Dr. Stephen Smith, Dean of Faculty, presenting an award to Andrea Arsen, a seminarian at Church Divinity School of the Pacific

What’s not to LOVE about PEP? This year was no exception with The Diocese of Virginia’s Roslyn Retreat Center at capacity hosting 56 seminarians from 17 centers of learning in the US and Canada, supported by 13 faculty, with 9 EPF Board Members and staff. Although the core of PEP is a week-long series of small preaching groups, some memorable moments included talks by Previous Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori; Bishop Neil Alexander, Dean of Sewanee; Bishop “Chip” Stokes; and Jonathan Merritt, author of Learning to Speak God From Scratch. The Closing Eucharist held at All Saints, Richmond was celebrated by Susan Goff, Bishop and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Virginia. In addition to vivid memories, amplified erudition, and new connections, this year’s attendees received a Certificate of Completion framed to grace any wall of a future rectory. Read Courtney Taylor’s account of her PEP week. Also take a look at what happend at PEP this year.


Dr. Tom Long presenting to the students at PEP-II

Clergy attending this year’s PEP-II at Trinity Retreat Center, West Cornwall, CT were privileged to spend three days in the presence of seasoned professors and practitioners who included preaching legend Prof. Tom Long whose career-long wisdom was delivered with a practiced mix of humility, passion, and humor.

One participant who had attended PEP as a seminarian only the previous year was moved to share:
“Both PEP programs have absolutely transformed my preaching, and I hear almost every week from someone in my growing church who feels that the preaching is one reason they keep coming back. There is a direct link between the work EPF is doing and the ability of the churches they have touched with that work to flourish and grow.” – PEP-II participant, 2019

To see more pictures of PEP-II, visit our album.

As a reminder, attendance at all EPF conferences is heavily subsidized by the EPF to ensure that finances are never a disqualifier from attending. This largesse is funded through the generosity of our donors. You can view a schedule of these costs on our website.