"Our students are a joy to teach, and they take preaching seriously. I think I listen to better sermons on the weekdays than most people hear on Sunday mornings."
When congregations are looking for a pastor their number one request is a good preacher," says Michael Rogness, who has been instructing Luther students in the art of preaching since 1985.
In his most recent book, Preaching to a TV Generation—The Sermon in the Electronic Age, Dr. Rogness shows how to bring God's word to today's congregations. In his classes, students watch themselves preaching on videotape. "Television has become the main means of communication," he observes. "People who learn from television get bored more easily. As preachers, we have to be aware of nonverbal factors—appearance and expression. We have to be concrete. We have to relate to life."
Combining practical instruction with scholarly interests, Dr. Rogness has also written Philip Melanchthon, Reformer; The Church Nobody Knows — The Shape of the Future Church; and The Hand that Holds Me — How God's Grace Touches Our Lives. His works addressed to young people are: Follow Me (a junior high Sunday school book); Lutheran Doctrine (a confirmation text in the Affirm Series); and Hope in a Threatening World (a senior high Sunday School book).
A graduate of Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Luther Seminary, he won a Fulbright Scholarship and earned his Doctor of Theology degree from Erlangen/Nurnberg University in Germany. He served as pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, Minnesota, and First Lutheran Church, Duluth, Minnesota, and was a staff member at the Institute for Ecumenical Research of the Lutheran World Federation in Strasbourg, France.
Along with his academic diplomas, Dr. Rogness proudly displays a certificate from a cooking school in Hungary, which he earned while his wife Eva served as a delegate to a Lutheran World Federation Assembly in 1984.
Teaching preaching is Dr. Rogness's mission: "Our students are a joy to teach, and they take preaching seriously. I think I listen to better sermons on the weekdays than most people hear on Sunday mornings."