The Robert Smith Jr. Preaching Institute at Beeson Divinity School exists to serve and strengthen the whole person in relation to God, the church, other preachers and the world for faithful proclamation of God’s Word. It seeks to do this by increasing knowledge and understanding as a preacher, deepening formation as a Christian and preacher, and strengthening competence and skill in the practice of preaching.
The Robert Smith Jr. Preaching Institute began in fall 2018 and is named in honor of longtime Beeson faculty member and renowned preacher Dr. Robert Smith Jr., the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity and professor of Christian preaching. Dr. Mike Pasquarello, Methodist Chair of Divinity at Beeson, is its first director.
The Robert Smith Jr. Preaching Institute is funded by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.
The institute is part of a Christian, Protestant, evangelical and interdenominational divinity school that is founded upon the gospel of Jesus Christ and the historic Christian faith. Beeson is committed to orthodoxy, the full inspiration and total truthfulness of Holy Scripture, and the theological principles characterized in the Protestant Reformation. The school is likewise interdenominational, welcoming and celebrating denominational diversity within our faculty and student body.
The institute is deeply committed to personal, face-to-face ministry and education. Therefore, it is intentional about serving pastors in person.
The institute takes a holistic approach, focusing simultaneously on both the person (preacher) and the work (preaching).