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The Bay Area Academy of Responsible Preaching

The Bay Area Academy of Responsible Preaching provides a course of study that fulfills what seminaries often fail to offer and what a preaching conference can never give. In the discipleship model of Jesus, the Leadership Institute at Allen Temple brings the seminary to the sidewalks of everyday people and offers a yearlong, semester scheduled series of classes that promotes Responsible Preaching.

alfred smithVISION: The Bay Area Academy of Responsible Preaching (BAARP) provides high-level learning opportunities for preachers to develop practices and perspectives that promote responsible preaching.

MISSION: The mission of the BAARP will be to provide learning experiences that focus exclusively upon vital nuances of the preaching assignment, consistent with contemporary challenges and issues, yet grounded in the historical and theological traditions of Christ and the Church.

BAARP will fulfill this mission by offering four courses, two per semester, with a preaching intensive during Intersession featuring a noted Homilist and/or Biblical Scholar.

“The Bay Area Academy of Responsible Preaching with mentors who are seasoned practitioners of preaching with earned doctorates is dedicated to helping the novice and the experienced preacher to do responsible preaching that addresses the redemptive and reconciling action of God in healing a world broken by injustice, oppression and empire.” -Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Founder


The Leadership Institute at Allen Temple was founded under the visionary leadership of Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., then Pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church. In 1997, Dr. Smith met with a group of caring and concerned Christians and shared his vision with them to begin an institute for Christian ministry. The fall of 1998, the vision of the group became a reality when forty-five students enrolled in the Certificate of Ministry Program. Today, the Leadership Institute at Allen Temple continues to offer affordable and dynamic educational opportunities, focusing on preparing emerging and existing leaders for improving the quality of life of society. The professional emphasis of these opportunities includes providing sociological understanding of community, principles of effective leadership, ethical and moral values for leaders, an introduction of theological disciplines along with other areas relevant to community development and social change.


Certificate Program  

  • A high school diploma or G.E.D. Certificate.
  • Completion of the enrollment application form and payment of the application fee. Non-Certificate Status
  • Completion of the enrollment application form and payment of the application fee.

Tuition and Fees  

  • Registration: $20
  • Semester Tuition: $300 ($150 per class)
  • Intersession Tuition: $300


Fall Semester

Introduction To Preaching: A Preaching Model That Works

Alvin C. Bernstein, Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Richmond,

CA M.Div. – Vanderbilt University D.Min. – United Theological Seminary


alvin bernstein


Biblical Preaching: Responsible Exegesis

Claybon Lea, Jr., Senior Pastor, Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Fairfield, CA

D.Min. – United Theological Seminary Ph.D. – Golden Gate Theological Seminary


clayton lea




Preaching Intensive: A Series of Workshops and Lectures


Spring Semester

Womanist Preaching

Donna E. Allen, Senior Pastor, New Revelation Community Church, Oakland, CA

M.Div. – Vanderbilt University Ph.D. – Vanderbilt University


donne allen


Theology of Preaching

Tanisha L. Sparks, Executive Pastor, Mosswood Park Church of God, Stockton, CA

Associate Minister, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, CA

M.Div. – American Baptist Seminary of the West D.Min. – Emory University

tanisha sparks