New SWBTS website a “one-stop shop” for sermon prep

With a goal of equipping pastors with more tools for sermon preparation, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Preaching has launched a website,, that faculty members hope becomes a weekly go-to for pastors and anyone else who preaches or teaches from the Bible. 

The website went live in September, giving visitors access to everything from sermon illustrations to preaching workshop videos to detailed information about books of the Bible. 

David Allen, dean of the School of Preaching, is editor-in-chief, while Steven W. Smith is general editor. The other six members in the School of Preaching are contributors.  

“We have tried to design it to be a one-stop shop for preaching,” Allen told the TEXAN, “so that no matter what someone is looking for, they can find something about their area of interest—whether it be theology of preaching, how to do a sermon introduction, how to do a conclusion, or how to do illustrations. There will be articles on that, podcasts on that.”

The website includes nine primary resources:

  • Sermon illustrations – a collection of some of the best ones from faculty members.
  • Sermon “structures” – a semantic layout and analysis of a biblical passage.
  • Sermon starters – video tutorials of a specific book.
  • Sermon videos – a lengthy collection of videos from chapel.
  • Journal articles – articles from the Southwestern Journal of Theology.
  • A preaching blog – new articles are posted about three times a week.
  • Preaching interviews – weekly conversations on relevant issues in preaching, hosted by faculty member Barry McCarty.
  • Expository preaching workshops – audio from the SWBTS workshops dating back to 2005. 
  • Genre videos – videos explaining the different genres and how sermons will vary depending on the book of the Bible.

The sermon structures section, Allen said, could be the one of the most beneficial resources for pastors. 

“For each paragraph [in the book of the Bible] we’ve given basic information about that paragraph, as well as the semantic structure of that text—what is the main point and what are the secondary points, for sermon outlining? It’s one of the most important parts of this website,” he said.

A structure for the first six chapters of Hebrews is on the website, and structures for Titus, Jonah, 1-3 John, Jude, Philemon and Haggai are scheduled to be finished by year’s end. The structure for the rest of Hebrews also will be posted. Eventually, will include structures for all 66 books of the Bible.  

The website also includes links to more than 300 preaching resources on the internet, with links arranged by topic. is designed to help pastors employ “text-driven preaching,” which the website defines as “interpretation and communication of a biblical text in a sermon that re-presents the substance, structure, and the spirit of the text.”

Allen called text-driven preaching “expository preaching as it was designed to be done.” 

“We are all about expository preaching; we are just defining it in a more refined way,” he said. “Text-driven preaching is expository preaching as it was designed to be done. The reason we’re using the phrase ‘text-driven preaching’ is because the term ‘expository preaching’ has become so elastic in recent years that anything and everything goes under it—a lot of which is not truly exposition. So we’re trying to go back to what genuine exposition is supposed to be and staying true to the substance, structure and spirit of the text.”  

TEXAN Correspondent
Michael Foust
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