PLTS Profiles – Faculty

Dr. Tom Rogers—Professor of Homiletics

For thirteen years I was fortunate to serve as a Lutheran parish pastor. The scariest part of my job was stepping into the pulpit each week, knowing that how well I had prepared and preached would have a direct impact on people’s connection to God that day. Granted, the spirit of God is fully involved in the process, and not everything hangs on what the preacher does; nonetheless, the reality I experience is that poorly crafted and presented sermons seldom bring me to a transcendent engagement with God, even though the spirit of God is always “on duty.”

Now, as a professor of homiletics at PLTS, I teach students how to prepare before stepping into pulpits. I am involved in helping to shape preachers who will preach for decades to thousands upon thousands of people, some of whom have yet to be born. And since PLTS is part of the Graduate Theological Union, I have the privilege of working with other GTU homileticians in offering a PhD program in homiletics. As part of this program, I end up having at least some influence on new homileticians who go on to teach other students who then stand in pulpits around the world. Some of my previous doctoral students are now teaching at seminaries in countries I have never even visited! It is, in fact, a very good thing that the spirit of God is always “on duty,” for with the spirit’s help I am able to move through fear boldly to embrace this rare privilege with which I have been entrusted. With hard work and God’s help I have the awesome opportunity to play at least a small part in helping tens of thousands of sermon hearers to have a powerful experience of God’s love as it is in Jesus Christ. It’s impossible for me to imagine having a job that could be scarier...or better.