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Disentangling Assessment Practices in the Introductory Preaching Class

Awarded Grant
Helsel, Carolyn
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological School

Learning Abstract :
My project, entitled "Disentangling Assessment Practices in the Introductory Preaching Class," aimed to pull apart the various components of assessment that take place in the homiletics classroom: evaluating sermon quality, giving feedback to students on their preaching, and grading students' work. In the past, the confluence of these three markers of assessment has lead to cross-purposes. I wanted students to feel less pressure when preaching, since the act of sermon creation and delivery can be more stressful than other seminary assignments, and because I wanted them to rely more heavily on the wisdom of their own preaching traditions. Worrying about a grade from me, I reasoned, placed undo emphasis on my own criteria for good preaching, rather than allowing the students to seek out advice from preachers whom they have learned from in the past.
Wabash Center