Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm

Brightbill Professor of Preaching & Worship

Biographical Sketch:

Born and reared in Detroit, Michigan, Professor Ottoni-Wilhelm is ordained in the Church of the Brethren. 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, focusing on homiletics and biblical studies. She is the Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany and teaches courses for other seminaries and divinity schools in the U.S. Prof. Ottoni-Wilhelm is an active member of the Academy of Homiletics, serves as Senior Editor of the journal Homiletic, is past president and currently serves on the governing board of Societas Homiletica (the international association of homileticians).


  • Certificate in Spiritual Direction, Oasis Ministries, 2020
  • Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2004
  • Clinical Pastoral Education, Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, Allentown PA, 1986-87
  • 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: 

  • Appointed Senior Editor of Homiletic, the journal of the Academy of Homiletics, 2020
  • Elected President of Societas Homiletica, 2016-18
  • Consultant and teaching faculty for the David Buttrick Certificate Program in Homiletic Peer Coaching, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Courses Recently Taught:

  • Preaching, Theopoetics, and Society, M120
  • 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.)
  • Spiritual Direction (with Prof. Michael Birkel of ESR), SP335

Recent Publications: 

  • Contributing Editor, Preaching the Fear of God in a Fear-Filled World (LIT Verlag, Germany, 2020)
  • Contributing Editor (with Phillis-Isabella Sheppard and Ronald J. Allen), Preaching Prophetic Care: Building Bridges to Justice (Wipf & Stock, 2018)
  • Contributing Editor (with Ronald J. Allen and Dale Andrews), Preaching God’s Transforming Justice: A Lectionary Commentary for Years A, B, and C (Westminster John Knox Press, (2011, 2012, 2013)

Websites of Interest:

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

Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm