Feature Teaser

Western Theological Seminary's Bast Preaching Initiatives emphasize preaching as a vocation worthy of our lives. We believe it is essential for preachers to dwell in the Bible and allow the Bible to dwell in us. 

The Bast Preaching Festival is an opportunity for pastors, teachers, and communicators to gather and grow through lectures, workshops, and worship.

The cost to attend is $50.

Scroll down to learn more about this year's featured speaker Dr. Jared Alcántara and the schedule for the event. 

Smart Teaser

Jared E. Alcántara is Professor of Preaching and holder of the Paul W. Powell Endowed Chair in Preaching at George W. Truett Seminary. He was born and raised in New Jersey and came to faith in Christ at the age of fourteen. 

An ordained Baptist minister, he has served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, and teaching pastor in Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, and New Jersey. 

Before coming to Truett, from 2014-2018, he served as an associate professor of homiletics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Monday, March 27

9:30 AM: Registration

9:55 AM: Chapel & Community Time

Refreshments provided

10:45 AM: Lecture by Dr. Jared Alcántara

12 PM: Lunch

Included with registration

1 PM: Workshops

See below

2 PM: Workshops

See below

3:15 PM: Worship 

Tuesday, March 28

9:55 AM: Chapel & Community Time

Chapel will be conducted in Spanish. 

Rev. Jennifer Ryden

"Preaching for Young People and All People: Sing an Alleluia!"

Rev. Jennifer Ryden is the Senior Chaplain at Hope College, Campus Ministries. She has ministered to the Hope College Community since 2017. 


Originally from Minnesota, Rev. Ryden spent several years teaching prior to completing her Master of Divinity at Western Theological Seminary in 2015. She loves pastoring the Hope College community and especially ministering to college students.  

Rev. Ryden is ordained in the Reformed Church of America and is passionate about building up the church of Jesus Christ as hope for the world and the joyful witness of our God.

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"The Preacher as Sermon: How who you are shapes what they hear."

Dr. Steve Norman has spent 28 years serving local churches in the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas as a church planter, teaching pastor, lead pastor, and preaching coach. 

As an award-winning author, Dr. Norman has written articles for Christianity Today, Preaching Today, and the Covenant Companion. He is the author of The Preacher as Sermon: How Who You Are Shapes What They Hear. 

Dr. Norman holds a Doctorate of Missiology from Fuller Seminary and is passionate about helping individuals, families, churches, and businesses take the next step in their growth and development.   

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"Preaching with Emotional Intelligence"

Since his ordination in the RCA in 1993, Dr. Ron Rienstra has lived and ministered at educational institutions in Iowa (Central College), Michigan (Calvin College), and California (Fuller Seminary), pursuing his primary interest: helping preachers, congregations, worship teams, and individuals learn to deepen and enliven their gatherings with God. All the while, he remained active in local church life as an interim pastor, preacher, worship leader, and consultant.

Ron currently serves as Professor of Preaching and Worship Arts and Director of Worship Life at Western Theological Seminary.

Smart Teaser

"Why Preach?"

The Rev. David M. Bast served from 1994 until 2017 as President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope, a media ministry focusing on building the church in the world's hard places. 

From 2011 to 2021, Bast was the co-host of a weekly Bible teaching program called Groundwork, produced by ReFrame Media. Before coming to Words of Hope, he served as a pastor for 18 years in RCA congregations in Michigan and Illinois.

David Bast is a graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, both in Holland, Michigan.

He has also studied at Fuller Theological Seminary and Calvin Theological Seminary.

Bast Preaching Festival 2019 with Rev. Timothy Blackmon
Bast Preaching Festival 2018 with Dr. Timothy Brown
Bast Preaching Festival 2017 with Dr. Richard Mouw
Bast Preaching Festival 2016 with Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas
Bast Preaching Festival 2015 with Rev. Anna Carter Florence
Bast Preaching Festival 2014: Rev Eugene Peterson