The 39th Annual Sermon Seminar will be held on May 24-26, 2021 at Lipscomb University Austin Center.
Known as a “roll-up-your-sleeves-and-go-to-work seminar,” it has become a haven for preachers, ministers, Bible class teachers, and church leaders from across the country and various places around the world to enhance their biblical knowledge, work on their preaching and teaching skills, worship together, and be strengthened by Christian brothers and sisters.
The Sermon Seminar at Lipscomb University Austin Center is committed to encouraging preaching and teaching which are:
- Drawn from responsible biblical interpretation
- Based on faithful theological inquiry
- In keeping with the Restorationist vision
- Challenging and helpful to the church
- Appropriate for the contemporary cultural setting
2021 Speakers & Topics
Curt Niccum, Preaching from the Gospel of John
Dr. Curt Niccum is a professor in the College of Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University with a unique background in ancient manuscripts. He has worked on several international collaborations including the Dead Sea Scrolls Project (for which he edited one of the scrolls of Daniel), the International Greek New Testament Project (for which he collated manuscripts), and the International Project of the Text of Acts (for which he studied the origin of the Greek text underlying the Ethiopian version of the book). Niccum earned his bachelor’s degree from Lubbock Christian University in 1985, an M.Div. degree from ACU in 1992 and his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of Notre Dame.
Todd Still, Preaching from Thessalonians
Dr. Todd Still serves as The Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Dean and The William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. In addition to serving as Truett’s fifth dean since 2015, Todd teaches courses in New Testament Studies and Greek. Before coming to Truett in 2003, Todd taught at Gardner-Webb University’s School of Divinity in Boiling Springs, NC, where he occupied the Bob D. Shepherd Chair of New Testament Interpretation. Todd’s first academic appointment was at Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, TX, where he served from 1995-2000. He has also served as an Honorary University Fellow at the University of Exeter in Exeter, England (2008), and he served as a Barclay Fellow at the University of Glasgow in the spring of 2019.
Mark Lanier, Confessions of a Wanna-Be Preacher
Mark Lanier (JD, Texas Tech University) is a trial lawyer and founder of The Lanier Law Firm. His work for clients across the country is supported by firm offices in Houston, New York, and Los Angeles. U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers has named him to its Best Lawyers in America list every year since 2006. Thomson Reuters has listed him as a Texas Super Lawyer since 2003. Mark is the founder of the Lanier Theological Library, one of the nation’s largest private theological collections. He teaches a weekly, 700-plus-member Sunday school class focusing on Biblical Literacy at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston. Mark is also the founder of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, a nonprofit organization working to create a network of principled attorneys to minister to others through civic-minded endeavors.
Mark has published several books on faith. These include Christianity on Trial (IVP, 2014) and a daily devotional book titled Psalms for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom, and Guidance (Baylor University Press, 2016), the latter of which was awarded the 2018 Illumination Book Award in the Devotional category. He followed this up with Torah for Living (Baylor University Press, 2018). He also teaches a weekly, 750-plus-member Sunday school class focusing on biblical literacy at Champion Forest Baptist Church. Mark is the founder of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, a non-profit organization whose goal is to create a network of principled attorneys to minister to others through civic-minded endeavors.
Mark considers his greatest achievement to be his family. He is the father of five wonderful children and lives in Houston with his wife, Becky.
John Mark Hicks, The Bible We Peach - The Glasses We Wear
John Mark Hicks teaches theology and history courses. He received his B.A. in Bible from Freed-Hardeman University (1977), his M.A.R. in Theological Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary (1980), his M.A. in Humanities from Western Kentucky University (1981) and his Ph.D. in Reformation and Post-Reformation Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary (1985). He has taught theology since 1982, including nine years at Harding University Graduate School of Religion (1991-2000). He has been at Lipscomb since 2000. He has ministered with churches in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Tennessee. He has published nine books and thirteen journal articles as well as contributed to nineteen other books. He has spoken in thirty-eight states and nineteen countries. He and his wife, Jennifer, have five living children and two deceased.
Randy Lowry, AGST-LUAC: The Rest of the Story
Connecting the university to the Nashville community is a hallmark of Dr. L. Randolph Lowry's presidency at Lipscomb University. He views the city of Nashville as the university's campus and the world as its classroom. Not long after his arrival on the Lipscomb campus in September 2005, Dr. Lowry proposed Lipscomb 2010, a $54 million plan to dramatically advance Lipscomb's academic programs and to invest in new campus facilities. As a result of Lipscomb 2010, a College of Pharmacy was established creating the first Lipscomb doctorate degree, 38 new undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs were developed and six new institutes were established in conflict management; sustainable practice; law, justice and society; Christian spirituality; corporate governance and integrity; and civic leadership.
Rhonda Lowry, AGST-LUAC: The Rest of the Story
Rhonda completed her M.Div. degree and has taught at Fuller Theological Seminary and Pepperdine University. She is also a fellow with the Institute for Christian Spirituality. Rhonda is a frequent speaker nationwide in programs dedicated to enabling Christians to know Jesus deeply and to serve him in the everyday places of their lives.
John Harp, Text to Sermon 2.0
John has been a minister at Sunset Ridge for 40 years. He has served in several other ministry roles at Sunset Ridge before becoming the Senior Minister in 2002. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Abilene Christian University. John is married to Necia (Sumrall) Harp, and they have two grown children: Clint and Jami. Along with John's love of ministry at Sunset Ridge and reaching out to other people to share the love of Jesus, he also enjoys wildflower gardening as well as hiking, backpacking and taking outdoor trips with his family.
David Heflin, Text to Sermon 2.0
David is the pulpit minister at Woodward Church of Christ in Woodward, OK. He has been in preaching ministry since August of 2004 and full-time ministry since August of 2000. David has been involved with the Let's Start Talking ministry in different capacities since 1999 when he took his first mission trip to Japan. Most recently I had been the pulpit minister in Portales, NM (2010-2017). David and his wife Katie and Dave have three kids (Josiah, Micah, and Rebekah).
Charlie Johanson, Text to Sermon 2.0
Charlie has been on staff at Brentwood Oaks since 2007. He started his work here by coordinating small groups and adult education, but in 2012 became our preaching minister. He loves the way BOCC is dedicated to spiritual formation as well as the hospitality and community here. Charlie loves to spend time with his wife, Julie, and their 2 children, as well as playing guitar, listening to vinyl records, shooting baskets, and lingering with friends at church and home groups. He says that reading the psalms on a daily basis has been a tremendous help to his faith, as well as being challenged by authors about ministry and preaching.
Writing about preachers of the ancient church, one church historian states: “[T]heir thinking was never far removed from the church’s worship…their intellectual work was always in service and praise and adoration of the one God…there was always a living community before their eyes.”
In similar recognition of the importance of worship for preaching, each day at the Seminar begins and ends with a period of worship.