University to host Conference on Sermon Studies

Faith leaders and scholars from across the region and the nation are invited to Marshall University for a series of presentations and interfaith discussions relating to the theory and practice of preaching. The event takes place Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 19-21, at Drinko Library, Smith Hall and the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

Among the offerings are two featured events. First is a presentation by Marc Saperstein titled “Jewish Pulpit Responses to Nazi Persecution and Mass Murder, 1933-1945.” That will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, in Room 154 of Smith Hall. This presentation has been made possible in part by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Also featured at the conference will be a performance by George Drance titled  “*mark: The Gospel of Mark written in the First Century.” It will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. This performance is courtesy of the Edwards Visiting Professor in the Arts program at the College of Arts and Media.

Both Saperstein’s presentation and Drance’s performance are free and open to the public. The rest of the sessions will be in Drinko Library and are free to Marshall students, faculty and staff.  Others are invited to participate in the conference for a fee of $30 per day.

The Conference on Sermon Studies is meant to bring scholars and religious leaders together for interfaith dialogue, with an emphasis on the theory and practice of preaching. It is intended to be the first in a series of annual conferences, some at Marshall and others in other locations.

Additional support for the conference has been provided by the Center for Sermon Studies, the Department of English, the MU Bookstore, the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the MU Libraries.

Learn more at or contact Ellison by e-mail at