The Reformation at 500: Reflections on Preaching in the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Church

Oct 26, 2017 | 9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Calvin Seminary, Grand Rapids MI

Fall Preaching Conference 2017

With Gregory Heille, OP and Timothy Brown


As the world prepares to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, join us for a stimulating day that will reflect on the changes in preaching over the years in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant worlds.

This one-day seminar will begin with worship and a homily presented by Fr. Gregory Heille, OP.   In the morning Fr. Heille will deliver an address titled “Christian Reform and Our Baptismal Mission as Disciples and Evangelists” reflecting on the many changes in Roman Catholic preaching especially since Vatican II and up to the present day under the leadership of Pope Francis.   Dr. Timothy Brown will respond to this talk and in the afternoon will deliver an address on changes in Protestant preaching practices in the last half century with Fr. Heille then providing a response.  Question and Answer periods will also take place after both addresses.

To register: send an email to: with your name and what church you represent. Also tell us how you plan to pay for the conference so we can have a name tag for you with the correct information.

Possible options:

  1. All day (9:30 – 3:00 pm), including lunch: $20
  2. Morning worship, first lecture, no lunch: $10
  3. Calvin Seminary student: $5 (tell us if you want lunch)

Payment instructions:

  1. Write a check to Calvin Seminary and mail it to:

Calvin Theological Seminary

Attention: Mary Bardolph

3233 Burton St. SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49546

  1. Pay at the door with check, cash, or credit card. Worship begins at 9:30. Registration opens at 8:15. Please note that there may be long lines to pay at the door.


 G Heile Fr. Gregory Heille, OP, is professor of homiletics and academic dean at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri.   He has given multiple presentations on preaching in North America, England, Ireland, and Australia and has served as past president of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics and the Academy of Homiletics.  He is the author of the book The Preaching of Pope Francis: Missionary Discipleship and the Ministry of the Word (Liturgical Press, 2015).



 T Brown Dr. Timothy Brown is President of Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, where he also serves as the Henry Bast Professor of Preaching.  Prior to coming to Western in 1995, Dr. Brown served as the pastor of Christ Memorial Church in Holland, Michigan.  Dr. Brown is a frequent speaker at pastors’ conferences, college campuses, and church renewal events. He has served on the Reformed Church in America’s Board of Theological Education; the Hope College Board of Trustees; and the executive committee of Words of Hope, a worldwide radio ministry; and is currently a General Synod Professor.




9:30am: Opening Worship Service, Seminary Chapel

10:30: Lecture by Fr. Gregory Heille, OP, with response by Timothy Brown and Q&A, Seminary Auditorium

12:00: Catered Lunch, Student Center, Seminary

1:00: Lecture by Dr. Timothy Brown with response by Gregory Heille and Q&A, Seminary Auditorium

The Curious and Passionate Preacher: Fine-Tuning Preaching Skills

Jun 17, 2018 - Jun 22, 2018 | All Day

Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado, Granby CO

With Rev. Heidi De Jonge, Rev. Scott Hoezee & Rev. Peter Jonker

June 17 arrival, seminar runs from June 18 – 22, 2018, Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado.

The Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary is pleased to announce a new seminar for pastors at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby, Colorado.  The seminar not only will provide participating pastors with a wonderful opportunity to attend a deeply enriching seminar but will also allow whole families to come along to enjoy the spectacular scenery and the family-oriented programs offered at the YMCA of the Rockies facility.

The seminar will run from 8:00 – 11:30 each morning, allowing the participants plenty of sabbatical-like free time to spend with their families in a singularly beautiful portion of God’s creation.

Snow Mountain Ranch is located 80 miles west of Denver and occupies 5,100 acres next to the picturesque Arapahoe National Forest.  From there you can easily reach the charming areas of Grand Lake and Winter Park, where there is plenty of hiking and shopping. The Ranch is also close to Rocky Mountain National Park.  At an elevation of 8,750 feet the views are amazing and the air refreshes mind, body and spirit.

Seminar Description 
Preachers rely on an array of skills in the writing of vivid, engaging sermons. But all preachers need regular tune-ups to feed their curiosity and strengthen everything from exegesis to delivery. This seminar in the Rocky Mountains will be for pastors and their families. Morning sessions for the pastors will cover a variety of preaching topics even as afternoons and evenings will be free for the whole family to enjoy this part of God’s creation. Generous financial support will be provided for participating pastors and their families.


Rev. Heidi De Jonge, Pastor, Westside Fellowship CRC, Kingston, Ontario.



Heidi De Jonge has been in ministry for 12 years. Her husband, Tim, is a CRC chaplain, serving in long term care, and together they parent three grade school daughters. Heidi enjoys cake decorating, cycling, and digital scrapbooking.


Rev. Scott Hoezee, Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary.

 Hoezee_Scott_02 Scott Hoezee became the director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching in 2005. He was in parish ministry in the Christian Reformed Church serving two congregations across 15 years before coming to CEP.   He is the author of several books including Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons That Matter.   He has also served as the General Editor for the Abingdon Preaching Annual 2017-2019.  He is married to Rosemary Apol and they have 2 adult children. He enjoys birdwatching, snorkeling, and exploring the beauties and wonders of God’s great creation.

Rev. Peter Jonker, Minister of Preaching, LaGrave CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

 peter jonker photo-1 Peter Jonker has been in ministry for 24 years. He was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His love of words was cultivated through supper table Bible stories and evening reading sessions on the living room couch where he was exposed to C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Lewis Carroll and other masters of the imagination. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and the author of Preaching in Pictures: Using Images for Sermons that Connect (Abingdon, 2016)

General information:

Thanks to generous underwriting by the Center for Excellence in Preaching, pastors and their families will be able to stay at Snow Mountain Ranch free of charge, checking in on Sunday, June 17, and checking out on Friday, June 22.  Each room can accommodate up to six persons (typically two adults and up to four children). One room per family.

Each pastor admitted into the seminar will receive financial support for travel expenses of up to, but not more than, $400.  This could help to cover either airfare for the participant or serve as a mileage reimbursement for up to that amount.  Travel costs for family members are not covered.  The church of each participant accepted into the seminar must pay a $150 registration fee for its pastor.

When staying at Snow Mountain, participants and their families will receive three meals a day served at Snow Mountain’s dining facility.  Guests will also have use of the Ranch’s facilities, which include an indoor swimming pool, a rock-climbing wall, a miniature golf course, and more.

Application Process  

  • Who May Apply
    Persons involved in a regular preaching ministry in the church are welcome to apply. Persons who have been in ministry for between five and fifteen years, and who have young families, are particularly encouraged to apply to take advantage of the family nature of this sabbatical-like week.
  • How to Apply
    The applicant must submit the following:
    1) a letter of application that will include all contact information (telephone number, mailing address, email address, etc.) along with a list of family members (and the ages of children) who would accompany the participant if accepted into the program
    2) a curriculum vitae or resume
    3) a one-page description of the applicant’s current position and a statement of why you are interested in the seminar

     Note: please check your children’s school schedule to avoid conflicts with the starting date. If the family withdraws, we will cancel the room.

Please send all items electronically as an email attachment to

  • The application deadline is January 15, 2018. By February 1, 2018, participants in the seminar will be selected and notified.  Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.