Dr. Alyce McKenzie to Deliver Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School

Watch the lecture videos via the Yale Livestream Channel

Dr. Alyce McKenzie

Dr. Alyce McKenzie

DALLAS (SMU)Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie, the Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship and Director of the Center for Preaching Excellence at Perkins School of Theology, will deliver the Lyman Beecher Lectures on preaching from Oct. 21-23 at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Conn. The annual event is considered to be the preeminent homiletics lecture series in the United States.

Dr. McKenzie’s series of three lectures at Yale – dubbed Making a Scene in the Pulpit: Vivid Sermons for Visual Listeners – will focus on the power of small scenes to reconnect people with the saving story at the heart of preaching. Additionally, she will reveal the importance of scenes in the development and delivery of sermons through these three distinct sessions:

  • “Scene is the New Story” makes the case that scenes provide the basis for the theory and practice of preaching in the 21st century.
  • “The Preacher as “Scene-Maker” offers the biblical sage as the model for preachers’ understanding of their identity and work.
  • “The Scenic Sermon” sets out the core strategy of scenic preaching: inviting listeners into scenes and pointing them toward the larger story of God’s forgiving, transforming relationship with humankind.

The Lyman Beecher Lectureship was founded in 1871 by a gift from Henry W. Sage of Brooklyn, N.Y., to sponsor an annual series of lectures on a topic appropriate to the work of the ministry. It is named after the influential Presbyterian minister and leader of the Second Great Awakening of the United States. The series has included renowned preachers and orators including Henry Sloan Coffin, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Harry Emerson Fosdick and in recent years James Forbes, Fred B. Craddock, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Renita J. Weems.

“It truly is an honor to join the renowned list of speakers at the Lyman Beecher Lectures,” Dr. McKenzie said. “I am passionate about the crucial roles sermons can play in our lives, and I am delighted with the opportunity to pass along my thoughts on this topic to such an illustrious group of preachers and scholars.”

Dr. McKenzie joined the Perkins faculty in 1999 and was named an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at Southern Methodist University in 2011. She is a noted teacher in the art of preaching who, in 2012, served as president of the Academy of Homiletics and is an ordained United Methodist elder in the North Texas Annual Conference. Dr. McKenzie also serves as the Preacher-in-Residence at Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, where she preaches monthly and mentors the clergy staff in preaching.

Be sure to follow Perkins School of Theology on Facebook and Twitter for updated information on how you can follow along with the lectures via webcast and social media.


Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music (June 2016) as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.