Leonard Sweet is a scholar of US American culture; a semiotician who “sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining;” and a preacher and best-selling author who communicates the gospel with a signature bridging of the worlds of faith, academe, and popular culture. In 2006 and 2007, Len was voted by his peers “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport Magazine, and in 2010, he was selected by the top non-English Christian website as one of the “Top 10 Influential Christians of 2010.” His popular podcast, “Napkin Scribbles,” is widely quoted, and his weekly sermon contributions to sermons.com have made that site the top preaching resource for pastors in North America. For nine years, he and his wife wrote the entire content for the weekly preaching resource Homiletics. In 2005 Len introduced the first open-source preaching resource on the Web, wikiletics.com. Len’s microblogs on Twitter and Facebook rank as two of the most influential social media sites in the world.
You can find some of Len’s talks on his YouTube channel. Founder and President of SpiritVenture Ministries (SVM), in 1995 Len launched Sweet’s SoulCafe, a spirituality newsletter purchased by Broadman & Holman Publishing. Len is a popular and highly sought-after speaker throughout North America and around the world. In the past couple of years he has spoken in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, England, Wales, South Africa, South Korea, Iceland, Scotland and, most recently, China, Indonesia and Latvia.
Author of more than 200 articles, 1300+ published sermons and more than 50 books, Leonard Sweet’s publications include the bestsellers SOUL TSUNAMI, AQUA CHURCH, JESUS MANIFESTO (with Frank Viola) and JESUS: A THEOGRAPHY (with Frank Viola), as well as many other volumes that are revolutionizing the church’s mission.
Currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Madison, NJ and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, Portland, Oregon, Len was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Theological School at Drew University from 1995 to 2001. Previous to Drew, Len served for eleven years as President and Professor of Church History at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio and is currently their President Emeritus. Prior to 1985, Len was Provost of Colgate Rochester/Bexley Hall/Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York when he was in his late 20s. Involved in leadership positions in the United Methodist Church, Len has been chosen to speak at various Jurisdictional and General Conferences as well as the 1996 World Methodist Congress in Rio de Janeiro. He also serves as a consultant to many of America’s denominational leaders and agencies. He is a member of the West Virginia Annual Conference.
Len has served a term on the council of the American Society of Church History, was an associate editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion for 10 years, and is a member of numerous professional groups. An honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Richmond, he earned his Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. The recent recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Richmond (Virginia), Baker University (Kansas), Otterbein College (Ohio), Coe College (Iowa), and Lebanon Valley College (Pennsylvania), Len has held distinguished lectureships at various colleges, universities and seminaries, and has presented academic papers before major professional societies. He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, state conventions, pastors’ schools and retreats.
Len resides on Orcas Island (Eastsound) in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State.