Dordt theology professor receives grant from Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Dr. Kyle Dieleman has been awarded a Vital Worship, Vital Preaching Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship to support his research on the role of Advent preaching in shaping Christian life and practice.

Associate Professor of Theology and History Dr. Kyle Dieleman has received a Vital Worship, Vital Preaching Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Through the grant, Dieleman will “encourage preachers through exploration of historical and contemporary Advent preaching to consider how preaching can form people for a life in which pacing, expectations, and longings are recast in light of the kingdom of God.”

Among other things, the grant provides funding for a pastors’ cohort as well as a retreat. During their time together, the cohort will read and discuss sermons from church history including those by Augustine, Hildegard of Bingen, and Martin Luther.

Dieleman and his research assistant have spent the summer seeking to build a cohort of pastors and leaders from a variety of denominations. “I think the opportunity to listen to voices from other traditions benefits everyone,” he says. “Then, we can start to see what strengths our tradition has that others don’t or what parts of the tradition we’ve maybe been missing out on that could be a gift to us.”

Part of the project is to invite theological reflection on the importance of the themes and pacing of Advent.

“In other words, if the themes of Advent are related to waiting and expectation and hope, those are blessings that might be discouraged or in short supply in our culture and, thus, even more important for our churches,” he says. “How can we cultivate lives where we wait for God’s action? How can we grow in our trust of God’s graces or our hope for Christ to make all things new?”

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship is an interdisciplinary study and ministry center that promotes the scholarly study of the theology, history, and practice of Christian worship and the renewal of worship in worshipping communities across American and beyond.

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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