Richard W. VoelzAssociate Professor of Preaching and Worship
Department: Practical Theology
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Department: Practical Theology
Vanderbilt University, M.A., Ph.D.
Emmanuel School of Religion, M.Div.
Milligan College, B.A.
Richard W. Voelz is an Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA.
An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), he formerly served as senior minister of the Johns Creek Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), an open and affirming congregation in metro Atlanta, Georgia. He has over a decade of ministry experience in various contexts.
Dr. Voelz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Department of Religion with a doctorate in homiletics and liturgics. His interests are in contemporary homiletic theory, particularly how preaching relates to the areas of critical pedagogy, adolescent youth, reproductive loss and adoption, and public proclamation.
He has authored three books, including Preaching to Teach: Inspire People to Think and Act (Abingdon Press, 2019), Tending the Tree of Life: Preaching and Worship Through Reproductive Loss and Adoption (Energion Publications, 2018), and Youthful Preaching: Strengthening the Relationship Between Youth, Adults, and Preaching (Cascade Books, 2016). In addition, he has contributed to Unmasking White Preaching: Racial Hegemony, Resistance, and Possibilities in Homiletics (Lexington, 2022), Preaching the Manifold Grace of God, Volume 1: Theologies of Preaching in Historical Theological Families (Cascade, 2022), Preaching as Resistance: Voices of Hope, Justice, and Solidarity (Chalice Press, 2018), The Living Pulpit: Sermons that Illustrate Preaching in the Stone-Campbell Movement 1968-2018 (Chalice Press, 2018), and Young Preachers Compilation (Shook Foil Books, 2012). He also serves as Associate Editor for the “Between Text and Sermon” section of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology.
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship awarded him a grant in 2019 to develop a workbook that will strengthen preaching preparation for adolescent youth and their mentors. Youthful Sermons is available for free from Working Preacher.
Dr. Voelz also directs The Bridge for Early Career Preachers, a grant project from The Lilly Endowment’s “Compelling Preaching Initiative.” The Bridge provides resources, continuing education, and a supportive community for those who are moving from aspiring to active preaching ministries.
Dr. Voelz continues to teach, preach, and lead worship for congregations. As a North Carolina native, he is a huge college basketball fan. Growing up, he went to church on the edge of the campus of North Carolina State University, so he is a longtime and eternally optimistic fan of the Wolfpack. As an alum, he is also loyal to the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Richard W. Voelz, Preaching to Teach: Inspire People to Think and Act (Artistry of Preaching) (Abingdon Press)
Richard W. Voelz, Tending the Tree of Life: Preaching and Worship through Reproductive Loss and Adoption (Shook Foil Books)
Richard W. Voelz, Youthful Preaching: Strengthening the Relationship between Youth, Adults, and Preaching (Cascade Books)
Richard W. Voelz, Shook Foil Books Young Preachers Compilation (Shook Foil Books)
Richard W. Voelz, The Living Pulpit (The Chalice Press)
Richard Voelz, Afterword (Chalice Press)