Course Modules in Preaching - More Ideas for Assignments on Work

Seminary Curriculum / Produced by TOW Project

Here are more sample assignments to help inspire fresh thinking about how to incorporate a concern for vocation, flourishing and economic justice in a seminary course on Preaching.

Sermon Illustrations Straight Out of The Workplace

Require students to develop and preach a sermon in which all the illustrative material is drawn from workplace contexts. If possible, encourage the student to visit members of their congregation in their workplace to help give context to the sermon. Afterwards, have a conversation or assign short reflection questions about their experience:

  1. How did this illuminate the biblical text for them?
  2. How was it similar to, and different from, their usual sermon preparation?
  3. Did they have any surprise learnings from the experience?

Work-Themed Sermon Critique

Ask students to:

  1. Read and critique one of the work-focused sermons on the TOW Project page. What do they admire and find useful about the exegesis, structure, and illustrations? What would they change? How could the sermon be adapted to their own setting?
  2. Write their own sermon on the given passage in light of their study of the TOW Project sermon.

Preach on a Work-themed Passage of Scripture

Ask students to prepare a topical, a narrative and an expository sermon on a passage focusing on work and vocation.  Here are possible scriptures. Links go to the Theology of Work Project Commentary on each passage:

If possible, the students should preach one of the three sermons in the field and reflect on the experience. 

Pick a sermon, pick it apart

Ask students to critique a sermon related to the topic of work. (This link leads to over 40 sermons from the Theology of Work Project and The High Calling that discuss work.) How does the preacher approach the text? What aspects of their exegesis do you agree with? What would you have done differently? What other illustrations can you think of which illumine the biblical text the preacher chose?