Community members listening to a lecture at the Rethinking Confirmation event

Speakers and Host


Karoline Lewis

Associate Professor of Biblical Preaching and the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary

Lewis is the author of “John: Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries” as well as numerous articles for The Christian Century, Feasting on the Word, Feasting on the Gospels, Currents in Theology and Mission, Lutheran Forum, Word & World, Abingdon Preaching Annual and Odyssey Network’s ON Scripture. Her newest book is “SHE: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry.” Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lewis holds degrees from Northwestern University(B.A.), Luther Seminary (M.Div.) and Emory University (Ph.D.). She served as treasurer for the Academy of Homiletics and regional coordinator for the Upper Midwest Region of the Society of Biblical Literature Lewis regularly leads conferences, workshops and retreats throughout the country and Canada on interpreting the Bible, preaching and women in ministry. She is a contributing writer to Working Preacher, as well as author of the site’s “Dear Working Preacher” column and co-host of its weekly podcast, “Sermon Brainwave.”


Anna Carter Florence

Peter Marshall Professor of Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary

 Anna Carter Florence is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and holds degrees from Yale College and Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div. and Ph.D.). Before joining the Columbia faculty in 1998, Carter Florence served as an associate pastor for youth and young adults at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Her books include “Preaching as Testimony” and “Inscribing the Word,” as well as two forthcoming books: “‘A’ is for Alabaster: A Preacher’s Alphabet” and “Come Back When You’ve Found Something True: New Ways to Read Scripture,” based on her 2012 Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching at Yale Divinity School. She is a frequent teacher and lecturer in this country and abroad.

Jana Childers

Dean of the Seminary and Vice President of Academic Affairs, San Francisco Theological Seminary

Jana Childers is a Presbyterian minister who served congregations in Kansas and New Jersey before joining the faculty at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Interests in the arts, spirituality and worship supplement Childers’ central and great love—preaching. She is the author and editor of a number of books and articles on preaching, including “Performing the Word: Preaching as Theatre” and the award-winning “Birthing the Sermon: Women Preachers and Creative Process.”

Childers is a popular conference speaker, preaching often in national and international settings. She recently served as president of The Academy of Homiletics. She has appeared regularly on “Thirty Good Minutes,” the television program produced by the Chicago Sunday Evening Club, was co-host of the San Francisco CBS affiliate’s television program “Mosaic” and was featured on the Hallmark Channel’s “Great Preachers” series.

Thomas G. Long

Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Thomas Long taught preaching at Princeton, Columbia and Erskine seminaries prior to his time at Emory. He is the author of a number of books on preaching and worship, as well as biblical commentaries on Matthew, Hebrews and the Pastoral Epistles.  His latest books are “Accompany Them with Singing: The Christian Funeral” (Westminster John Knox); “What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering and the Crisis of Faith” (Eerdmans); “The Good Funeral: Death, Grief and the Community of Care” (with Thomas Lynch; Westminster John Knox); and “1 and 2 Timothy and Titus” (Westminster John Knox).