BookTalks is a collaborative effort of Barbour Library and the Center for Writing and Learning Support featuring in-person and webinar conversations with PTS faculty and community members as well as other guests whose work is theological in nature. Our host not only highlights the books' subject matter, but also discusses the authors' writing processes, welcoming audience questions throughout. BookTalks are enhanced by library staff-curated subject guides and library displays for those interested in finding related resources. Recorded and linked to the PTS website and social media channels, BookTalks are envisioned to be creative resources that engage all who participate in theological and spiritual reflection and knowledge.

Upcoming BookTalk


Claiming the Call to Preach: Four Female Pioneers of Preaching in Nineteenth-Century America with Donna Giver-Johnston

The Rev. Dr. Donna Giver-Johnston
Thurs., Dec. 7, 2023
5:00 p.m. ET
In Person and Online

Claiming the Call to Preach (Oxford University Press, 2021) traces the history of call through the 19th century, at a time when the question of women’s call to preach, although seemingly fixed by ecclesial authority and cultural convention, was being raised by courageous women in different settings, through different genres, and to different effect. This book recovers the neglected narrative of women’s call to preach through the historical accounts and rhetorical witness of four groundbreaking women preachers: Jarena Lee, Frances Willard, Louisa Woosley, and Florence Spearing Randolph. Scholarship has been written on women who have preached in history, but not on how they managed to claim their call to preach despite the restrictions of gender inequality. In response, these women received endorsement of their claims to pulpit places, engaged in sacred persuasive speech, and preached as ministers of the sacred office. Through feminist hermeneutics, this book examines call narratives which used rhetorical strategies to articulate effective arguments for women’s call to the preaching ministry of the church.

Dr. Giver-Johnston will be joined in conversation by the Rev. Dr. Leanna K. Fuller, Joan Marshall Associate Professor of Pastoral Care at PTS.

For more information visit our Libguide of curated resources for this event.

Author Bio

The Rev. Dr. Donna Giver-Johnston is director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with more than 20 years of experience in pastoral ministry.

Past BookTalk Events