The Indiana Wesleyan University School of Theology and Ministry has selected Michael Teller (sr) as the recipient for the 2017 William B. Economon Scholarship for Preaching Excellence.
Since 1973, the Economon family has funded this award, commonly referred to as the “Senior Sermon Award,” with the desire that excellent preaching be celebrated as crucial to IWU’s commitment to the church.
Students taking Homiletics each year receive feedback on their preaching from both professors and peers. From that feedback, the preaching professors nominate potential candidates for review by the entire School of Theology and Ministry faculty.
Associate Professor of Practical Ministries Rev. David Vardaman, says the award honors one student per year for outstanding achievement in communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“This person excels in sermon writing and preaching performance and is regarded as a disciple of Jesus, a conscientious student, and a positive member of the IWU community,” Vardaman said. “The award comes with a scholarship and the student’s name is engraved on a cumulative plaque. The greatest benefit to the student is the affirmation that God is working in and through him or her to touch eternal souls.”
Recipients also get the opportunity to speak in chapel.
Associate Professor of Homiletics and Practical Theology Rev. Dave Ward says in keeping with 1 Timothy 5:17, IWU wants to remain a place that honors those who labor in teaching and preaching.
“Michael Teller is not only a gifted preacher, but also a humble and sincere Christ-follower,” Ward said. “He was unanimously celebrated by the School of Theology and Ministry faculty for his character, scholarship, and leadership on campus and in ministry roles.”
Teller says he is extremely humbled and grateful for receiving this award.
“It seems to me that awards are merely gifts from God, and the real test is obedience. My faithfulness to God ten years from now is much more important than any award, and my professors continually remind me of this,” Teller said. “I am so thankful to each of my professors who have poured into me, teaching me what it looks like to love God. To me, the real reward is simply to sit in the office of people like Dr. Ward and listen.”