Funded by the Lilly Endowment and Vanderbilt Divinity School, this program is established in honor of David Buttrick, whose teaching career at Vanderbilt was dedicated to excellence in preaching. The program was created by Dale P. Andrews and John S. McClure, who piloted the approach several years ago as a “homiletic supervision” program, honing the teaching method and model.

The goals of the program are twofold:

  1. To train and certify preaching coaches who are skilled in running small peer-groups focused on the practice of preaching
  1. To offer a unique peer-group experience to preachers.

For this reason, participation in the program occurs at two levels:

  1. For those interested in becoming a preaching coach
  2. For those interested in joining a peer-group



Faculty, Field Supervisors, and Mark Guliano (Program Evaluator)














John McClure, Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship, Vanderbilt Divinity School


Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Alvin F. Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship, Bethany Theological Seminary










Amy E. Steele headshot

Amy Steele, Assistant Dean for Student Life, Ph.D. in Ethics and Homiletics, Vanderbilt


Evon Flesberg, Assistant Professor for the Practice of Pastoral Theology and Counseling, Vanderbilt Divinity School











Ann Diebert

Ann Diebert, Co-pastor, Central Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY, Certificate in Homiletical Supervision, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Certificate in Spiritual Direction, San Francisco Theological Seminary


Noel Schoonmaker, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Ph.D. Homiletics and Liturgics, Vanderbilt Divinity School














To serve our program goals and learning methods, Vanderbilt Divinity School has built the new, multi-room David G. Buttrick Homiletics Lab


 This lab includes:

A seminar room equipped with video cameras and media aids where peer-groups meet as coaches are trained. This room also functions as an observation room where faculty and other coaches-in-training convene during training sessions and observe/review on a flat screen what is transpiring during coaching sessions. Much of the laboratory supervision and learning are done using this “fish-bowl” method

Seminar/Observation Room

 A seminar room designed for didactics on homiletic method, group process, and the art of peer-coaching, equipped also for video recording of preaching and one-on-one coaching training.

Seminar Room

 An office and monitor station for reviewing sermon and training session recordings.  

Monitor Room


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