January 2022 News Perspective Online

Faculty Updates: January 2022

Wes Allen Co-authors Book with Carrie La Ferle

Wesley Allen, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, is co-author of a new book with SMU professor Carrie La Ferle, Preaching and the Thirty Second Commercial: Lessons from Advertising for the Pulpit. (Westminster John Knox Press 2021). According to the book’s publicity, “At first glance, preaching and advertising seem worlds apart from one another. One tries to proclaim love of God and neighbor; the other tries to sell you something that you may or may not need. Yet both must compete with other ways we receive and process information in an increasingly distracted world.” Believing that preaching can benefit from advertising’s laser focus, Allen and La Ferle (a professor of advertising) have “written a first-of-its-kind book on what preachers can learn from advertising.” Examples include sharpening one’s analysis of the congregation; understanding how the form of the sermon leads to greater or lesser effectiveness; building the sermon around imagery and narrative. The book is available on Amazon.

Emeritus Faculty Member Publishes Book

Dr. Thomas W. Spann, retired faculty member and former director of the Intern Program at Perkins, has published a new book, The Learning and the Burning: Ways to Enhance Preaching (Outskirts Press, 2021). The book offers creative ideas for enhancing preaching, covering topics such as: poetic flair; social messaging of the gospel; progressive celebration; perspiration and inspiration; and avoiding common errors in English. Since retirement he has been writing books, which are available on his website: The Learning and the Burning is available on,, Ingram, and others.