Each participant will preach a sermon in front of a few other participants and Johnson University faculty, gaining the experience of delivering a message before an audience and having the opportunity to win Johnson University scholarships. Participants will receive written evaluation of their sermons and a free DVD of the sermon. Participants will also learn about Johnson University, tour the Tennessee campus, and get to know some professors and students.
Those who preach the five most outstanding sermons will receive Johnson scholarships in these amounts:
- First Place: $5000
- Second Place: $3000
- Third Place: $1000
- Fourth and Fifth Places: $500
- All other participants will receive scholarships of $250
(Preach.FEST scholarships are distributed across eight terms of undergraduate studies at Johnson University and are applicable to on-ground programs within The School of Congregational Ministry on the Tennessee or Florida campuses. Scholarship recipients who enroll in an online or hybrid degree within The School of Congregational Ministry will receive 75% of the scholarship amount awarded. Preach.FEST participants who are over age 22, Johnson University students and alumni, and those who have received college-level ministry training are welcome to participate in Preach.FEST but are not eligible for scholarships.)
Free housing in dorms is available. Breakfast and lunch on Friday are provided.
Sermons will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Biblical Teaching: Does the sermon accurately present biblical truth from Scripture?
- Main Idea: Does the sermon center around a clear, single truth (a “thesis statement”)?
- Development: Does the sermon develop and support its main idea in a clear, understandable manner?
- Relevance: Does the sermon use illustrations and applications to bridge biblical truth to contemporary listeners?
- Delivery: Does the preacher deliver the sermon with effective verbal and nonverbal communication?