Richard Voelz

last updated 2/4/2018

Richard W. Voelz

Senior Minister at Johns Creek Christian Church

10800 Bell Rd, Duluth, Georgia, United States
HQ Phone:
(770) 418-1101

General Information


Instructor - Atlanta United Divinity Center


M.A.Vanderbilt University

Ph.D.Vanderbilt University

Recent News  

Johns Creek Christian Church

Senior Minister: Richard Voelz
Johns Creek Christian Church welcomed a new Senior Minister, Rev. Dr. Richard W. Voelz on Sunday, June 3, 2012. Rich is originally from Cary, NC and comes most recently from Central Christian Church in Springfield, TN. He graduated in 2011 from Vanderbilt University with the M.A. and Ph.D. in the area of Homiletics and Liturgics. He is married to Meredith and has a daughter, Elly. He is a rabid college basketball fan, rooting for both N.C. State and Vanderbilt. Rich has published a book on preaching, worship, and issues of reproductive loss and adoption, entitled Tending the Tree of Life(published with Shook Foil Books) and will be publishing a revision of his doctoral dissertation, tentatively entitled Youthful Preaching, to be published in the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute Series on Preaching with Cascade Books.

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Easter Writing Project 2012 | The Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance

By Rev. Dr. Richard W. Voelz, Senior Minister, Johns Creek Christian Church, Johns Creek, GA, [email protected]

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Beyond "Border Raids": Theory as Intrinsic to Practical Theology | PracticalMattersJournal

Richard William Voelz, a recent Ph.D. graduate of Vanderbilt University with specialties in homiletics and youth studies, serves currently as Senior Minister at Johns Creek Christian Church in Johns Creek, Georgia.
His essay is entitled, "Reconsidering the Image of Preacher-as-Teacher: Intersections Between Henry Giroux's Critical Pedagogy and Homiletics. As the title indicates, Voelz draws upon Henry Giroux's critical pedagogy to reframe the way homileticians and preachers think about the task of preaching vis-à-vis teaching. Voelz is right to assert that how one understands oneself as a preacher shapes every aspect of the sermon preparation and delivery process. He begins by acknowledging an historical precedent for understanding the preacher as teacher, but concludes that "[b]y and large, however, the image of teacher-as-preacher does not surface in the most recent images . . . as a compelling image for contemporary preaching and homiletic reflection. It certainly has not presented itself as a robust image in contemporary homiletics. Voelz's essay is an attempt to remedy this paucity by engaging the field of critical pedagogy. Voelz explains that critical pedagogy is a school of thought that questions contemporary theories and practices of education, the reasons for its deficiencies, and the possibilities for education in specific contexts. Voelz, following Giroux, promotes an understanding of the preacher-as-teacher beyond the facile and uncritical pedagogical assumptions of most preacher-teachers. Voelz's preacher-teacher preaches toward a vision of the public sphere with broad cultural awareness. Framed in the language of democracy, scholars of preaching would imagine this public sphere through the lens of ecclesiology. In other words, Voelz argues that if the theories and practices of critical pedagogy enact a particular kind of public sphere, then preachers ought to portray distinct ecclesiological formations within their preaching as well. Preaching-as-teaching, following Voelz's Girouxian inspired vision, also stands to reshape the preacher's understanding of her authority vis-à-vis her listeners. Voelz imagines the preacher's authority in a way that acknowledges and avoids the critiques of authoritarianism leveled by recent homileticians. Moreover, by viewing the preacher-teacher as a "reflective practitioner," following the teachings of critical pedagogy, Voelz offers a way of thinking about the preacher-teacher in a way that frames the listener's experience of the sermon toward ecclesial and cultural transformation.

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