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In a seminary curriculum, preaching is where the rubber meets the road. If you learn marvelous concepts, and benefit from rich study of the Word, but cannot communicate these deep truths to the congregation you shepherd, all your learning is for naught! At RTS we strive to produce preachers. After all, the Bible speaks of preaching as the very medium ordained for the proclamation of the Gospel and a method that is difficult to separate from the message itself, or rather Himself. We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles, but the power and wisdom of God to those who are called (1 Cor. 1:23-24a).
Practice makes perfect; so the saying goes. While "perfect" may be an overstatement, opportunities abound to preach and teach in the Jackson area. There are many small churches within a two-hour drive of campus that need the Word of God proclaimed but cannot afford a full-time pastor. They rely on our students to fill their pulpits. A student could preach almost every Sunday if he so desired. Coupled with the many internships at the larger churches, the opportunities to preach and teach are unparalleled.
In addition, students preach eleven times within the MDIV curriculum, perhaps twice as much as is required by other evangelical seminaries. You are required to preach from every genre in Scripture: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Prophets, Wisdom Literature, Gospels, Epistles, Pastoral Epistles, and Revelation. You begin preaching in your second semester. You even preach in Greek and Hebrew Exegesis, demonstrating the close relation between translation, exegesis, and exposition. And you continue to preach into your very last semester in the curriculum. You preach and preach and preach. But it is not just sheer quantity that we believe hones your skill as a preacher. Feedback from peers and professors help you shape your craft. This deliberate and required process, with feedback, helps the student to think about and practice communicating God's Word to God's people.