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The Department of the Church's Ministry

The Department of the Church's Ministry engages in practical theology, which consists of critical and constructive theological reflection on the practices of the community of faith. God calls people through the church to engage in a number of diverse practices in the course of Christian ministry. This department organizes these practices into the following areas: Christian Education, Leadership and Administration, Mission and Evangelism, Pastoral Care, and Preaching and Worship. Each of these areas of theological inquiry finds its roots in scripture, its foundational doctrines articulated within the tradition, its practices changing throughout history, and its methods in conversation with the social sciences. Consequently through biblical and historical study, theological analysis, and interdisplinary dialogue, this department assists students to gain the understanding and skills necessary to being faithful participants in the ministry of the church.


To view videos from each of the professors in the department, click on their "profiles" below.

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Rev. Dr. Jennifer Lord

Faculty Information
Location(s) McMillan Building
Department(s) Church's Ministry Department, Faculty
Title(s) The Dorothy B. Vickery Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies
Contact Information
School Phone
Other Information

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Listen to Dr. Lord's sermons here



AB, Albion College, 1986, magna cum laude, Ancient Studies

MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1989

PhD, Graduate Theological Union, 2003, Homiletics and Liturgical Studies, Dissertation: “The Sermon in the Ordo: Toward the Recovery of a Liturgical Homiletic for the Reformed Tradition”



The Reverend Dr. Jennifer L. Lord is The Dorothy B. Vickery Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She joined the faculty in 2005. Previously she was assistant professor of Preaching and Worship and Dean of the Chapel at Lancaster Theological Seminary and served pastorates in Nebraska and Upstate New York.  She was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1990 in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 

Dr. Lord received a BA in English Literature and Ancient Studies from Albion College (1986) where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She received the MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary (1989) and the PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in co-operation with the University of California, Berkeley (2003).  

Her work focuses on liturgical theology informing preaching, presiding/worship leadership, spirituality, and renewal of Sunday worship practices.  In addition, and in relation to these liturgical foci, she researches and presents on pilgrimage, liminality studies, and women’s voice in preaching and liturgical leadership. 

Current book projects include: Pilgrimage: A Lenten Devotional; The Sunday Sermon: A Liturgical Homiletic; Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary; Walk It Out: Pilgrimage, Liminality, and Meaning; and Another Year With the Orthodox: Questions for a Liturgical Spirituality.  Her book Finding Language and Imagery: Words for Holy Speech (Fortress Press, Elements of Preaching Series) was published in 2009 and is forthcoming for the Chinese Christian Literature Conference. She was a contributing author for New Proclamation on Feasts, Holy Days and Other Celebrations (Augsburg Fortress, 2007). 

In addition to articles in a number of journals including Studia Liturgica, Liturgy, Interpretation, Call to Worship, and “Living by the Word” for The Christian Century, and chapters on liturgy and preaching including “Choreography in the Worship Space” and “Presiding Basics,” Worship Matters: Sourcebook for Worship Leaders (Abingdon, 2014), “Sacraments and Preaching,” New Interpreters Bible Handbook of Preaching (Abingdon, 2008), “On Preaching: Some Affirmations and Admonitions,” Best Advice for Pastors and Preachers (Westminster John Knox, 2008), she writes for various lectionary-based preaching resources including Sundays and Seasons: Preaching 2015, (Abingdon, 2014),  New Interpreters Theological Companion to the Lectionary (Abingdon, 2012), Preaching Social Justice and Transformation: A Lectionary Commentary (Abingdon, 2011), and Feasting on the Word (Westminster John Knox, 2009).  She is an Editorial Board Member for the new Westminster John Knox Revised Common Lectionary Commentary Series, Connections.  She also serves as an Editorial Advisory Board member for the revision of the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship.

Dr. Lord is active in her academic guilds. She has served collectively over a decade on the executive boards of the Academy of Homiletics and the North American Academy of Liturgy. In January 2016 she was elected by the membership of NAAL to the office of Vice-President and will serve as President for the 2018 meeting in Vancouver, B.C. She is also a member of Societas Liturgica, the international society for the study and renewal of worship. 

She has walked over 1500 miles in 3 countries on the network of trails that are the Camino - the Compostela, the Way of St. James - and these travels undergird her work in pilgrimage and liminality studies.  In June 2013 she led a group of students, alumns, and administrative colleagues on the Austin Seminary travel seminar, The Way of St. James: On the Pilgrimage Trail and looks forward to leading that seminar in the future.  Married to an Orthodox Christian, her participation in the Byzantine Rite continues to inform her comparative analysis of practices including ritual performance, hymnography, preaching, chant, liturgical calendar and its celebrations, the catechumenate, marriage, funeral, and ordination rites, sacramental enactment, morning and evening prayer, and the Sunday Liturgy.  

Dr. Lord has served as acting associate dean for Academic Affairs at Austin Seminary and led the efforts to establish Austin Seminary’s Master of Arts in Ministry Practice degree (MAMP) and the Certificate In Ministry program (CIM - the seminary’s initial online education offering) and served as faculty member of the Board of Trustees.  She is passionate about teaching and about scholars who think about teaching. She has benefited from the Wabash Center's Workshops and Small Project Grants and is a participant and presenter at events convened by the Association for Theological Schools.  Dr. Lord travels nationally as a conference leader, consultant, and liturgist/preacher.

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