William K. McElvaney Professor of Preaching Emeritus

Saint Paul School of Theology

13720 Roe Ave, Bldg C,

Leawood, KS 66224

Professional Experience:

Drew University: The Theological School Senior Scholar in Residence, Fall 2003-04

Princeton Theological Seminary Guest Professor, Spring 1999

Saint Paul School of Theology Professor of Preaching, 1968-98

William K. McElvaney Chair, 1988

Full Professor, 1979

Associate Professor, 1973

Assistant Professor, 1968

Interim Academic Dean, 1984-85

Director of Doctoral Studies, 1975-81

University of Kansas School of Education Adjunct Professor, 1977

Senior Pastor College Heights Methodist Church, Kansas City MO, 1964-68

Associate Pastor Country Club Methodist Church, Kansas City, MO, 1962-64

Associate Pastor First Methodist Church, Wichita, KS, 1959-62

Pastor St. Paul Methodist Church, West New York, NJ, 1955-59


Doctor of Education degree in the philosophy of education University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, Department of Administration, Foundations and Higher Education Minor: Communication, Dissertation: “The Informing Image, The Three Modes Of Knowing and Education” 1972, with Honors

Master of Arts degree in the teaching of speech, Columbia University, New York, 1958

Bachelor of Divinity degree, Drew University, The Theological School, Madison, NJ, 1958

Bachelor of Arts degree, Southwestern College, Winfield KS, Majors: Science & Speech,  1955

Professional Associations:

The Academy of Homiletics, (President 1992)

The American Federation of Musicians

Board of Trustees — Kansas City Public Library, (President 1996-98)

Professional Credentials:

Ordained Elder, The Methodist Church, 1958

Ordained Deacon, The Methodist Church, 1956

Member, Missouri Annual Conf. of the United Methodist Church


Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching, Yale University, Divinity School, 2009

Festschrift: What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching : Essays in Honor of Eugene L. Lowry.   Ed. by Mike Graves & David J. Schlafer, Chalice Press, 2008

Great Preachers Series, Odyssey Cable Channel, 2000



The Homiletic Beat: Why All Sermons Are Narrative. Abingdon Press, 2012

The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form -expanded edition.       Westminster John Knox Press, 2001

The Sermon: Dancing the Edge of Mystery. Abingdon Press, 1997

The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form Translated by Yun Gil Lee, Publishing House, Presbyterian Church of Korea 1996

Living with the Lectionary: Preaching through the Revised Common Lectionary, Abingdon Press 1992

How to Preach a Parable: Designs for Narrative Sermons, Abingdon Press 1989

Doing Time In The Pulpit: The Relationship Between Narrative and Preaching, Abingdon Press 1985

The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form, John Knox Press 1980

Book Chapters:

“What Progress!?” in What’s the Matter with Preaching (75th anniversary of Harry Emerson Fosdick). Ed. by Michael Graves Westminster John Knox Press 2004

“Preaching the Great Themes” in Preaching on the Brink. (In Honor of Henry H. Mitchell) Edited by Martha J. Simmons Abingdon Press 1996

“Stones and Bones” in Best Sermons 7. Edited by James W. Cox   Harper Collins 1993

“The Revolution of Sermonic Shape” in Listening to the Word. (In Honor of Fred B. Craddock) Editors: Gail R. O’Day & Thomas G. Long Abingdon Press 1993

“Cries From The Graveyard” in The Daemonic Imagination. Editors: Robert Detweiler & William C. Doty Scholars Press 1990

“The Narrative Quality of Experience as a Bridge to Preaching” in Journeys Toward Narrative Preaching. Edited by Wayne Bradley Robinson Pilgrim Press 1990

“The Drink” in Best Sermons 3. Edited by James W. Cox     Harper & Row 1990

Encyclopedia Sections:

“Narrative Preaching”   in New Interpreter’s Bible Handbook on Preaching.  Abingdon Press, 2008

“Arrangement”   in New Interpreter’s Bible Handbook on Preaching. Abingdon Press, 2008

“Narrative Preaching”: in Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching. Edited by William H. Willimon and Richard Lischer Westminster, John Knox Press 1995

Journal Articles:

“Whither the New Homiletic”   Homiletix e-forum   Fall 2006

“The Preaching Life” in Preacher’s Magazine Lent/Easter 2002

“Surviving the Sermon Preparation Process” in Journal for Preachers   Vol. XXIV, No.3 pp.28-32 Easter 2001

“And All That Jazz” in Peniel Spring 1991

“Preaching or Reciting? Theft in the Pulpit” in Christian Ministry   Vol. 22:2 pp. 9-12 March-April 1991

“Peace and Passion in Preaching” in Pulpit Digest September-October 1990

“The Narrative Quality of Experience as a Bridge to Preaching” in Preaching   Vol. VI No.2 pp. 18-24 September-October 1990

“Peace and Passion in Preaching” in The Peer Age Vol. 2, No. 1 pp. 3 December 1990

“Listening to the Dark” in Pulpit Digest July-August 1990

“Interview: The Preacher at Peniel” in Peniel Winter 1988

“Strangers in the Night” in Peniel Pentecost   1988

“Galatians, A Marvelous Book for Preachers” with Laurence Wagley, in Quarterly Review Spring 1983

“The Homiletical Bind” in Christian Ministry January 1975

“Worship or Celebration…? Some Big Differences” in Christian Ministry October 11 1973

“The Image, Open System Theory, and Educational Administration” in Studies In Education, Spring-Summer 1971

“Tender Traps and Open Doors” a sermon manuscript in The Journal of Saint Paul School of Theology Winter   1966


“Encountering the Aristotle Blues”–a lecture-concert, drawn from the Lyman Beecher Lectures of 2009 at Yale Divinity School (Available)

“The Sound of Good News” — a piano album of hymns set in jazz mode (Available)

“Inside Out: Music for Steeple and Street” — a piano jazz album with one side devoted to seven hymns and the other side devoted To secular selections (Available)

“Jazz and Christianity” — a lecture/concert recorded live with Dr. Lowry as narrator/pianist and Milt Abel on bass (Available)

“Theology of the Blues” — a lecture concert recorded live with Dr. Lowry as narrator/pianist and 7-piece band backup (Available)

“Nick at Night”     Riverside Church, New York, NY, 1996

“Listening to the Dark” Preaching Today   Tape 125, 1993

“The Jazz Homiletic”     Preaching Today   Tape 115, 1993

“How to Preach a Parable – Designs for Narrative Sermons” by Abingdon Press, Audio Producer: George Dunn, 1991

“Down the Up Staircase!”   Preaching Today   Tape 97, 1991

“Answer to a Stranger in the Night” Newscope Inspiration Series, 1991

“The Drink”     Riverside Church, New York, NY, 1988

Work in theological seminaries other than Saint Paul School of Theology (Adjunctive teaching, lectureships, etc.)

Asbury Theological Seminary

Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries

Bethel Theological Seminary

Boston University School of Theology

Brite Divinity School

Calvin Theological Seminary

Candler School of Theology

Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Claremont School of Theology

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Drew University: The Theological School

Duke University Divinity School

Eastern Baptist Seminary

Eden Theological Seminary

Fuller Theological Seminary

General Theological Seminary

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Iliff School of Theology

Lexington Theological Seminary

Lincoln Christian College and Seminary

Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University

McCormick Theological Seminary

McMaster Divinity College

Mercer Memorial School of Theology

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Mt Vernon Nazarene College and Seminary

Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary

Nazarene Theological Seminary

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

Perkins School of Theology

Phillips Graduate Seminary

Princeton Theological Seminary

Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the Univ. of St. Thomas

Samford University

San Francisco Theological Seminary

Seventh Day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Toronto School of Theology

Union Theological Seminary

Union Theological Seminary in Virginia

United Theological Seminary in Ohio

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Unity School of Christianity

Vancouver School of Theology

Wartburg Theological Seminary

Wesley Theological Seminary

Western Theological Seminary

Yale Divinity School


Dr. Lowry is married to Sarah G. Lowry, biochemist, and together they have five children, Mark (deceased), Diane, Jill, Gayle and Max, as well as fifteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Address:                                   719 West 100th Court
                                                   Kansas City, MO 64114-4068

Telephone:                                       Cell: 816-820-8870


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