Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible

Informing spiritual passions by…
Forming mentored learning communities, thereby…
Transforming ministers and ministries for a lifetime.

First Residency Dates: next intake for 20xx, dates TBA
Campus: South Hamilton & Off-Site
Primary Faculty Mentors: Dr. Jeff Arthurs, and More

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By re-discovering the Bible as a work of art and our Lord as an artist, we re-ignite our love of preaching in this track. Using John Stott’s metaphor of preaching as “standing between two worlds,” this track has one foot planted squarely in the world of the text and the other planted squarely in the world of the listeners. By studying the Bible using literary-rhetorical analysis, we discern the powerful communication dynamics the Lord inspired. This enables us to employ those same dynamics as we re-communicate the text to modern listeners. – Dr. Jeff Arthurs

If you have ever wrestled with the influence biblical literature should have upon Bible study and sermon form, Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible is for you. This track has heightened my sensitivity to the literary forms of the Bible, helped me to understand the rhetorical functions employed in biblical genres, and equipped me to preach literary-sensitive sermons that are culturally relevant. I wholeheartedly recommend this program to those desiring God’s Word to mold and influence their sermons from study to pulpit. – Michael Roth, DMin 2008


As a Doctor of Ministry student, you attend three two-week intensive residencies (seminars), one each year for three years. One of your residencies for this track will be held outside the United States.

You also complete projects following each of the three residencies, including a major thesis-project following the third residency. You read widely in books and periodicals, and your reading and research contribute to the residencies and to your current ministry.

Here is a sample reading list from the first residency:

  • Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Narrative. 2nd ed. New York: Basic, 2011.
  • Kuruvilla, Abraham. Privilege The Text! A Theological Hermeneutic for Preaching. Chicago: Moody, 2013.
  • Litfin, Duane. Public Speaking: A Handbook for Christians, 2 nd edition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992.
  • Miller, Calvin. The Sermon Maker: Tales of a Transformed Preacher. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002.
  • Robinson, Haddon. Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, 2nd edition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

To order these books through Christian Book Distributors, go to our online bookstore:

GCTS Bookstore


Here is how your studies will transform you and your ministry by seeking to fulfill our general Doctor of Ministry goals in some track-specific ways:

  • To resource students through a biblically-grounded educational program taught by faculty who are committed to God’s Word and the application of principles of Scripture to the issues of contemporary culture.
    • Students will learn to value creativity in preaching, particularly in seeing how biblical forms address contemporary hearers.
  • To form in students a sound foundation of theological and biblical inquiry in Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible that they are able to integrate into the life of Christian ministry.
    • Students will enhance exegetical skills through literary-rhetorical analysis of various biblical genres including narrative, proverb, parable, epistle, lyric poetry, and apocalypse.
  • To provide students with the skill sets and understandings in a specialized area of ministry to such an extent that they can impact their congregation or community more powerfully for God.
    • Students will master Robinson’s ten-stage process for developing expository sermons.
    • Hunter Barnes will participate in a residency and provide a presentation on Mark, His Word.
  • To create through the cohort model of the program a dimension of Christian community and spiritual nurturing so that students form strong friendships with one another and enter long-term relationships with the scholars who guide the learning experience.
    • Students will support fellow cohort members.
    • Students will preach within the residencies, creating a safe environment for honest feedback.
  • To develop in students a deeper understanding of Christ’s lordship in all areas of life for the common good of the contemporary world.
    • Students will depend on the Lord who uses his powerful Word to transform hearts.
  • To cultivate within students through critical reflection and careful research through the residencies and projects an enriched Christian witness in the places of society they are called to serve.
    • Students will gain the skills necessary to preach genre-sensitive sermons from the various genres studied.
  • To instill in students a refreshed view of their ministry as it relates to the proclamation of the Gospel among all people.
    • Students will improve their delivery so that the verbal and non-verbal components of communication support each other.
    • Students will gain a refreshed love of biblical literature and preaching.

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