David Schnasa Jacobsen

Title
Professor of the Practice of Homiletics, Director of the Homiletical Theology Project, Co-Director of the Center for Practical Theology; Core Examining Faculty Member in Practical Theology; Concentration Advisor in Homiletics
Email
dsjacobs@bu.edu
Phone
(617) 353-7322
Education
B.A. Concordia College (Moorhead, MN)
M.Div. The Divinity School, Vanderbilt University
M.A. The Graduate School, Vanderbilt University
Ph.D. The Graduate School, Vanderbilt University

Prof. David Schnasa Jacobsen is committed to helping students and pastors claim their role as “theologians of the Word” in preaching. In his courses, he encourages masters and doctoral students to wrestle with their own theology of the gospel. Along the way, they learn as homiletical theologians to use tools like rhetoric, literary criticism, and cultural-anthropological theories to become better public, theological leaders in faith communities, the academy, and in the wider pluralistic world that God so loves.

Prof. Jacobsen’s own research uses rhetorical, literary-critical, and social-scientific tools for the interpretation of Biblical texts for the theological task of contemporary proclamation. He did this in his first book, Preaching in the New Creation (WJKP, 1999), which explored the “promise” of preaching New Testament apocalyptic texts like Mark 13 and Revelation in the contemporary context. In his second book, Preaching Luke-Acts (Abingdon, 2001) Jacobsen and German New Testament scholar Günter Wasserberg considered the two-volume work of Luke-Acts as a first-century narrative-theological writing that can help us do our own theological work of post-Holocaust Biblical interpretation today. Jacobsen’s third book was part of a lectionary help for preachers published by Augsburg Fortress Press, New Proclamation Year C (2007). His most recent book carries out the theological turn in his own research by relating a theology of the gospel to context and situation for those who must preach when life events (weddings and funerals) and emerging issues (public crises or social injustice) present themselves. The book, co-authored with systematic theologian Robert Kelly, is called Kairos Preaching: Speaking Gospel to the Situation and was published by Fortress Press in 2009. Prof. Jacobsen’s ongoing areas of research include the practice of preaching, homiletic theory, theologies of preaching, the relation of Word and Sacrament, hermeneutics, Biblical criticism, and the connection of all these to theology itself. Prof. Jacobsen is Director of the Homiletical Theology Project, which undergirds his research into a more theologically-oriented view of preaching’s subject, task, and method. He works with homiletics doctoral students as part of the School of Theology’s Ph.D. in Practical Theology.

Prof. Jacobsen is a clergy member of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church and has served churches in Pierre, South Dakota and New Johnsonville, Tennessee. He is married to Cindy Schnasa Jacobsen, interim pastor of University Lutheran Church in Cambridge.  He has been active in several leadership roles in the Academy of Homiletics and the Society of Biblical Literature’s Homiletics and Biblical Studies Section.  He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy.

Teaching and research interests include: the practice of preaching, homiletic theory, theologies of preaching, the relation of Word and Sacrament, hermeneutics, Biblical criticism, and the connection of all these to theology itself.