed through artistic, poetic language. He wants to help preachers navigate the challenging waters these sermons can provoke.

Thomas is the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary, where he also directs CTS’s Ph.D. Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric, previously served as senior pastor of New Faith Baptist Church of Matteson, Illinois, and Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Memphis, Tennessee. 

He is the author of several books on preaching, including How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon (Abingdon Press) and They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching (Pilgrim Press). In addition, he co-edited Preaching with Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons 1750 to the Present (W.W. Norton & Company in 2010), a critically acclaimed book offering a rare view of the unheralded role of the African-American preacher in American history.

Thomas holds a Ph.D. in communications (rhetoric) from the University of Memphis, a Doctor of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts in African-Caribbean Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.


Tuesday, Feb. 12

9:30 a.m. Welcome, registration and coffee
10 a.m. Opening chapel
11 a.m. Lecture 
Noon Lunch
1 p.m. Workshop
3 p.m. Dismissal


Wednesday, Feb. 13

9:30 a.m. Welcome and coffee
10 a.m. Lecture 
11 a.m. Panel discussion
Noon Lunch
1 p.m. Closing chapel
2 p.m. Dismissal


The Schooler Institute will be held on the MTSO campus in Delaware. MTSO is located on U.S. Route 23, exactly 10 miles north of I-270, the Columbus outerbelt. Here’s a Google map. And here’s a campus map and photo tour

Registration, CEUs and cost

Thanks to the generosity of the Schooler Family Foundation, the Schooler Insititute is offered to the public without cost, as is lunch both days. Advance registration is required and available below.

One continuing education unit is available for a $25 processing fee.

To register: If you are requesting a CEU, please choose only the "CEU Registrant" option. Otherwise, choose only the "Registrant" option.