News Release:

Mar. 12,  2010

Craddock, Graves to share preaching insights at upcoming conference

Preacher as StorytellerAcclaimed preacher and storyteller the Rev. Dr. Fred B. Craddock will lead a two-day workshop titled "The Preacher as Storyteller" on April 19-20, 2010, at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. The Rev. Dr. Mike Graves, co-editor of Craddock Stories, will be the co-presenter.

Ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of America’s 12 best living preachers, Craddock is Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching and New Testament, Emeritus, at Candler. The ordained Disciples of Christ minister has served pastorates in Tennessee and Oklahoma. Graves is William K. McElvaney Visiting Professor of Preaching and director of continuing education at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri. He also is an ordained Disciples of Christ minister.

Craddock and Graves will share with participants the method and process for using quality storytelling in preaching. Topics will include how to craft a good story, what makes stories effective, and when and when not to use them.

“Fred Craddock is the storyteller par excellence,” said the Rev. Dr. Robert Winstead, director of Candler’s Office of Lifelong Learning. “He is a wordsmith, and students and pastors alike continue to learn from him. He will lead you into the subject matter in a disarming way, and—before you know it—he’s got you.”

Craddock’s way with words can be seen in how he describes his own life. “When I was in my late teens, I wanted to be a preacher,” he says in Craddock Stories. “When I was in my late twenties, I wanted to be a good preacher. Now that I am older, I want more than anything else to be a Christian. To live simply, to love generously, to speak truthfully, to serve faithfully, and leave everything else to God.”

The workshop will feature two lectures by Craddock, each followed by a question and answer session, as well as a lecture and a breakfast presentation by Graves. The event will conclude with a worship service in which Dr. Luther E. Smith, Jr., Candler professor of church and community, will preach.

Winstead said that the cost for the event is low—$35 per person—because Candler alumni underwrote much of the cost of the workshop.

Candler School of Theology has a strategic initiative to develop its lifelong learning program in order to strengthen the school's ability to equip clergy and lay leaders for effective ministry in today's church and world. This emphasis on lifelong learning aids the school in achieving its mission, "educating faithful and creative leaders for the church's ministries in the world."