The Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching
This week’s Ockenga Institute blog is highlighting The Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching. The goal of the Center for Preaching is to equip pastors and lay preachers to communicate God’s word effectively.
Dr. Matthew Kim, Associate Professor of Preaching and Ministry and Director of Mentored Ministry, operates as the Director of the Robinson Center. Dr. Kim is author of eight publications, has over a decade of preaching experience, and serves on the editorial board for The Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society. He and his wife have three children.
Dr. Patricia Batten, Ranked Adjunct Assistant Professor of Preaching, serves as the Associate Director for the Robinson Center. Dr. Batten has authored three publications, has a history of pastoring in the local church, and is a mother to three boys and one girl. She also authors a series of blog posts at patbatten.com/blog.
Dr. Jeff Arthurs, Dean of the Hamilton campus, resides as the Haddon W. Robinson Professor of Preaching and Communication. Dr. Arthurs is author of three publications, one of which, Preaching as Reminding, was recognized with the 2019 Book of the Year Award by Christianity Today. Dr. Arthurs serves as interim pastor in a local church, and he and his wife have 1 son.
Under the leadership of Dr. Kim, Dr. Batten, and Dr. Arthurs the Center for Preaching fulfills its goal through current initiatives such as:
- The Big Idea Group – Twice per semester, one of the preaching faculty conduct an hour-long discussion of a chosen passage’s exegetical idea and how to explore and preach it.
- The Preachers’ Book Club – Participants read and discuss the latest influential resources related to homiletics and write responses and sermons based on the readings.
- The Preachers’ College – Lay members who occasionally preach in their churches receive training in basic homiletic principals.
- Preaching Points Podcast – Faculty deliver a bi-weekly podcast that provides brief reflection on preaching to develop preaching excellence.
- Pulpit Supply – When local churches’ pastors go on break or are transitioning elsewhere, this unique program provides fill-in preachers from Gordon-Conwell’s students and faculty.
- Sermon Doctor Rx – Pastors looking for professional feedback can submit their sermons (audio or print) to the Center for Preaching.
Additionally, the Center for Preaching is working on developing online subscription courses to teach an even broader audience how to be effective preachers. The estimated completion date for this project is late 2021.
Each of these initiatives is testament to the lasting legacy of Haddon W. Robinson, the Center’s namesake and former Gordon-Conwell president and professor. Named one of Christianity Today’s top 10 “Most Influential Preachers of the Past 50 years,” he also received the E.K. Bailey “Living Legend Award” and was named one of the “25 Most Influential Preachers of the Last 25 years” by Preaching Magazine. In addition, he worked in television on the program “Film Festival” and in radio on “Discover the World.” While all these accolades are truly noteworthy, perhaps nothing represents Haddon Robinson more than these words from Center Associate Director Dr. Batten:
“When it came to preaching, Haddon was at the top. When it came to love, he was at the tippy top. Love is crucial to preaching. And that is why he was a great preacher. It was because he was loving. I knew I’d learn how to preach from Haddon. What I didn’t know is that I’d learn how to love.”
This is the Center for Preaching’s hope: that pastors and lay preachers will communicate God’s word effectively because of their training and their love, like Haddon Robinson.