How do we connect God’s mission, and therefore the mission of the church, with the culture in which we live and speak in ways that help people make sense of their lives and their purpose through the lens of the Gospel? How can our words as preachers help others follow Jesus’ Way of Love more closely? How can we equip people to share their transformed lives in a way that opens a generous door into faith and Christian community?
“Witness[ing] to the way of Love changes the witness, changes those who witness the witness, and changes the world in which the witness is made.”
(Michael B. Curry, Songs My Grandma Sang [Church Publishing: New York, 2015], 117.)
What You’ll Learn
The course will introduce you to the practice of missional preaching and specifically:
- What we can observe and integrate from scripture about preaching the gospel in a secular context that leads to transformation,
- How we can connect with our people in ways that deepen discipleship but make no assumptions about what they know,
- The impact of sharing our authentic selves and our own faith journey, and
- The critical significance of connecting head and heart.
How It Works
Join our instructor, Bishop Susan Bell, and an engaged learning community of fellow leaders and missional practitioners live online and in online forums.
- Participate in eight two-hour sessions with Bishop Susan and the learning community.
The learning community will meet weekly on Tuesday mornings, 10:00a – 12:00p, February 8 – March 29.
- Practice in your context.
During the course you will be encouraged to apply your learning in your context in order to deepen and connect the practice of preaching in your context.
- Reflect within the learning community.
Your new knowledge and experience will become even more meaningful when shared with other learning practitioners like yourself. You will use the online forums between sessions and break-out sessions within learning community gatherings to further integrate your learning.
Meet the Teacher-Practitioner
The Right Reverend Susan J. A. Bell
Bishop Susan Bell is the current bishop of Niagara—and she loves to preach! She also loves to study scripture and the ways that it bisects, directs, and shapes the lived reality of believers. She’s a lifelong learner and enjoys the study of culture, and the history of the church. Before the privilege of serving as the diocesan bishop of Niagara, Bishop Susan was the Canon Missioner for the Diocese of Toronto, and before that, the Chaplain of Havergal College and Associate Priest at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as being Honorary Associate at the Cathedral of St. James in Toronto. She now serves as the provincial and national ACPO Bishop; as a member of the ACC/UCC Bilateral Dialogue; as a member of the National Standing Committee on Religious Orders and is the Episcopal Visitor for the SRC and Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit.
She loves literature and poetry, and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto. Her thesis subject is priest and poet George Herbert and his seventeenth-century pastoral manual, The Countrey Parson. Susan is married to Tom, the Music Director at St. James’ Cathedral in Toronto, and together they have four children whom they love very much and are very proud of.
Susan is captivated by God’s dream for us of a new heaven and a new earth and is committing her life to trying to live and work that dream out in a church she also loves. As a result, her long-standing interest in and promotion of missional and contextual preaching is deeper than ever in this post-secular and digital age.