Recruiting for 2018

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Would you like to be more effective in your preaching? 

Do you sense a gap between the pulpit and the pew? 

Are you looking for practical ways to help your people encounter God?


We are currently recruiting the Summer, 2018 cohort. If you would like for your diocese or religious congregation to take part in this cohort, please contact us. The Marten Program would be delighted to partner with you!


The Feedback Process:

Research tells us that people tend to see what they have always seen and do as they always have done. This can become true with preaching. We grow as preachers and as people by inviting others to help us to see and hear from a fresh perspective. The Preaching Academy is an opportunity for growth through receiving honest evaluation from others. Each participant, in turn, provides such help to his brother priests.
In addition, this feedback process will help you to reflect on these questions: 

  • Where are you?  Using original short- and long-term assessment tools, together we will evaluate the strengths and growth opportunities of your preaching. Congregational assessment tools will help you to get a stronger sense of the way your listeners grow in faith through your preaching; the process will also educate parishioners how to more fruitfully listen to homilies.   
  • Where do you want to be? Through a process of prayer, envisioning, self-assessment, peer support and critique, and homiletic expert evaluation, determine how you hope to grow. 
  • How do you get there? Every four months, set goals for small and manageable steps to improvement. This individualized plan will be based on your own need in relationship with your own particular parish or community.


  • Meet with your peer-learning group for three hours for eight meetings. Your group can be flexible in how you schedule your meetings, but once a month has been the most popular interval. For those busy in a parish, the liturgical year often dictates the flow of parish life and thus your time constraints; your group has the flexibility to schedule around that.  At each of these gatherings, one or two preachers will preach or share a video of their preaching. The others will offer both support and suggestions for growth. 
  • At each of your group meetings, be prepared by studying the curriculum material beforehand. Take an active part in the peer-group monthly learning discussions. 
  • An online forum is available so that you can stay in touch with others in your Preaching Academy cohort as well as discuss study ideas with others around the country. 
  • Participate fully in the orientation session, the mid-winter workshop, and summer preaching workshops.
  • Attend the Marten Preaching conferences as well as the pre-conference day for Preaching Academy participants. 

How to Get Involved:

Our program partners with dioceses and religious congregations. They in turn recruit conveners and priests to join in this learning process. Therefore, we do not accept individuals on their own. If you yourself are interested in this processs, please talk to your bishop’s office about entering into our second cohort of peer-learning groups. A diocese, eparchy or religious congregation agrees to support their priests’ growth in preaching by providing for the travel expenses for the participants. For the conferences and workshops, costs of registration, food and lodging are covered by the Preaching Academy.

2018 Preaching Academy Information Brochure

We are not currently working with Catholic deacons, but we have discussed doing so in the future. Please stay tuned for further developments.

The program asks each participant to make a one-year commitment to the process. After one year, a group may continue to meet and support each other's preaching. Our hope is that the bond becomes so helpful that a group chooses to stay together.