Preaching Excellence Program I 2017

 Sponsored by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation Partnering with the John Templeton Foundation

The PEP I conference is held at the Roslyn Episcopal Conference and Retreat Center in Richmond, Virginia. In 2017 the conference begins on Sunday, May 28 at 1:OO PM. We conclude on Friday afternoon, June 2 at 1:30 PM. Since its inception 30 years ago, PEP I has welcomed more than 1,500 seminarians who have gone on to become bishops, priests and deacons in the Episcopal Church. The conference is a mix of worship and prayer, plenary sessions, preaching groups, workshops, and fellowship and leisure. 

Participants are nominated by their seminaries' homiletic professors and/or Dean. Traditionally the request for nominations has emphasized that nominees should be full time Master of Divinity students, postulants in their diocese and have taken an introductory course in preaching. The request also indicates that the school should nominate its most promising preachers. 

During the 2017 session of PEP I participants will have the opportunity to be directly instructed and guided by Everett L. Worthington, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, an expert on understanding how to forgive and the benefits of forgiveness. Dr. Worthington’s extensive research has been supported by the John Templeton Foundation ( 

Programs will focus on how human science research on forgiveness intersects with spiritual and formational practices in sermon preparation and presentation. Training and reading materials will be provided. The Participant’s Manual: Becoming a more Forgiving Christian can be accessed at :

You are required to provide a sermon for review and critiquing and the topic should center on forgiveness. The sermon (1,000-2,000 words) should be provided after your registration is submitted to The due date is March 15, 2017.  At the close of the conference we encourage you to submit a sermon for publication in the annual EPF sermon book and recommend that the topic focus on forgiveness. The sermon book is distributed to bishops of The Episcopal Church, seminary deans/presidents, seminary libraries, cathedral deans, PEP participants, faculty and guests and to our donors. Please note submitting a sermon does not guarantee publication. 

Participants are the required to register and pay fees online (See "PEP 2017 Registration" above). Travel plans are made for you the Episcopal Preaching Foundation and "Guidelines for Student Travel" are listed below. Nominees who do not register and pay fees by March 15th will forfeit their invitation. 

The PEP I registration fee is $300. Each seminarian must pay $100 and their diocese pays $100. We ask that you contact your Diocese to let them know of your nomination. The Episcopal Preaching Foundation will bill your seminary and diocese for $100 each. All Registration Fees are Non-Refundable.

The Foundation pays for the balance of the costs for attendance at the conference which are approximately $1,500, including travel to and from the Roslyn Center, Richmond, VA (follow this link for more information: 


2017 Pre-Conference Timeline

                       January 2017    Nominations made and nominees contacted.

                       February – March 15, 2017    Seminarians register, including $100 contribution.

                       Sermons Due March 15, 2017

                       March 1 - March 31, 2017 OR upon completion of registration, payment and sermon submission. Participants                            contact EPF to complete travel arrangements.

                       March 2017  EPF Mails to participants: Participant Manual on “Experiencing Forgiveness: Six Practical Session                          for Becoming a More Forgiving Christian” and 2 books (Forgiving and Reconciling: Bridges to Wholeness and                          Hope and The Power of Forgiving by Dr. E. Worthington). 

                       April 2017    Pre-Conference Forgiveness Assessments sent to faculty and participants.

Guidelines for Student Travel

The Episcopal Preaching Foundation will be responsible for your travel arrangements. If you chose to make your own bookings or do not follow the guidelines EPF will not be responsible for any travel payments to you. Please review the travel options listed here.

Contact the EPF’s Associate Program Director (APD) for advance booking and work with the APD to complete your travel arrangements eight weeks prior to the start of PEP (for 2017 this deadline is Friday, March 31st).

 EPF is not responsible for meals or snacks during travel or sabbatical time, nor transport to/from your home to the airport or airport parking. If you have any questions or a special circumstance that requires consideration, please contact the APD. Email: or call 973-376-6014.

Air or Train Travel

Whenever possible, the least expensive flight or train ticket will be booked.   The APD will book your airfare or train fare from your home or seminary, returning to same place. If you request an alternate pick up or drop off point, EPF will only be responsible for the airfare or train fare amount that it would have cost had you traveled to and from either your home or seminary, as determined by the APD.  Travel from anywhere other than the lower forty-eight states will be booked for a value of up to $700.The cost of checked luggage is your responsibility.


If you chose to drive your own vehicle you must be accompanied by at least one other conference passenger. Alternately, if you are unable to recruit a passenger the reimbursement is set at 50%. Mileage will be reimbursed according the IRS guidelines for business travel. The expense of gas is included in the IRS mileage reimbursement. If your actual mileage cost exceeds the cost of a standard advance airfare or train fare ticket amount from your home or seminary that is the amount that will be reimbursed, not actual miles driven.  Your expected mileage and your passenger(s) should be identified and this information emailed to the APD for approval (by March 31, 2017).

 Ground Transportation

Arrival at Airport.

All transfers from an airport to the conference center will be arranged by the APD.  There will be  a series of shuttle buses taking you from the airport to the conference center. You will be provided with directions to a designated meeting area (PEP signs will be posted) in the airport, where an EPF representative will be waiting to direct you to the shuttle bus. You must arrive at the airport before the last shuttle bus departs for the conference center.

Individually arranged transfers such as taxis will not be reimbursed by the EPF.  For example, if a student decides to arrive later than the last shuttle bus the student will be responsible for the cost of transfer to the conference center.  If a flight is significantly delayed and your arrival is later than the departure time of the last shuttle bus, you must contact the APD immediately upon arrival to gain advance approval for reimbursement of alternate travel and to give the APD an opportunity to arrange for shared taxis.  No car rentals will be reimbursed.

 Departure to Airport.

Shuttle buses will be scheduled to transport you from the conference center to the airport on Friday, June 2. A shuttle bus schedule will be posted with your boarding assignment based on the time of your departure.

Arrival and Departure at the Train Station.

Transportation to and from the train is usually done by car with an EPF representative driving you. Check with the APD to confirm the time and method of transportation.  

 Expense Reimbursements

Please remember that the EPF is a non-profit organization and needs to be fiscally responsible at all times.  We need your help to achieve this goal. Expense reimbursements are made after the successful completion of the program. Reimbursement will be made for such items as approved emergency transportation and mileage as described above.

Check with the APD to avoid any confusion regarding expense coverage. Original copies of expense reports and receipts send in and postmarked no later than Friday, June 9th.  No reimbursements will be made if received after that date.