Dean of Duke Chapel to Deliver 2014 William L. Self Preaching Lectures at McAfee School of Theology, March 10-11


ATLANTA – The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke Chapel and associate professor of the practice of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, will deliver the 2014 William L. Self Preaching Lectures, March 10-11, at Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology.

“Luke Powery is one of the fresh voices on the American preaching scene – and what a voice! He is prophetic, insightful, moving and musical. Hearing him will be a life-changing moment for many of our students,” said Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, dean of the School of Theology.

Dr. Powery will give a series of three lectures. The first, titled “Soon-a Will Be Done: Preaching and Suffering,” will be at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10. The second, titled “I'm Gonna Sing: Preaching and Musicality,” will be at 7 p.m. on March 10. The final lecture, titled “I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray: Preaching and Prayer,” will be at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11. All lectures will take place in Day Auditorium on the Atlanta campus.

With his B.A. in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University, his M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary and his Th.D. from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, Dr. Powery's research interests are located at the intersection of preaching, worship, pneumatology, performance studies and culture, particularly expressions of the African diaspora. He has written two books, Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching and Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope.

Ordained by the National Baptist Convention, he has served in an ecumenical capacity in churches throughout Switzerland, Canada and the United States. He is a member of the Academy of Homiletics, for which he serves as secretary, the American Academy of Religion and the Society for the Study of Black Religion. Prior to his appointment at Duke, Dr. Powery served as the Perry and Georgia Engle Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary.

A dinner will be held between the first two lectures, at 5:45 p.m. on Monday in the Trustees Dining Room. Then, on Tuesday morning, Dr. Thomas B. Slater, professor of New Testament at McAfee, will lead a study on Ephesians 2, at 9:30 a.m., in Day Auditorium.

The cost to attend the lecture series is $65 for the general public, $25 for non-McAfee students, and admission is free for all McAfee students.

Dinner is by reservation only, and is included in the registration fee for the general public and non-McAfee students. McAfee students and non-registered guests who wish to attend the dinner must pay a fee of $25.

The registration deadline is March 3. For more information, or to register, contact Diane Frazier at (678) 547-6470 or

The William L. Self Lectureship was established in order to promote the practice of faithful and effective preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The lectures seek to instill in students and pastors a passion for better preaching by providing worthy models and by offering seasoned instruction and encouragement.

The lecture series is named in honor of Dr. William L. Self, a Mercer trustee who has distinguished himself with a national reputation as a gifted preacher, pastor, author, lecturer, motivational speaker and innovator in church growth. Dr. Self achieved considerable acclaim by leading Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta to a place of prominence in Georgia and the nation. Then, as pastor of Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, his leadership and influence brought that church to the vanguard of fast-growing churches.

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta, on Mercer University's Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers degree programs leading to a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, M.Div.-Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and M.Div.-Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with a Concentration in Non-Profit. For more information, visit

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​