More About the Author
Alyce McKenzie is a popular author, teacher, workshop leader, and preacher. A native of Pennsylvania, she is an ordained United Methodist pastor who served churches in Central and Eastern Pennsylvania for several years before moving to Dallas, Texas in 1999 to teach preaching at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. She was recently promoted to the George W. and Nell Ayers LeVan Endowed Chair of Preaching and Worship effective in June 2011.
She received her BA in the history of religions from Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, her Master of Divinity degree from the Divinity School of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and her Ph.D in "theology and communication in preaching" from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.
In addition to numerous articles in both scholarly and professional journals, Dr. McKenzie has written three books relating biblical wisdom to contemporary values: Preaching Proverbs: Wisdom for the Pulpit (1996), Preaching Biblical Wisdom in a Self-Help Society (2004), and Hear and Be Wise: Becoming a Teacher and Preacher of Wisdom (2007). She has written two guides to biblical texts for adult study groups: Matthew: The Interpretation Study Series (1998) and The Parables for Today (2007). Her latest book is Novel Preaching: Fiction Writing Strategies for Sermons. Alyce is also regular columist for both the Mainline Protestant Portal and Preacher's Portal at www.patheos.com .
She recounts that when she was a little girl there was a stained glass window on the back wall of the church her family attended. One pane depicted Jesus praying in Gethsemane, the other, Jesus ascending to be with God. She remembers asking her mother, "Why can't that happy man help that sad man?" Her mother's reply, "They're the same man," was the catalyst for her lifelong fascination with the stories,images and themes of the Christian faith. She describes her goal as helping people place their stories in the framework of God's story. "When life and Scripture are both so deep and intriguing, why would we be shallow or boring in communicating our faith?"
Dr. McKenzie is an avid reader of mystery novels, an enthusiastic baker and a student of Yoga. She and her husband Murry have three grown children, Melissa, Rebecca and Matthew. The couple lives in Allen, Texas, where they are active in the life of First United Methodist Church. They enjoy time with friends, travel, music and movies.
The focus of Dr. McKenzie's current writing and speaking is on fiction writers' strategies for cultivating the imagination and shaping literary art and on the role and art of storytelling in religious communication.