The Teaching Conference is offered to help high school young ladies develop their ability to communicate God’s Word clearly and effectively to other women. You will (1) prepare one lesson to teach two times, (2) attend workshops designed to help with Bible lesson construction and delivery, and (3) receive one-on-one feedback and coaching.
In addition to the Teaching Conference, you may enter up to two Festival individual/solo contests and may compete in the group contests.
You should prepare a 12- to 15-minute challenge from God’s Word designed for a target audience of ladies. The lesson will be evaluated on the basis of content and delivery.
The lesson should consist of an exposition from one of the Pauline letters. Your theme, main points, and primary development should come from one passage that consists of one or more paragraphs. Cross references can be employed to assist the listener in understanding the primary passage, but the majority of your development should come from within the context of the letter of which your passage is a part.
You may use an outline when teaching. The lesson should be well prepared but not memorized word for word.
Each time you teach you should plan to have 2 copies of your challenge to present to the judges.
You may use the Bellis Copy Center on campus to make additional copies.
You will present your Bible lesson at least two times. Between the first and second rounds you will have an opportunity to watch a portion of your lesson on video, get feedback from one of our experienced women teachers in the School of Religion, and make any changes.
We ask that you use the King James Version.
You will benefit from the following:
- The opportunity to teach God’s Word
- Helpful written feedback from members of the School of Religion and F/S
- One-on-one coaching from our experienced women teachers in the School of Religion
- Workshop sessions designed to aid in teaching and communicating God’s Word
- A free book for those who attend the workshop sessions
- Informal interaction with the women who teach in our School of Religion
While the preaching opportunities allow you to hone the skills you already possess, the workshops will offer useful information to help you communicate the Word of God even more effectively.
- Keep in mind that we are not looking for the “perfect” lesson. Can you stand up in front of a group of ladies and with some degree of confidence and clarity say what God has said in His Word? That’s what we’re looking for.
- Do not view the Teaching Conference as a contest. Don’t work hard to advance. Work hard to grow in your ability to communicate God’s Word. Let God determine who advances and who does not.
- We do not assume that every participant has the same level of teaching experience, giftedness, or style. Our desire is to work with you where you are and take you to the next level.
- Pay attention to the comments and suggestions your coaches give you, especially repeated ones. When you sit down and view a portion of your lesson, look for those things, and then ask for help in addressing those areas of weakness. Be humble and teachable.
Lesson Presentation Helps
- Biblical content of lesson. The primary task of those who communicate God’s Word is to be faithful in saying what God said. If you need help understanding any of the Bible verses you are preaching from, consult someone you know and trust, like your parents, a Bible teacher or pastor.
- Appropriate illustrations. Illustrations are powerful tools to help your audience see and feel the truth. Be sure to incorporate some stories or analogies in your lesson.
- Appropriate application. Think about your target audience as you prepare. Don’t be content just to read or deliver the information to your listeners. Pray that God would transform those who hear the Word.
- Personal appearance. Make sure your appearance complements (and doesn’t distract from) the message.
- Facial expressions/gestures. Sometimes we think we are more expressive than we actually are. Consider presenting your lesson in another context before coming to the Teaching Conference so you can get feedback from others on how you are coming across.
- Eye contact. Eye contact is important for communicating sincerity and authority.
- Grammar/pronunciation. Take the time to look up words you don’t know and find out how to pronounce them. Have someone, like an English teacher, look over your written lesson to spot any grammatical problems.
- Voice variety. Vocal variety is an aid to communicating the truth. No one likes to hear someone speak in a monotone voice for any length of time. So be aware of your pitch, rate, volume and use of pause.
- Considerate of time. You have 12–15 minutes to present your lesson. Be sure to plan and practice enough to fit comfortably into those time constraints.
- Enthusiasm and authority. Be passionate about your challenge and make sure it’s based on God’s Word. If you are teaching the Bible, God is speaking, and when God speaks He speaks with authority.
1st Place Winner
- Program fee for the two semesters of your freshman year at BJU
- Full scholarship to attend a BJU EDUcamp
2nd & 3rd Place Winners
- Full scholarship to attend a BJU EDUcamp
You may win first place only once, although you may enter the Teaching Conference another year in order to receive the judges’ critiques.
Side-by-Side Music Experience
Students are strongly encouraged to rehearse and perform in one of the following side-by-side experiences hosted by members and directors of BJU performing groups.
- Open to 9–12th grade students in brass, woodwind, and percussion. Students will rehearse and perform side-by-side with members of the BJU Symphonic Wind Band under the direction of Dan Turner.
- Open to 9–12th grade students who play violin, viola, cello or bass. Students will rehearse and perform side-by-side with members of the BJU Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Moore.
- Violin I must be able to play with confidence and ease in fifth position, Violin II and Viola in third position, Cello and Bass in fourth position.
- Open to SATB singers recommended by their director.
- Each school or homeschool group may select up to 3 balanced quartets of SATB for a total of 12 singers maximum. These singers will rehearse and perform concert choral literature side-by-side with the Chorale under the direction of Warren Cook.
- Open to SATB singers participating in any area of the Festival. This chorus will rehearse and perform side-by-side with the University Singers, under the direction of Pattye Casarow.