Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm

Brightbill Professor of Preaching & Worship

Biographical Sketch:
Born and reared in Detroit, Michigan, Professor Ottoni-Wilhelm was ordained in the Church of the Brethren in 1987. After serving for three years as a hospital chaplain and nine as a pastor, she completed her doctoral work in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2004, focusing on homiletics and biblical studies. She is the Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany and teaches doctoral courses for the Association of Chicago Theological Seminaries DMin Program in Preaching. She is an active member of the North American Academy of Homiletics and serves on the governing board of Societas Homiletica, the international association of homileticians.


  • Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2004.
  • Clinical Pastoral Education, Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, Allentown PA, 1987.
  • M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1986.
  • B.A. with honors, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1982.
  • Graduate course work in Jewish philosophy and worship (one semester), Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, 1981.

Recent Honors:

  • Preaching the Gospel of Mark: Proclaiming the Power of God, listed among the 2008 “BookMarks” of Christian Century (March 10, 2009) and among noteworthy books for 2008 in Preaching Magazine (March/April 2009).
  • Fellow in Residence, Cathedral College of Preachers, National Cathedral, Washington D.C. (May-June 2006).
  • Believing in Preaching included among “The Year’s Best Preaching Books” by Preaching Magazine (2005).

Courses Recently Taught:

  • Preaching, Theopoetics, and Society, M120 (and hybrid/online version, M120H)
  • Preaching and Public Discourse, M125
  • Preaching the Gospel(s), M325/B325
  • Preaching, Poetry, and Prophetic Imagination, M326
  • Ritual and Reflection in Life of Faith, M211
  • Patterns of Worship, M220
  • M. Div. Review, F302 (capstone course in Min. Formation/Practical Theol.)

Recent Publications:

  • Preaching the Reign of God: Voices of Jesus for the Church and World (forthcoming, Westminster John Knox Press).
  • Preaching Prophetic Care, co-edited with Phillis-Isabella Sheppard and Ron Allen (Pickwick Pub., 2019).
  • Preaching for God’s Transforming Justice: A Lectionary Commentary, co-edited with Ronald J. Allen and Dale P. Andrews. Three-volume lectionary commentary series (Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, 2012, and 2013).
  • Preaching the Gospel of Mark: Proclaiming the Power of God (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008).
  • Believing in Preaching: What Listeners Hear in Sermons, with Mary Alice Mulligan, Diane Turner-Sharazz and Ronald J. Allen (Chalice Press, 2004).

Websites of Interest:

For a complete listing of accomplishments: 2020 Ottoni-Wilhelm CV

Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm