How to Improve Your Preaching as a Seminary Student

How to Improve Your Preaching as a Seminary Student

If you’re a Seminary student or a Bible College student that feels called to preach, but you don’t have any opportunities to preach, how do you improve?

I believe there is one powerful thing you can do starting today to get the most important thing you need: reps.

You need reps and there is no way around that. In order to improve in your preaching, you need to preach. But if you’re like I was when I was a student, your opportunities are few and far between.

Here’s what you can do…

How to Improve Your Preaching as a Seminary Student

Grab a notebook.

Grab a Bible.

Pick a passage.

And to make it simple, go to the book of Luke and pick one of Jesus’ parables.

But don’t read it yet.

Next, take out your notebook and write down section headings. For example, I use the Sticky Sermon Framework which looks like this:







But you don’t have to use that structure. You can go super simple and just write down:




The important thing is that you write down a structure with space in between each heading.

Now, here’s where we’re going to get busy.

Prepare a Sermon in 10 Minutes

Next, I want you to set a timer for ten minutes and within that ten minutes you’re going to work out the big idea of the text and write it down in a sentence.

Then think through an entry point and write it down in a sentence – that’s your introduction or your engage and tension sections.

Then do the same thing for the second half of your sermon.

Do all this in ten minutes.


Preach that message to the wall, your dog, your cat, your friend, or (if you want to make it fun) to your phone through the Anchor app and start a podcast with this method.

Commit to do this once a week and, over time, you’ll begin to get the reps that you desperately need in order to improve.

That way, when you do get opportunities to preach, your sermon prep and sermon delivery muscles will already be strengthened because you took your growth seriously and did something unique to improve and develop in your calling.

And, not only that, but you’ll speak life and hope into the audience you develop through your podcast.

This is the exact method I used to start The Abundant Life with Brandon Kelley. The first 21 episodes are doing this exact thing. Ten minutes of prep and 15-18 minutes of preaching into a microphone. That’s it.

Seminary Student: This is What Will Truly Develop Your Preaching

If you’re a Seminary student, the thing that will set you apart and lead you to being chosen by a search committee are things like this.


Because of a few reasons:

  • This is what sets apart those who are called and those who aren’t. If this is your calling, develop it. Don’t wait for someone else to give you an opportunity. Own it.
  • This is what will help you improve dramatically.
  • This shows that you’re serious about preaching.

I truly believe that preparing a sermon in ten minutes and then preaching it is the best way for a Seminary student or Bible College student to improve their preaching.

So start a podcast.

Preach the gospel.

Grow in your calling.

Bless an audience with hope.

Learn More About the Anchor App

Another Way to Grow Your Preaching

Sticky Sermons Academy Graphic

Want to grow in the craft of preaching? Registration for Sticky Sermons Academy is now permanently open.

At Sticky Sermons Academy, we have 5 goals:

  1. Help you develop your own system and schedule for sermon preparation.
  2. Help you get ahead and stay ahead in your sermon preparation.
  3. Help you write and structure your messages in such a way that implements the characteristics of story.
  4. Help you deliver gospel-infused messages intentionally and powerfully.
  5. Help you and your team extend the sermon beyond Sunday.

Click here to learn more.

Are You Going to Do This?

Let me know. You can do so on social media: Join our Facebook Group, tweet us, or post on our Facebook Page.

Grow as a Preacher and Leader [Free Resources]

Want to grow as a preacher and leader? We’ll help you do it. Just subscribe to the blog. And to get you started and as a way of saying thank you, we’ll include 6 free resources: Building a Leadership Pipeline Packet, Pre-Formatted Sermon Notes Template, Sermon Evaluation Worksheet, 56 Weeks of Preaching TopicsSermon Series Planning Evernote Template, and the Weekly Productivity Evernote Template. All this for free when you subscribe.

Written by Brandon Kelley

Brandon Kelley is the co-founder of Rookie Preacher and the author of Preaching Sticky Sermons and Crucified to Life. He serves as the Lead Pastor of First Church of Christ in Bluffton, IN. He also writes at You can follow him @BrandonKelley_. Watch his sermons here.


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