A Vision for Preaching: the Heart of Pastoral Ministry

Alumni Spotlight

What exactly constitutes preaching, and what is it intended to accomplish? In these days when preachers have to compete with the latest in technology and the ultimate in media, when they have to battle the trends of culture and the apathy of a new generation, a fresh look at preaching, the heart of the pastor’s calling, is essential.

And that is what Abe Kuruvilla intends to do—propose a vision for preaching: what preachers (and churches) can aim for as a goal to move towards. In other words, his vision for preaching is a recommended trajectory, a momentum to develop, a road to travel. By mining church history, teasing out connections, sifting through biblical theology, tackling some existing misunderstandings, and exploring some significantly new terrain, Kuruvilla will attempt to portray a full-orbed vision for preaching in his Griffith-Thomas Lectures this year at Dallas Theological Seminary (February 3–6, 2015).

His aim is to give both current and future pastors a clear conception of what it means to preach. The various elements that necessarily constitute the activity of preaching—developed as a vision—will encourage and stimulate both practicing preachers and seminary students, helping them keep their bearings and move forward in this vital aspect of pastoral ministry. Kuruvilla’s ideas will invigorate them to persist, earnestly and faithfully, in their divinely ordained offices to proclaim the word of God to the people of God for the glory of God.

In this year’s Griffith-Thomas Lectures, Kuruvilla will depict the entirety of the sermonic task as a big picture, and show how it fits in with pastoral ministry, how it reflects  pericopal, biblical, and systematic theology, how it plays a role in spiritual formation and discipleship, and how it furthers the glory of God. His “Vision for Preaching” lectures are part of a larger endeavor; a book version (A Vision for Preaching: Understanding the Heart of Pastoral Ministry, Baker) is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2015.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015          A Vision for Preaching: Importance

Wednesday, February 4, 2015   A Vision for Preaching: Impact

Thursday, February 5, 2015       A Vision for Preaching: Implications 1

Friday, February 6, 2015              A Vision for Preaching: Implications 2


Abraham Kuruvilla is Professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is Indian by ethnicity, but was born in Kuwait where his father was working. He has a medical degree from the University of Kerala in India, a PhD in immunology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and took his dermatology residency at Boston University School of Medicine. He then moved on to theological education, obtaining a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland. He says he’s done with formal education now.

These days, Dr. Kuruvilla centers his ministry around the art and science of preaching: exploring preaching through research and scholarship, explaining preaching by training the next generation of church leaders, and exemplifying preaching in regular pulpit engagements in the US and elsewhere. He has also served as the President of the Evangelical Homiletics Society, and has written several preaching commentaries, focusing on the hermeneutics of homiletics. He has also served as interim preacher of a number of churches in Texas and in Massachusetts.

Dr. Kuruvilla is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and he maintains an active clinical schedule seeing patients and taking care of their skin, hair, and nails! 

Single by choice, he also has a special interest in the theology of Christ-centered singleness and celibacy.

He blogs regularly at www.homiletix.com.