A 2-day fully participatory preaching intensive program designed for parish clergy at every level of seniority and experience. Attendees will benefit from 12 hours of contact time, group worship, participatition in small mentored preaching groups, and the informal fellowship of a residential environment.

The Purpose of the EPF Diocesan Conference

To equip preachers with tools needed to enrich their preaching ministry for years to come.

Methods Employed

1. Methods employed will be both academic and experiential
2. Participants will hear excellent preaching in a liturgical context as modelled throughout the conference. Sermons within worship will be offered by keynoters, faculty and other excellent preachers who may be available to come to the conference.
3. Insights to the practice of preaching through lectures and workshops offered by some of the top theoreticians of preaching.
4. Experiencing preaching in small groups to facilitated feedback. Facilitators/Faculty will lead this process and will also provide materials on how to create feedback groups with fellow clergy, and with lay people in a parochial context.


1. Participants will come prepared to offer a sermon within a facilitated feedback group.
2. Participants will come prepared to offer their own insights and experience.
3. EPF will provide for keynoters, preachers, and faculty.
4. Faculty will be made up of those who teach preaching, and clergy with experience in the field who have a demonstrated aptitude for preaching


1. The Conference programming will be provided by EPF. It will be the Diocese’s role to provide for hospitality.
2. The conference must be at least 12 hours of contact time in order to provide ample time for the content of both academic and experiential programs.
3. Faculty will be assigned on a ratio of one faculty member for each six participants.

Sample Schedule

Day 1
Arrivals Mid-Day. Lunch
2:00 pm Worship with a sermon by the keynote speaker
3:00 pm Welcome and introduction
3:30 pm Keynote address
4:30 pm Q&A with Keynote: whole group
5:00 pm Small group discussions
5:30 pm Break
6:00 pm Cocktails
6:30 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Informal hour with faculty
9:00 pm Compline

Day 2
7:00 am Breakfast
8:30 am Preaching groups
11:30 am Break
Noon Lunch
1:00 pm Workshops – attend 4 workshops over 2.5 hours
3:30 pm Closing remarks (Keynoter)
4:30 pm Worship with sermon by host bishop

Notes On Schedule Components

Program Design: We find that a conference format using a combination of worship, lecture, discussion, practice preaching with feedback, and practical workshops, creates the best atmosphere for growth and learning. (12 hours of contact time)

Conference Keynoter: EPF will engage a keynoter whose approach is the best match for the needs of each Diocese. Keynoters are drawn from seminary homiletics faculty across the US, and from luminaries in the preaching field. (Keynote Address: 45 minutes)

Whole Group Discussions with Q&A, with keynoter following keynote address (30 minutes)

Small Group Discussions: groups of six which will also become the Preaching Groups. Participants introduce themselves and discuss the keynote address and its relevance to their ministry and preaching. The groups are facilitated by a EPF member, the Keynoter and Diocesan representatives prepared for the task. (30 minutes)

Preaching Groups (average 6 people per group) are the same small groups. Participants will be instructed to bring a sermon of their choice to the conference. Moderated by a EPF member, the keynoter and the diocesan representatives, each attendee will deliver a short sermon and receive appreciative feedback from the moderator and the group.

Workshops will be crafted on topics of relevance to the Diocese. Sample topics include utilizing different forms for preaching, preaching to different generations, emotional intelligence and its effect on the preaching task. Workshops are led by representatives from EPF, the Keynoter, and/or Diocesan resource individuals. Participants will shift among four workshops over the course of two-and-a-half hours.