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Empowering Transformational Leaders: The Impact of the Livingstone College Preaching and Worship Institute


The Livingstone College Preaching and Worship Institute has made a profound impact on theological education and ministry development, not only within its immediate community but also on a broader scale. Building upon the concept first introduced by the A.M.E. Zion Board of Bishops’ Preaching Institute held on the campus of Livingstone College several years ago, President Anthony Davis, Rev. Lloyd Nivens, IV, Campus Minister, and their outstanding team launched the 2024 Livingstone College Preaching and Worship Institute with a commitment to equipping individuals for effective ministry through the art of preaching and worship. The Institute stands as a beacon of excellence in its holistic approach to theological, sociological, and practical ministry training. By integrating practical ministry experience, relevant training sessions, and powerful worship encounters, the gathering prepares students not only to understand scriptural concepts but also to apply them in real-world ministry settings. This emphasis on praxis ensures that participants are not only knowledgeable scholars but also skilled practitioners who can effectively serve their communities. 

According to one of the keynote speakers, Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart, “Livingstone’s commitment to bridging theory and practice ensures that students are dually aligned in orthodoxy-upholding the tenets and fundamental truths of the faith and orthopraxy, putting those beliefs into action. This holistic approach results in well-rounded practitioner-scholars who are equipped with both theological knowledge and practical skills to make a meaningful difference in the church and the world while navigating the complexities of ministry with confidence, wisdom, and compassion.

The Institute's commitment to diversity and inclusion was demonstrated by both the presenters and the attendees. Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, General Secretary and President of the National Council of Churches, USA, opened the Institute with a powerfully prophetic message. Dr. Gina M. Stewart, Pastor of Christ Missionary Baptist Church, Memphis, TN, and President of Lott Carey Mission Convention, challenged our minds and set our hearts aflame with her profound and passionate preaching. Dr. Charles E. Goodman, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, GA, offered key insights into the current cultural realities and effective ministry approaches. Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr. closed the Preaching Institute with a timely and challenging sermon that was the capstone for a transformational experience. During the closing worship service, the members of the inaugural class of The Right Reverend Alfred G. Dunston College of Preachers were inducted. 

The Livingstone College Preaching and Worship Institute has the potential to become all the more instrumental in fostering innovation and creativity in our understanding of scripturally grounded and justice-oriented preaching, teaching, and worship. Through its emphasis on the arts of preaching and worship, the Institute encourages students to explore new ways of communicating the timeless truths of the Gospel. By embracing the power of storytelling, music, and visual arts in ministry, students are equipped to engage with congregations in meaningful and transformative ways. 

The institute's emphasis on social justice and community engagement sets it apart as a leader in ministry leadership education. By challenging students to confront issues of injustice and inequality both within and outside the church, the Institute empowers future ministers to be agents of change in their communities. Through partnerships with local organizations and ministries, students have the opportunity to put their faith into action and make a tangible difference in the lives of those they serve. 

In conclusion, the Livingstone College Preaching and Worship Institute has had a profound impact on the pastors, ministers, lay leaders, and students with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to be effective leaders in today's world. As it continues to shape the next generation of church leaders, the Institute will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy of positive change and transformation in the world.

About the authors:

Dr. Antonio L. Ellis is a senior professorial lecturer and director of the Institute on Education Equity and Justice at the American University School of Education in Washington, DC. 

Bishop W. Darin Moore is the Presiding Prelate of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District and one of the inaugural inductees into The Right Reverend Alfred G. Dunston College of Preachers.


Livingstone College Preaching and Worship Institute, President Anthony Davis, Preaching


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