Western Theological Seminary

Dwell groups: peer groups for preachers

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Pastors live in that blessed, vulnerable, and complex place called the preaching life. They give themselves over to their congregation week after week. Perhaps you know what it is like to preach seemingly perfect sermons that fall over flat, and anemic sermons that bless the congregation richly.

This is the agonizing joy of preaching.

Through newly forming Preaching Peer Groups, pastors will find an important place: a drink from the well and a supportive cloud of witnesses. We want to bless preachers. And with the rich history of Bast Preaching Endowment at Western Theological Seminary and the newly awarded preaching grant from the Lilly Endowment we will be able to do just that.


One Purpose:

  • To ENGAGE the practice of preaching through the indwelling of scripture.
  • To ENCOURAGE one another through peer learning.
  • To ENHANCE preaching through group engagement with an online learning pathway and participation in two Bast Preaching Festivals.


Two Pathways:

Groups will kick off at the Bast Preaching Festival (November 9-10, 2014) at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, meet throughout the year, and conclude at the 2015 Bast Preaching Festival.

We offer two pathways:

  • Regionally based groups (forming in Holland, MI; Des Moines, IA; and San Francisco, CA). Groups will meet face to face each month and attend the Bast Preaching Festivals.
  • Geographically diverse groups will meet face to face 3 times during the year (2 Bast Preaching Festivals and one retreat) and 6 times in an online setting.

Our Promise:

  • To provide an online learning pathway with resources for your group.
  • To cover registration fees, lodging and meals at 2014 and 2015 Bast Preaching Festivals.
  • To send you a copy of Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson.
  • To provide additional opportunities and resources as needed.


Your Promise:

  • To covenant with group member to fully participate throughout the one year time period.
  • To attend the 2014 (November 9-10, 2014) and 2015 Bast Preaching Festivals.
  • To provide a $150 participation fee.
  • To arrange for and fund your travel to Bast Preaching Festivals and/or group meetings/retreat(s).

Due to high demand and focused locations of DWELL Groups, we have limited capacity for 2014-2015.  However, any applicants we are unable to accommodate this year will be considered for the 2015-2016 DWELL Groups.

For more information contact:
Lindsay Small, Associate Director of Bast Preaching Initiatives, WTS

616.392.8555 ext. 187

Western Theological Seminary

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