Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module TMMC1081: Introduction to Preaching in the Contemporary World

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

TMMC1081: Introduction to Preaching in the Contemporary World

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • L4-10 Introduction to Preaching


  • To give students an introduction to the theology, theory and practice of preaching.
  • To enable students to apply their knowledge and understanding of Scripture, exegesis and hermeneutics to the art of preaching.
  • To develop an understanding of the relationship between preaching and ministry.
  • To raise students’ awareness of the importance of contemporary culture as the context for preaching and communication.
  • To begin to develop students’ skills and knowledge to sustain them as reflective practitioners in this area of public ministry.


  • This module provides opportunities to engage with key aspects of preaching including
  • The theology and theory of preaching.
  • Different models and forms of preaching and how to prepare.
  • The use of Scripture by the preacher.
  • The importance of rhetorical strategies.
  • Engaging with context.
  • Practical skills of delivery.
  • Handling difficult biblical texts.
  • Preaching, ministry and pastoral care.
  • Attention will be paid to how preaching is both a public practice and a private activity grounded in study, spirituality and expectations of both the preacher and the listeners.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Investigate and discuss knowledgeably different theological understandings of preaching and their role.
  • Describe and assess some rhetorical strategies in relation to a range of preaching contexts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Recognise the importance of – and how – knowledge of context and genre affect the interpretation of Scripture that shapes and informs preaching.
  • Demonstrate the use of some basic rhetorical strategies in different preaching contexts.
  • Reflect on practice, drawing on Scripture and engagement with the world to establish a self-aware sustainable preaching ministry.
Key Skills:
  • Identify, gather and evaluate source materials for a specific purpose.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to a given context, communicating sensitively and respectfully.
  • Carry out a guided task that involves: independent inquiry; management of time and resources; using IT; meeting deadlines; evaluating the task and learning from it.
  • Recognise key issues in their own personal and professional development.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching methods to be specified by each TEI, selecting from the following:
  • Lectures provide content, a conceptual framework and a survey of approaches within a subject area that enable students to locate their learning in a wider context, to make connections with other disciplines, and to evaluate and apply their learning to different contexts.
  • Seminars offer students an opportunity to present, evaluate and apply their knowledge to specific contexts, and to engage with teaching staff and peers in debate and reflection.
  • Small group learning creates an environment where students learn to articulate their knowledge and understanding effectively and in a way that is relevant to the group and its context.
  • Practical classes enable students to practice their ability to communicate a subject matter orally, creatively and appropriately and to learn from the feedback of teachers and peers.
  • Placements and/or work-based learning ensures that students make habitual connections between knowledge, understanding, skills, professional practice and the reality of a specific context, under the supervision of an experienced practitioner.
  • Programmed online learning materials guide students through knowledge content, its wider framework and different approaches to its application.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 11 1.75 19.25
Practical 1 1.75 1.75
Small Group Work 4 1.75 7
Placement 1 20 20
Personal Study 152
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Portfolio Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be expected to demonstrate engagement with the subject matter and the learning outcomes throughout the module by suitable formative assessments that encourage integrative and reflective skills. In gathered contexts this is likely to include group discussion and class presentations. In dispersed contexts, creating a portfolio and in both contexts, feedback on preaching by supervisors, congregations and peers.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University