The 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed a resolution in July commemorating the 35th anniversary of the EPF and honoring founder Dr. A. Gary Shilling, commending his ongoing support of preaching excellence (see page 10 for the complete resolution and text).
Since 1987, EPF has become a leading resource for preachers across all orders of the Episcopal Church, nurturing over 1,800 seminarians including two Presiding Bishops as well as thousands of post-ordained clergy. In 2021, with a grant from Trinity Church Wall Street, EPF inaugurated a two-year lay preacher training program.
Founder and Chairman Gary Shilling is an economic consultant, registered investment advisor and columnist for Forbes Magazine, Bloomberg View, and other publications. Thirty-five years ago, he founded EPF and still Chairs the Board of the Foundation.
The signature EPF program— The Preaching Excellence Program (PEP 1)— is open to Episcopal and Anglican seminarians in the US and Canada and future clergy studying in diocesan formation programs. Similarly, PEP 2 provides an opportunity for practicing clergy to spend dedicated time with their peers to focus on their preaching.
Building on this firm foundation through new partnerships, EPF has addressed the needs of other constituencies, to add Diocesan Clergy Conferences, Preaching Conferences for Armed Forces Chaplains, Hispanic Clergy, Deacons, and a Seminary preaching intensive module that was inaugurated in 2019 at Candler School of Theology. In 2020 EPF created a three year self-study Homiletics Curriculum for future clergy studying in the 32 dioceses adopting the Iona Collaborative curriculum of Seminary of the Southwest.
The Foundation’s most recently added program is the Lay Preacher Training Initiative described on page four. Funded by a grant from Trinity Church Wall Street, this two-year program in a pilot test in six dioceses promises to add a much-needed cohort of professionally-trained lay preachers to any diocese, to place a trained preacher in the pulpit of under-resourced parishes, and to add new and different voices from the community to the pulpit of larger parishes.
This breadth of ministry is made possible by the extended faculty of over 50 outstanding parish leaders and seminary faculty who are at the core of EPF’s ability to continue delivering at a high level across these varied constituencies.
The Episcopal Preaching Foundation is 35 and is moving creatively and with energy into the future.
The Rev. Canon Charles Cesaretti is President of the Board of The Episcopal Preaching Foundation.