Episcopal Preaching Foundation names William Brosend as acting program director

September 14, 2010

The Episcopal Preaching Foundation has named the Rev. Dr. William Brosend, associate professor of homiletics at the School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee, as acting program director.

Brosend will remain a full-time member of the Sewanee faculty, and continue as advisor to the school's doctor of ministry in preaching program. A member of the foundation's board since 2007, Brosend has helped lead the expansion of its work to include national and diocesan conferences for clergy, and has served on the faculty of the foundation's annual Preaching Excellence Program for seminarians.

The Episcopal Preaching Foundation is an independent foundation formed in 1981 to improve and enhance preaching in the Episcopal Church. In addition to the Preaching Excellence Program, the foundation provides resources and encouragement to preachers at all levels throughout the church.

Brosend's appointment was effective Sept. 1 and comes after the departure of the Rev. Michael Morgan as the foundation's executive director. The newly created acting program director position will aid the transition after Morgan's departure.

"The foundation board thanks Mike for his service to the preachers of the Episcopal Church and wishes him well in his future ministry," Gary Shilling, foundation founder and board chair, said in a press release.

"The appointment of Bill Brosend as acting program director recognizes the tremendous work he is doing to expand the foundation's activities," Shilling said. "He spearheaded our rapidly growing program of diocesan preaching conferences for parish priests and also established our National Episcopal Preaching Conferences.

The Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold, the 25th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, who worked with Brosend on the 2010 National Episcopal Preaching Conference at Kanuga, said that Brosend's appointment as acting program director is "a welcome sign of the foundation's continuing and expanding service to members of the clergy and the people to whom they preach."

A priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, Brosend was ordained in 2005 following more than twenty years of ordained ministry in the American Baptist Churches. A graduate of Denison University (B.A.), Vanderbilt Divinity School (M.Div.), and the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), he is the author or co-author of five books, most recently The Preaching of Jesus (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). He has contributed articles, chapters and essays for The Christian Century, Interpretation, and the New Interpreters Bible Dictionary, among many others. He serves on the editorial board of the new Feasting on the Gospels series, to be published by Westminster John Knox Press.

"I have enjoyed working with Dr. Gary Shilling and the board of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation for the last three years," Brosend said in the release. "This is a crucial moment in the life and work of the foundation, particularly with the closing of the Cathedral College in Washington, D.C. -- the need for continuing education in preaching after seminary is very real, and we are ready to meet that need, while continuing the great tradition of PEP for seminarians, and expanding our work with the seminaries themselves."

The Very Rev. William Stafford, dean of the School of Theology, enthusiastically endorsed Brosend's appointment.

"Nothing is more important in the church's life than profound and effective preaching of the Gospel," he said. "Developing sound preaching skills is a top priority for the School of Theology at Sewanee. That is why Dr. Brosend, a full-time New Testament scholar devoting himself to building up the church's preaching, is at the heart of Sewanee's faculty. Our students have benefited from their work with PEP. That is why we welcome the opportunity to share in the wider mission of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation through this extension of Dr. Brosend's leadership."

Brosend will lead the foundation's preaching conferences for the Diocese of Missouri Sept. 28-30 and for the Diocese of West Texas Oct. 25-27. The 2011 National Episcopal Preaching Conference will again be held at the Kanuga Conference Center March 21-24. The theme is "Preaching the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus," and keynote speakers include Richard Lischer, Amy-Jill Levine, Cynthia Kittredge and Marcus Borg.