About the Festival

Worship at Festival of Homiletics

The Festival of Homiletics is a week-long conference designed to inspire discourse about preaching, worship, and society. Our mission is to provide the opportunity for theological reflection on the practices of preaching and worship, especially as congregations navigate being church in the 21st century. Between 1,500 and 1,800 preachers, pastors, and lay people from all 50 states and 20+ countries attend the conference each year, around 50% being returning participants. The Festival of Homiletics is a week of refreshment, renewal, and inspiration for all who attend.

Each year we invite approximately twenty-five outstanding preachers and professors of homiletics from diverse backgrounds, traditions, and ministry settings to engage the complexities of today’s culture through the wideness of God’s grace and varied presence as revealed to us through the witness of Scripture and the person of Jesus Christ. When selecting presenters, the Festival of Homiletics is committed to offering a diverse slate of voices depending on the chosen theme, participant evaluations from previous years, financial stewardship, and speaker availability.

History of the Festival

The Festival of Homiletics began in 1992 with a gathering of 400 pastors from around the country for the purpose of learning and conversing about preaching in a contemporary context. The Rev. David Howell, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, created the festival as an extension of his preaching journal Lectionary Homiletics.

The Festival’s ownership, leadership, and planning efforts have resided with Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota since 2012. Howell continues to consult in the Festival planning and production process along with a creative team committed to bringing together the finest preaching and the finest cutting-edge thinking about preaching, homiletics, worship, church, and culture.