March 3 and 4

Schooler Institute on Preaching

“Preaching Mark as Parable,” led by O. Wesley Allen Jr.

Preacher, author and scholar O. Wesley Allen Jr. will lead the 2020 Schooler Institute. Allen, the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, will deliver lectures and lead workshops on the theme “Preaching Mark as Parable.”

He argues that the author of the second Gospel wrote the entire narrative as a parable to challenge and change the way the original audience thought about Christ, the reign of God and their roles as disciples. The first day of the Schooler Institute will focus on this reading and techniques for preaching individual Markan passages in light of the parabolic nature of the whole document.

On the second day, Allen will present strategies for preaching through Mark cumulatively, especially for (but not limited to) those following the Revised Common Lectionary.

All participants are encouraged to bring bibles. Lectures will refer to the NRSV.

The Synoptic Gospels are among Allen’s areas of specialization. He wrote his 1996 dissertation on Luke-Acts; authored an exegetical textbook titled Reading the Synoptic Gospels: Basic Methods for Interpreting Matthew, Mark, and Luke in 2000 and revised it in 2013; and contributed the volume Matthew to the Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries series in 2013. He is currently working on a critical preaching commentary on the Gospel of Mark.

Allen holds a Ph.D. from Emory Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School and a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College. An ordained United Methodist elder, he is past president of the Academy of Homiletics.


Tuesday, March 3

9:30 a.m. Welcome, registration and coffee
10 a.m. Opening chapel
Sermon: "Who Do You Say That I Am?"
11 a.m. Lecture: Reading Mark as Parable
Noon Lunch
1 p.m. Workshop: Preaching Parables
3 p.m. Dismissal

Wednesday, March 4

9:30 a.m. Welcome and coffee
10 a.m. Lecture: Preaching Mark as Parable
11 a.m. Workshop: Preaching Mark Cumulatively in the Revised Common Lectionary and in Sermon Series
Noon Lunch
1 p.m. Closing chapel
Sermon: "Mark's Stained Glass Window"
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.