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 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 2018 is Whose Truth? Whose Power?: Justice in the Age of Alternative Facts. Submission details for the 2018 Prize will be announced soon.
Below are listed the Preaching Prize recipients from the past several years along with links to the videos of the winning sermons. Last year's winner, Salem Pearce of Hebrew College, submitted her sermon based on our 2017 theme: Reconciliation: Healing Our Divisions.
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.
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.