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Letters are the most prevalent literary form in the New Testament. This genre makes up at least 20 of the 27 New Testament books. Given their prominence, it is not surprising that preaching from the Epistles is a regular part of many churches’ pulpit ministries. In order to preach the Epistles well, it is essential that we have an understanding of the genre and its unique literary conventions and structures.
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A great way to earn seminary credit! Earn 2 graduate credits for successfully completing this course from either Trinity Evangelical Divinity School or Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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Thomas R. Schreiner

Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Biblical Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tom joined the faculty of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997, after serving 11 years on the faculty at Bethel Theological Seminary. He also taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University. A Pauline scholar, he is the author or editor of several books including, Romans, in the Baker Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament; Interpreting the Pauline EpistlesThe Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of LawThe Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and AssuranceStill Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives of Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace, co-edited with Bruce A. Ware; Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of I Timothy 2:9-15Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology.


David Helm

Lead Pastor, Christ Church Chicago

David serves as the lead pastor of Christ Church Chicago and Chairman of the Board of the Charles Simeon Trust, an organization dedicated to the sound preaching of God’s Word. Before that, he served as Lead Pastor in the Hyde Park congregation of Holy Trinity Church. A graduate of Wheaton College, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, David is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and serves on the council of The Gospel Coalition. For Crossway, he authored 1 & 2 Peter and JudeThe Big Picture Story Bible, and contributed to Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching in Honor of Kent Hughes. He also authored One-to-One Bible Reading for Matthias Media and the 9Marks volume Expositional Preaching.


David Camera

Senior Pastor, River Oaks Church

David Camera is Senior Pastor of River Oaks Church in Lake Mary, Florida. He holds an MA in Theology from Wheaton College, an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a DMin from Westminster Theological Seminary. David is also a graduate of the Cornhill Training Course in London, England. He previously served on the pastoral staffs at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and Holy Trinity Church in Chicago, Illinois.


K. Edward Copeland

Pastor, New Zion Missionary Baptist Church

K. Edward Copeland serves as pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois. He earned a BA from the University of Illinois, a JD from the University of California, an MDiv from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California, as well as a DMin from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has taught for the National Baptist Convention of America, USA Inc. as well as district associations, conventions, and conferences throughout the nation and across denominational lines. He is author of Riding in the Second Chariot: A Guide for Associate Ministers, and a contributing author to Entrusted with the Gospel by Crossway. He also serves as a Council Member of the Gospel Coalition.


Mark Dever

Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church

Mark is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Duke University, an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a DPhil from Cambridge University. Since his ordination 1985, he has served on the pastoral staffs of four churches, including a church plant in Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Washington in 1994, He also taught for the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University while serving for two years as an associate pastor of Eden Baptist Church. Mark has written numerous books, including The Deliberate Church and the two volume overview of the Bible called Promises Kept and Promises Made. He also serves as the president of 9Marks and he is on the council of the Gospel Coalition.


Kent Hughes

Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church

R. Kent Hughes is senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He holds the John Boyer Chair of Evangelism and Culture and is a recently retired professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He holds a DMin from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Kent is also a founder of the Charles Simeon Trust, and is the series editor for the Preaching the Word commentary series as well as the author or coauthor of many books.


Michael Lawrence

Lead Pastor, Hinson Baptist Church

Michael became Senior Pastor at Hinson Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon in September, 2010. Michael came to faith at an early age, but never understood that the Christian life was more than salvation until he was introduced to the InterVarsity campus ministry at Duke. Michael earned an MDiv at Gordon-Conwell and a PhD from Cambridge University in 2002. He served as Associate Pastor for more than 8 years at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington D.C. He is the author of Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry, co-author of It Is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement (with Mark Dever), and contributed to Perspectives on Christian Worship: Five Views.


Mervyn Eloff

Rector, St James Church, Kenilworth

Mervyn is the Rector of St James Church, Kenilworth in Cape Town South Africa. After completing undergraduate degrees in Science and Theology, he earned a DTh in New Testament Studies from the University of Stellenbosch. Before joining the staff at St James, Mervyn served in churches in London, Stellenbosch, and Cape Town and as a lecturer and vice Principal at George Whitefield College in Cape Town. He has contributed to Built on the Rock: Studies in Matthew’s Gospel (Eerdmans), The Proclamation Bible, and has authored Teaching 1,2, 3 John and Teaching James (PT Resources – Christian Focus). His doctoral thesis is titled From the Exile to the Christ: Exile, Restoration and the Theology of Matthew’s Gospel. In his role as Director of African Initiatives, he helps with the design and implementation of the workshop portfolio in Africa, focusing particularly on the training of instructors for international Workshops.


Scott Hafemann

Honorary Reader at St. Andrews University, Scotland

Scott is an Honorary Reader in New Testament in the School of Divinity, St. Mary’s College at the University of St. Andrews. Prior to that, he was the Mary F. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the first holder of the Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College and Graduate School. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular volumes, including The God of Promise and the Life of Faith.


Charlie Dates

Pastor, Progressive Baptist Church

Charlie Dates is the Senior Pastor of Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MDiv and PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Charlie served at New Zion Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois, and Salem Baptist Church of Chicago before coming to Progressive Baptist. He is an Adjunct Professor at TEDS and the Moody Bible Institute. Charlie contributed to Letters To a Birmingham Jail and is a regular contributor to Preaching Today magazine.


Philip G. Ryken

President, Wheaton College

Phil is the president of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Before that, Phil served as Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelors degree from Wheaton College, his Masters of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University. He has authored numerous books, including commentaries on 1 Timothy (Reformed Expository Commentary) and Exodus (Preach the Word Series). He also serves as a Council Member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and on the council of the Gospel Coalition.


Lisa Helm

Bible Teacher, Christ Church Chicago

Lisa is a lifelong Chicagoan, having lived over 20 years in the Hyde Park neighborhood where her husband is a pastor. They are blessed to be part of a vibrant church family. Currently, she serves alongside others teaching women at Christ Church Chicago and working in the Kid City ministry. She holds a BA from Wheaton College. Lisa also enjoys her job planning sales events for a financial services firm.


Colleen McFadden

Director of Women's Workshops

Colleen serves as the Director of Women’s Workshops for the Charles Simeon Trust where she is responsible for all activities related to the Workshops for women Bible teachers. She helps teach in the women’s ministry at Windsor Baptist Church where she and her husband are members. Colleen was previously in the corporate world for several years in sales and marketing. She earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She also serves on the board of Matthias Media Ministries.


Letters are the most prevalent literary form in the New Testament. This genre makes up at least 20 of the 27 New Test...More
Letters are the most prevalent literary form in the New Testament. This genre makes up at least 20 of the 27 New Testament books. Given their prominence, it is not surprising that preaching from the Epistles is a regular part of many churches’ pulpit ministries. In order to preach the Epistles well, it is essential that we have an understanding of the genre and its unique literary conventions and structures.
Download Syllabus
Lesson 1

Preaching the Pauline Epistles

Thomas R. SchreinerIn this opening lesson, Dr. Thomas Schreiner introduces some important elements of understanding, teaching, and applying Paul's Epistles. 
Lesson 2


David HelmIn this lesson David Helm explores how to find the structure of a passage in the Epistles.
Lesson 3


David CameraIn this lesson David Camera demonstrates how understanding the context of a biblical passage keeps us biblically faithful and culturally relevant.
Lesson 4

Melodic Line

K. Edward CopelandIn this lesson K. Edward Copeland argues that the best preachers are the best listeners. He demonstrates how discerning the melodic line of a biblical book allows us to preach every smaller section of that book better. 
Lesson 5

The Main Theme of Romans

Mark DeverIn this lesson, Mark Dever demonstrates how to work through the main theme(s) of an entire book by looking at the Epistle to the Romans.
Lesson 6

Exposition 1: Philippians 1:18b-26

R. Kent HughesIn this lesson, Kent Hughes preaches from Philippians 1:18b-26.
Lesson 7

Exposition 2: Jude 1-4

Michael LawrenceIn this lesson, Michael Lawrence gives an exposition from Jude 1-4. 
Lesson 8

Exposition 3: James 2:1-13

Mervyn EloffIn this lesson Mervyn Eloff preaches from James 2:1-13.
Bonus Feature

Women's Exposition: Titus 2

Lisa HelmLisa Helm engages her hearers on the topic of godly living as she preaches from Titus 2.
Bonus Feature

Women's Exposition: 1 Peter 1

Colleen McFaddenHear Colleen McFadden give an exposition from 1 Peter 1.
Bonus Feature

Logical Relationships, Part 1

Scott J. HafemannIn this instruction, Dr. Hafemann shows us how considering logical relationships will help us find the main point of paragraphs, and thus help us preach more carefully. 
Bonus Feature

Logical Relationships, Part 2

Scott J. HafemannIn the second part of his instruction on logical relationships, Dr. Hafemann reviews the strategies by considering two examples in the New Testament.
Bonus Feature

Connecting to the Gospel, Part 1

Michael LawrenceIn his first part of two instructions, Michael Lawrence helps us think about connecting to the gospel by considering the "gospel explained."
Bonus Feature

Connecting to the Gospel, Part 2

Michael LawrenceIn his second of two instructions, Michael Lawrence helps us think about connecting to the gospel by considering the "gospel applied."
Bonus Feature

Exposition: 2 Timothy 1:13-18

Charlie DatesIn this lesson Charlie Dates gives an exposition of 2 Timothy 1:13-18.
Bonus Feature

Principles for Preaching Epistles

Philip G. RykenIn this lesson, Phil Ryken quickly surveys several tools for studying the Epistles.

Course Resources

Here you'll find course documents and other helps for the course that are all available for download.