National Festival of Young Preachers

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The National Festival of Young Preachers is a trans-denominational, one-of-a-kind event designed to showcase and encourage young people who aspire to be preachers of the Gospel. The Academy of Preachers’ mission is to identify these young people while cultivating within them the conviction that Gospel preaching is a vocation of great social and spiritual significance and is worthy of their very best.

A Festival of Young Preachers is not a competition. It is a celebration, an inspiration, an occasion of mutual edification and encouragement. Young preachers, ages 14-35, from every Christian tradition (Evangelical, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Roman Catholic) are encouraged to preach a 15 minute sermon at the Festival precisely as they would in their home environment: dress, text, voice, style, substance, whatever! This diversity has proven to be one of the most transformational elements about the gathering.

A sample of this broad constituency can be viewed on our AoP YouTube channel where many of the sermon videos are posted; click here to locate the sermon video of those who preached in previous National Festivals of Young Preachers.

The National Festival also includes plenary worship, master classes, exhibits, music, preaching circles (small groups), and a banquet we call PREACHAPALOOZA. The closing service is known as The Great Amen and features the reading of the Covenant of Gospel Preaching.

Ministry Professionals and Daily Observers are also invited to register and attend or serve at the National Festival.  Many attendees who are not Young Preachers have found the festivities to be encouraging and refreshing.

Primary Venue

Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead

3300 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30305

Secondary Venue

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church

3180 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Package Options

General Registration

Attend as Ministry Professional or Mentor

3 Nights of Hotel Accommodation AND 3 Dinners/1 Lunch

Networking with Others in Ministry

Hear and Learn from Excellent Preachers

Attend a Variety of Workshops on Preaching

Book Now
Young Preacher

3 Nights of Hotel Accommodation

Single Occupancy Option Available (+$200)

3 Dinners/1 Lunch

Preach a Sermon Among Peers

Receive Professional Sermon Evaluation

Professionally Recorded Video of Sermon

Hear and Learn from Excellent Preachers

Attend a Variety of Workshops on Preaching

Book Now
Daily Observer

January 3 (Lunch & Dinner) OR January 4 (Dinner)

Attend as Observer or Ministry Professional

Networking with Others in Ministry

Hear and Learn from Excellent Preachers

Attend a Variety of Workshops on Preaching

Book Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can preach?

Young Preachers from ages 14-35 and any Christian tradition are invited to preach.

What do I preach on and how long do I have?

Each year the Academy of Preachers chooses a preaching theme that is used for the National Festival and all other regional and campus events leading up to the big event. This year our theme is “The Gospel and the World.”   To view this year’s Preaching Guide, click hereYou are encouraged to avoid subjects and language that are belligerent and divisive. The National Festival is not a soapbox for any political or social agenda; it is a celebration of Gospel preaching and a venue for encouraging young people who wish to preach. The ecumenical nature of this gathering requires all of us to be particularly attentive to this matter.

How long should my sermon be if I am preaching?

You are allotted 15 minutes for your sermon. If you choose to read scripture or pray as part of your sermon, it must be done within the allotted 15 minutes; any scripture or prayer presented during your mentor’s introduction will not count against your time. You may preach for less than 15 minutes. It is your responsibility to adhere to this guideline.

Why should I come?

The National Festival is an opportunity for you to meet, network, get to know, and hear Young Preachers from various denominations around country. You will meet with a preaching circle (small group) to share your call to preach and to hear from other Young Preachers. You will have the opportunity to hone the craft of preaching by hearing from some of the leading voices in homiletics as well as having your sermon evaluated.  You will then be able to meet with the sermon evaluator one-on-one to discuss the sermon in-person.

What if I don’t have a mentor?

We understand that you might be in a position to not have a mentor but we encourage you to seek out someone and ask for help in preparation prior to the National Festival. This can be your pastor, professor, or someone you trust that can help guide you in preparation.

What style should I preach in?  What is the dress code?

You may preach in any style you prefer. Remember to preach to and for those present in the room.  You are free to dress as you deem appropriate; your dress may reflect the ministry situation in which you are most likely to preach, whether that calls for liturgical robes or shorts and sandals. Do not wear clothing with provocative or political text.

What is a Preaching Circle?

You will be assigned to a Preaching Circle during the National Festival of Young Preachers. These groups are designed to build community and foster friendships. Details for Preaching Circle meetings will be available upon arrival.

Where is the preaching venue?

Young Preachers preach in hotel breakout rooms with an audience of 10-20 people seated in rows.  A pulpit and microphone are supplied for the preacher.  Young Preachers are encouraged to remain stationary to enhance the video capture for their sermon.

Will my sermon and Festival experience be recorded?

Our videographers will film sermons preached at the Festival and will upload the videos to our YouTube channel at no additional expense to the Young Preacher.  AoP may also film during any moment of any Festival. If, for any reason, you prefer not to be filmed during the delivery of your sermon or the Festival, please notify the Academy of Preachers beforehand.

How can I fund my National Festival registration?

We encourage all Young Preachers participating in the 2019 National Festival of Young Preachers to ask their Sponsoring Church or Institution to provide financial assistance to offset the cost of the event. A Sponsoring Church or Institution may be willing to pay a portion or all of your costs. You may also choose to ask friends and family to support you financially as you prepare to attend the National Festival. Let them know of your passion for preaching and your intent to attend the 2019 National Festival through phone calls, letters, and social media.  Some scholarship funds have been donated to the Academy of Preachers to support Young Preachers who demonstrate a significant financial need and who cannot secure the financial support of their Sponsoring Church or institution.  Please contact us for more information.