Professor of Homiletics and Worship
B.A., Birmingham-Southern College
M.Div., Yale Divinity School
Ph.D., Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Emory University.
As an ordained United Methodist, O. Wesley (Wes) Allen, Jr. worked in parish and campus ministry for 18 years before turning to full-time seminary teaching. His teaching interests involve giving students a strong theological foundation and practical experience for leading worship and preaching. To achieve this goal, he teaches introductory courses in worship and preaching each year along with upper level electives in both areas.
Dr. Allen’s research interests concern broad homiletical interests as well as the connection between preaching and the interpretation of the New Testament. He has published a collection of narrative sermons, Good News from Tinyville: Stories of Heart and Hope (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999); an introductory textbook on exegesis, Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels: Basic Methods for Interpreting Matthew, Mark, and Luke (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000); a homiletical-exegetical resource for pastors, Preaching Resurrection (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000). In 2005, Allen published a theology of preaching The Homiletic of All Believers: Approach to Proclamation and Preaching, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press). In this book he introduced the concept of the cumulative power of the pulpit, and extended that concept in a resource of cumulative strategies for reading and preaching lectionary texts in congregational worship: Preaching and Reading the Lectionary: The Three Dimensions of the Liturgical Year (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2007). Allen is completing his work editing a series of introductory textbooks on preaching for Fortress Press entiled Elements of Preaching; a number of volumes are already completed, including Allen’s on the rhetorical structures available to the preacher–Determining the Form: Structures for Preaching (2008). Dr. Allen is currently working on two books: one that presents the sermon preparation process as a discipline for personal spiritual growth and another on preaching the Gospel of Mattew.
Dr. Allen is married to Bonnie Cook, who is the executive director of the Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association. The two of them have a young daughter named Maggie Cook-Allen.