Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Calvin Habig, DMin

Second Advisor

Karen Claassen, DMin

Third Advisor

Leonard I. Sweet, PhD


Over the last three years, I have sought to answer the question: Given today’s technologically-sophisticated, experiential-learning world, how can preaching best engage hearts and minds in simultaneous virtual and in-person worship services? The past three years have taught me that people are hungry for participatory, experiential elements in sermons on occasion and that it does promote engagement, retention, and transformation.

This project was almost entirely conducted within the membership and ministries of Elizabeth Lee Methodist Church in Chickamauga, Georgia. Chickamauga is a small, Northwest Georgia town located in the heart of the Bible belt. The church is a medium-sized church averaging approximately 200 people in worship (170 in person and 30 online). The church hosts two equally attended worship services on Sunday mornings (one modern and one traditional). A wide variety of ages/stages of life are represented within the church and the church is large middle to upper-middle class.

The Project’s MVP (Most Viable Prototype) was a pair of sermon series’ that featured experiential and/or participatory elements each week such as: an analysis of Raphael’s The Disputation Over the Most Holy Sacrament, serving each other Holy Communion, people writing their own psalms, and the congregation singing psalms written by members of the congregation the prior Sunday. While different elements resonated with different people, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and served as an encouragement for incorporating experiential and participatory elements in sermons on occasion moving forward.

The final project involves the sermon series mentioned above as well as 3 other planned (but not preached) sermon series that incorporate experiential and/or participatory elements

Included in

Christianity Commons