University of Dubuque

Robert Hoch

Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Worship
B.A., California State University, Sacramento; M.Div. San Francisco Theological Seminary; Th.M., Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary.

Contact Info:
214 Severence | (563) 589-3379 | rhoch@dbq.edu

"Where preaching is concerned there is no shortage of pithy sayings that, if collected in one place, would supply us with at least a year’s worth of pulpit wisdom. And it wouldn’t be because preachers are part-time word-smiths, though many of us are, even if only by necessity. Rather, preaching week in and week out requires substantial wisdom: a sense for people and the questions they ask; an alertness to the biblical witness which may have questions that we did not anticipate, much less imagine; a thirst for fellowship in God’s presence; a sense for language, how it works, and, perhaps more importantly, how words play or resonate in the experience of the magnificence of God’s good news in Jesus Christ. Wisdom indeed. However, it also calls on what might be more pedestrian concerns, issues that seem to be a bit beneath the majesty of the pulpit, namely issues that could be gathered under the rubric “effective communication.” A preaching course addresses both sets of concerns, the wisdom of the preaching life (and its foolishness) as well as improving on skills that contribute to the effective and faithful communication of the gospel. Ultimately, though, preaching entails persons interacting with and responding to the Word God sent - and that involves some kind of wisdom, perhaps even the foolishness of preaching itself."

An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rob Hoch has served churches in Arizona, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Alaska. His dissertation, “To Hear the Voices of Peoples Long Silenced” described the preaching lives of two distinguished Alaska Native missionary-preachers and how they contributed to the witness of the church for First Nations peoples. In his teaching, Rob explores the missional witness of the church, particularly in the public square and in light of the church’s multicultural experience. In addition to his work as a scholar and teacher, Rob is a frequent guest in local pulpits, preaching the gospel in season and out. When he is not preaching, reading, or teaching, you might see him walking with his family along the Mississippi River, looking for eagles.