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Preaching in Church Contexts


Online Practical Theology Short Courses
Trinity College Glasgow & Theology & Religious Studies, University of Glasgow

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Course Description

This creative, practical and stimulating course will help you to develop as a preacher through reflection on why and how we preach. We will explore the relationships between the form of biblical texts and the sermons we preach on them, as well as reflecting on delivery, style and method. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to learn from tutor and peer feedback on sermons preached in class. This course is accessible for those who have completed a level 1 course, or have already undertaken other forms of further education.

This is an open access course available as a 10-credit course (accredited by the University of Glasgow) or audit-only for those who just wish to engage with the learning programme for their own personal benefit.

The course equipped all of us for leading worship with a rich variety of sessions from fol


Rev Dr Doug Gay is a Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow and has taught preaching to ministry students for over a decade. He is a trained Church of Scotland minister, who has previously served as a minister for the United Reformed Church in Hackney, East London. Doug has worked as a religious columnist for The Times and is also active as a hymnwriter and liturgist. He has authored several books, most recently God be in My Mouth: 40 Ways to Grow as a Preacher (2018).

Timetable and duration

20th September - 29th November, 2023

This course will take place on Wednesdays, 4-6pm. This course will be taught over 10 weeks (including a one-week break) via in-person meetings & instruction and after class activities.


Introduction to the course

This course offers students an introduction to the processes involved in constructing, writing and delivering sermons in Christian contexts

This course will aim to:

  • introduce students to contemporary understandings of the construction, presentation and reception of preaching in Christian contexts.

  • support the development of researching, writing, and presentation skills through active practice.

  • provide detailed feedback on the student’s practice as a preacher of sermons.


By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Recognise key principles in the contemporary construction, presentation and reception of preaching, and apply this in relation to their own practice.

  • Employ a variety of web-based supports for researching and constructing sermons.

  • Write and deliver a sermon for appraisal in a supportively critical environment.

  • Evaluate feedback on their sermon from an experienced practitioner and supportive student colleagues

Delivery and assessment


This course will take place in person. Each learning module will be taught through a range of presentations, discussion, exercises, viewing and reading. Each week participants will be introduced to a range of materials, including video, articles, and resources. Learning materials and interaction will be accessible using the learning platform, Moodle. Access to these tools will be supported by the course administration.


Learners may choose to undertake assessments, and thus qualify for 10 credit points towards a Higher Education certificate or Glasgow University approved theology programme or may engage with the learning programme for their own personal benefit without the final assessments. 


If you take the course for credit, the formal assessment for this course consists of the following:


An essay on preaching methods of 1000 words (40%)
A portfolio: A critical self-evaluation of your class delivered sermon (15 minute max) 1000 words exclusive of sermon text, evaluation form and annotated resources list (60%)


Support, guidance and feedback will be available to those completing assessment.



*Priority area subsidy available for this course. Contact for further information.

Sponsorship or subsidies may be available through your own church or denomination and we encourage you to approach them with the details of the course.

How to Apply


Notify your interest now via email:

Applications close on Friday the 8th of September 2023. 


These courses are delivered through the University of Glasgow. We will contact you with more information and guidance regarding applying, completing your details and payment in time for the course start date. If you have any questions regarding the process, you can contact us on the above email address. 

If you have any difficulties with this process – please contact Heather (office administrator) at:

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