Seminarian Jason Ketz Delivers Sermon at National Festival of Young Preachers

2–5 January 2012 • Off-campus event

3rd-year seminarian Jason Ketz delivers his sermon at the National Festival of Young Preachers.3rd-year seminarian Jason Ketz delivers his sermon at the National Festival of Young Preachers.More than 120 young preachers from more than 25 states in the U.S. gathered to preach, to learn, and to be inspired by the gospel of Jesus Christ, at the 3rd Annual National Festival of Young Preachers, held from January 2–5, in Louisville, Kentucky. At the event, Jason Ketz, 3rd-year seminarian from St. Vladimir's, preached a sermon entitled “I can’t imagine paradise without you.”

"Seminarian Ketz's sermon was enthusiastically received," said Fr. Sergius Halvorsen, assistant professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at St. Vladimir’s, who also attended the festival, both as Jason’s preaching mentor and as a sermon evaluator. Father Sergius further remarked on this year’s festival, saying, “The quality of preaching was truly remarkable, and the faith and zeal for the gospel among the participants was inspiring. Jason did a fantastic job with his sermon. Being exposed to a variety of preaching styles is incredibly valuable not only for young preachers, but for preachers of any age.

"St. Vladimir’s Seminary is a National Partner with the Academy of Preachers, and and we look forward to continuing participation and cooperation with the academy as we work to foster excellence in preaching among young Orthodox Christians," he concluded.

The annual festival is sponsored by the Academy of Preachers, a trans-denominational organization whose mission is to identify, network, inspire, and support young people who sense a vocation for preaching the gospel. The Academy of Preachers was launched in 2009 through a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment.Fr. Sergius Halvorson, assistant professor of Homiletics at St. Vladimir's (left), served as Seminarian Ketz's mentor.Fr. Sergius Halvorson, assistant professor of Homiletics at St. Vladimir's (left), served as Seminarian Ketz's mentor.

The first Festival of Young Preachers in 2010 was attended by our seminary Chancellor/CEO, Fr. Chad Hatfield, and seminary alumnus Fr. Lucas Rice. The sermon that Fr. Lucas delivered at the festival was included in a published volume of collected sermons, and the title of his sermon also served as the title for the volume: A Beautiful Thing: Sermons from the Inaugural Festival of Young Preachers (Chalice Press, 2010). 

Read about Seminarian Jason Ketz's experience at the Festival of Young Preachers, and the text of his homily, "I can't Imagine paradise without you," here.