Donald A. Wells Preaching Prize

Congratulations to Mimi Micner, rabbinical student at Hebrew College! Mimi is the 2019 recipient of the Donald A. Wells Preaching Prize! Our panel of judges awarded Mimi this year's prize for her sermon, 'Fear Not: Working for Justice in a World Split Asunder'.  

The Wells Preaching Prize winners are awarded $1,000. Submitted sermons should not be more than 20 minutes in length and are judged according to the appropriateness to the theme, the quality of biblical exegesis, and the ability to present the sermon in an engaging manner. 

Each entrant will submit the following: Text of sermon on our designated annual social justice theme; video of the presentation of that sermon in a digital format of your choosing; a cover sheet with the entrant's name, school, year, degree program, mailing address, phone, and email.

Submissions for the 2020 Wells Preaching Prize (Theme: God Behind Bars) are due by Tuesday, March 31. The prize winner will be announced on Monday, April 20.


The Massachusetts Bible Society established the Donald A. Wells Preaching Prize in 2007 to honor Executive Director Emeritus Donald A. Wells and his commitment to social justice. The prize includes a check for $1,000 and is awarded each year to a student from one of the member schools of the Boston Theological Institute for a sermon based on a biblical text that raises an issue of social justice in the contemporary world. 

MBS features an annual social justice theme - determined by our Board of Trustees - that speaks to a timely, contemporary issue through a biblical and theological lens. Wells Preaching Prize submissions must adhere to the theme provided for the current year. The designated theme for 2020 is God Behind Bars.

Below are listed the Preaching Prize recipients from the past several years along with links to the videos of the winning sermons.  

Don Wells was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bible Society, a Christian non-profit organization working to promote biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue as well as a better understanding of the biblical imperatives for justice and reconciliation. A major focus of his work at MBS was to increase awareness of the multiple voices embedded in the biblical texts and of the voices of people at home and around the world who are reading those texts, including feminists, womanists, and all who have traditionally been marginalized. He served MBS for 19 years and was named Emeritus in 2007. He is currently the Theologian in Residence at Old South Church in Boston.

2019 - 'Fear Not: Working for Justice in a World Split Asunder' - Mimi Micner, Hebrew College Rabbinical School

2018 - 'Truth Decay, Justice and Alternative Facts' - Godwin Nnanna, Boston University School of Theology - View Sermon

2017 - 'Shabbat Hayei Sarah' - Salem Pearce, Hebrew College Rabbinical School - View Sermon

2016 - 'Are We Always with the Poor? Welcoming the Stranger, Responding to Need' - Amelia Nugent, Harvard Divinity School - View sermon.

2015 - 'Overcoming the Wounds of Racism (Jeremiah 8:18-22)' - Art J. Gordon, Boston University School of Theology - View sermon.

2014 - 'Jesus' Strange Economy' - Alex Kato, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - View sermon.

2013 - 'The Great Footwashing Imposition' - Arienne Johnson, Harvard Divinity School - View sermon.




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