Want to be a better homilist? Loyola University offers online preaching course

You may remember that they offered this course last year.  Deborah Wilhelm contacted me over the holidays to let me know she’s offering another chance to hone your skills from home, starting later this month.

Interested?  Details:


Preaching improvement entails practice–and expert and peer response to that practice.  Alternating instruction, conversation, practice and feedback, this 10-week course provides students, both lay and ordained, with a theology of and formation in preaching.  It includes preparation for and the work of preaching from a Roman Catholic perspective, in a variety of settings, and for an assortment of occasions. With enrollment limited to 12 students, it is available as a workshop, for graduate or certificate credit on its own or as part of a LIM certificate or degree.


Deborah Wilhelm received her D.Min. in preaching from the Aquinas Institute in St. Louis, MO. Her doctoral project, “Icons of the Word: The Contribution of Adult Learning Methods to Preaching Formation for Deacons and Laypersons,” explores the connections between education and formation and suggests a reflective, communal, practice-oriented approach to forming men and women as effective preachers.

Dr. Wilhelm is a faculty member at California Polytechnic State University in writing.  Her interest in preaching grew out of accompanying her husband through his deacon formation program, as a result of which she received a master’s degree from LIM.  She continues to serve on the deacon formation team in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey.  She preaches periodically in her parish, has conducted preaching workshops, including here at Loyola, and is at work with retired Bishop Sylvester Ryan on a book on the homiletical formation of deacons.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • articulate their vision of the role of the preacher in a variety of liturgical and non-liturgical environments;
  • appreciate the source and identity of the preaching charism for different kinds of preachers (for example, priest, deacon, or layperson);
  • synthesize the hermeneutical, exegetical, theological and pastoral dynamics of preaching;
  • locate, evaluate, and use appropriate homiletic resources to prepare for preaching;
  • Understand the role of the congregation in the preaching event and be able to effectively “exegete” the congregation;
  • Develop a reflective process of contemplation and inquiry for preaching preparation;
  • Practice preaching in a variety of situations and using a variety of styles;
  • Reflect on their own preaching and respond appropriately to the preaching of others; and
  • Form a community of preachers.


  • Course involves practice preaching.
  • Recorded practice preaching receives peer and instructor feedback.
  • Enrollment is limited to 12 students.
  • Course content includes carefully selected readings and professionally produced videos.
  • Online course requires two to three scheduled video meetings with the entire class.  Otherwise, classes involve facilitated threaded discussions that students can do on their own schedule each week.
  • Course is at the graduate level and available for workshop (no papers, will not appear on a transcript), certificate (no papers, will appear on transcript, can be used toward Loyola certificates), or graduate credit (involves a paper, can be used for Loyola or other graduate degrees).
  • Course can be taken on its own, as part of a LIM degree or certificate, or for transfer credit.
  • Regular LIM graduate, certificate, or workshop tuition applies.
  • Tech and space prerequisites:  Space for delivering practice homilies, equipment to record practice homilies, YouTube account, ability to learn how to upload video to YouTube.

Visit the link to learn more and to apply.

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