The Rev. Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie

Denomination: United Methodist Church (UMC)
Organization: Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

The Rev. Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie is Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology. Ordained as an elder 1981, Dr. McKenzie is a member of the North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Dr. McKenzie received her BA in the History of Religions from Bryn Mawr College (1977), her Master of Divinity degree from the Divinity School of Duke University (1980), and her Ph.D. in Homiletics from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1994. Dr. McKenzie has served several local congregations, in both associate and solo pastoral roles, in several churches in Central and Eastern Pennsylvania. From 1994-1998 she served as Visiting Lecturer in Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary and as Consultant in Preaching and Worship to pastors of the Central and Eastern Conferences, UMC.

Her special interests include preaching on biblical wisdom, preaching on the sayings and parables of Jesus, preaching on public, often controversial issues, and the role of imagination in crafting sermons. Her articles have appeared in a wide spectrum of periodicals: Quarterly Review, Word and Witness, Leaven, Interpretation, Journal for Preachers, Insights, The Living Pulpit, Circuit Rider, Proverbium, and Theology Today. Her sermons have appeared in a number of anthologies. Her article "Different Strokes for Different Folks: America's Quintessential Proverb," originally published in Theology Today in 1996, was chosen for inclusion in Cognition, Comprehension, and Communication: A Decade of North American Proverb Studies (1990-2000), Phraseologie und Paromiologie, the European Society of Phraseology, edited by Wolfgang Eismann and Peter Grzybek.

Dr. McKenzie enjoys writing books about preaching for pastors. She is the author of Preaching Proverbs: Wisdom for the Pulpit (1996), Preaching Biblical Wisdom in a Self- Help Society (2002) and Hear and Be Wise: Becoming a Teacher and Preacher of Wisdom (2004). Her book, Novel Preaching: Fiction Writing Strategies for Sermons, was published by Westminster John Knox in 2010. Her new book, co-authored with colleague Dr. John Holbert, is entitled What Not to Say: Practical Advice for

Provocative Preaching and will be published in the spring of 2011.

Dr. McKenzie also enjoys writing small group Bible studies for youth and adults. Her Matthew volume of the Interpretation Commentary Study Series was published by Westminster John Knox Press in 1998 and is now in its fourth printing. Her most recent book The Parables for Today was published in 2007 by Westminster John Knox and is not in its 3rd printing. She is currently working on a study of the Bible's wisdom entitled Save Your Receipt: Exchanging Fear for Faith.

Dr. McKenzie is a frequently featured preacher, Bible study leader and teacher at workshops, conferences, and worship services both in Texas and throughout the country. She and her husband Murry have three grown children, Melissa, Rebecca and Matt. They live in Allen, Texas where they are active in the life of First United Methodist Church of Allen. She sings in the chancel choir and, with her husband Murry, leads the JourneySunday School class. The McKenzies enjoy traveling, music, and spending time with friends and family. She is an avid fan of mystery novels and a student of yoga.

To read her blog at, click here.

Articles by The Rev. Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie

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Alyce McKenzie: The Green-Eyed Monster

Saturday September 24, 2016
Envy is rooted in a sense of inadequacy, in feeling that someone else has something I want or something better than what I have and that there is not enough to go around.

Alyce McKenzie: God Is Still Calling: Some Advice for Young Preachers

Wednesday August 17, 2016
As I looked out over the young faces of those gathered in the Wesley Covenant Chapel at Church of the Resurrection on a hot July day in Kansas, I felt, rather than heard God saying within me, 'Be encouraged. I am still calling, and people are still responding.' All their faces were eager, and some were anxious.

Alyce McKenzie: Partial View Seats: Reflections on Luke 13:10-17

Saturday August 24, 2013
It turns out that a partial view seat is not such a bargain after all.

Alyce McKenzie: Boot Against the Wall

Saturday May 25, 2013
There is certainly plenty of turbulence to be experienced in the course of daily life. If you live in my part of the world, tornados are an early summer threat. Wherever you live, school shootings and terrorist acts have eroded our sense of safety and, maybe even our trust in one another. There’s plenty of reason to stomp your boot against the nearest wall. But that doesn’t help much.

Alyce McKenzie: M Is for the Many Things: A Mother's Day Sermon

Sunday May 12, 2013
Mother's Day is a day when we moms suspect that your cards tell us not who we really are, but who you, our family, society, and maybe even God wishes we were.

Alyce McKenzie: Saying Nes and Saying Yo: Discernment and Indecision

Saturday May 11, 2013
Let your word be Yes, Yes or No, No; anything more than this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37). Lately I’ve been translating this verse a little differently...

Alyce McKenzie: A Psalm for Boston?

Friday April 26, 2013
In Psalm 121 the psalmist, perhaps embarking on a pilgrimage to the Temple at Jerusalem, is asking who will be with him in the unknown dangers that lurk in the hills and crags that line the path he’s walking along?

Alyce McKenzie: My New Motto

Monday April 22, 2013
Three occasions have arisen recently in which I have had to stand and deliver and, thank God, been able to do so.

Alyce McKenzie: Harnessing the Darkness

Friday March 29, 2013
As Easter approaches a lot of people are under the mistaken belief that being a Christian means living in a state of untroubled emotional bliss. They may feel that periods of anxiety and depression make one repellent to God. They may feel that they should not even attempt to scale the Kilimanjaro spiritual heights of Easter Sunday joy.

Alyce McKenzie: What Gives??

Saturday March 23, 2013
A pastor friend of mine told me the following story recently. About ten years ago he was serving as a local pastor in Houston and owned a lake house on Lake Livingston in East Texas. The house was located in a wooded area with only two other dwellings nearby. His neighbor to the left was a vociferous atheist. His neighbor to the right self identified as a lapsed Catholic.

Alyce McKenzie: Condiments Don't Make a Meal!

Thursday March 14, 2013
I haven’t been cooking much lately. I chalk it up to being busy. And to teaching until 6 pm some days and then having a long commute home. That shouldn’t prevent me from planning menus and shopping for food in an organized manner, but lately it has.

Alyce McKenzie: Painful Path, Strong Faith: Reflections on Luke 13:31-35

Thursday February 21, 2013
In this season of Lent, let us expect to be uncomfortable as we walk with Jesus through resistance and discomfort toward the Cross.

Alyce McKenzie: Appreciating Our Gifts: Andrea Bocelli, the Barefoot Contessa and Dirk Nowitski

Monday February 18, 2013
Three very different people conspire to teach a lesson on appreciating our God-given gifts.

Alyce McKenzie: A Transforming Transfiguration: Reflections on Luke 9:28-36

Thursday February 07, 2013
Through Scripture, our identities as individuals and communities will be formed and transformed.

Alyce McKenzie: Airborne!

Saturday February 02, 2013
Sometimes, flying makes me realize what a vulnerable situation the human condition is and how much we have to take on faith.

Alyce McKenzie: Procrastination, Anyone?

Thursday January 10, 2013
It is the beginning of a New Year, and, according to Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue last night, only 8% of Americans keep their New Year’s resolutions. Procrastination probably has something to do with that. Here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.