James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor Emeritus of Preaching
Duke Divinity School
Durham, NC 27708-0968
B.A. Concordia Senior College
M.A. (English) Washington University
B.D. Concordia Seminary
Ph.D. University of London
A native of St. Louis, Professor Lischer's graduate theological training is in systematic theology. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has pastoral experience in rural and suburban settings. He joined the Duke Divinity School faculty in 1979 and taught homiletics and ministry.
In his scholarly work Dr. Lischer has sought to portray proclamation, ministry, and rhetoric as integrated theological activities. He also has explored the interactions of preaching, politics, and contemporary culture, notably in The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America (OUP, 1995, 2020) and in The End of Words: The Language of Reconciliation in a Culture of Violence. His book The Company of Preachers was named 2003 Best Book in Ministry/Leadership by Christianity Today. His theological memoir, Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery (Doubleday, 2001), evokes the hidden dynamics of ministry in a small-town parish. A second memoir, Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son (Knopf, 2013), commemorates his son, Adam, who died in 2005. A collection of his sermons, Just Tell the Truth, was published by Eerdmans in 2021. His newest book is Our Hearts Are Restless: The Art of Spiritual Memoir (OUP, 2022).
Professor Lischer has taught and lectured widely in the areas of practical theology, ministry, religious autobiography and preaching. He has held many distinguished lectureships, including the Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 from the Academy of Homiletics. In retirement he has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Personal site: richardlischer.org