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Goodson Academy

video from 2020 preaching event

promoting excellence in preaching

The purpose of the Goodson Academy of Preaching is to promote excellence in preaching.  The leadership team of GAP seeks to do this through new ways including live-streamed events, webcasts, online learning, on-site events, and a year-long preaching peer group.

history of the academy

Upon the retirement of Bishop Kenneth Goodson, endowment funds in honor of his leadership were received by the Virginia Annual Conference, and as a result, the Goodson Foundation was formed.  In an effort to be good stewards of these funds, Dr. James C. Logan, professor of homiletics at Wesley Theological Seminary asked Dr. Larry Buxton for help in finding a useful way to honor the bishop.  Dr. Buxton had been a frequent participant in The College of Preachers (now discontinued) which excelled in supporting and encouraging the craft of preaching, using small groups.  Dr. Buxton asked Dr. Kendall Soulen to help in visioning what might be a viable plan.  The Goodson Academy of Preaching (GAP) was formed.

From 1999-2009, annual four-day retreats came to be the hallmark of GAP. These retreats were held at Blackstone where a nationally known preacher, usually a professor of homiletics, was the guest presenter.  In an atmosphere of challenge and collegiality each participant preached to their assigned small group (peer preaching) at least twice with feedback.

After 2009, the Academy was discontinued.  In 2011, the Goodson Foundation was merged along with other foundations and funds in honor of Bishops’ Stockton and Pennel, into the Bishops’ Foundation. Under the umbrella of the Bishops’ Foundation, the Goodson Academy of Preaching was renewed and a design team formed.  The traditional four-day experience was again held in the Fall of 2015 at Blackstone, as this facility was capable of supporting several small group meeting rooms for the peer preaching experiences. Since that time and with the absence of Blackstone, the GAP has been seeking new ways to support excellence in preaching.  A new and enlarged leadership team has been established and the newly formed GAP seeks new ways of promoting excellence in preaching through live-streamed events, webcasts, online learning, on-site events, and a year-long preaching peer group.

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