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Rev. Dr. Joy Jittaun Moore

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 1989

Assistant Professor of Preaching and Academic Liaison to the William E. Pannell Center School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary School of Theology, Pasadena, California

Rev. Dr. Joy Jittaun Moore summarizes her preaching philosophy succinctly as “storied words.” Living in the shadow of Hollywood, she credits the movie business, ironically, for helping her realize how important stories are for shaping our reality. And, as an avid reader, preaching professor, and UMC clergy person, she has always loved to play with words. Like any good storyteller, preaching involves “the perspective of the speaker as well as that of the listener, the writer as well as the reader; it requires both the creation of another world and the willingness to enter the world that has been created.” Her goal in teaching is to help students understand that preaching is not a set of moralistic rules, but a particular way of seeing the world. The task of preaching is to use words to create a compelling narrative of a world people will want to enter into. Essential to this type of storytelling is an awareness of our own social location; an effective preacher reflects honestly her present reality while at the same time acknowledging worlds beyond her own.

For Dr. Moore, faithfulness in ministry is “favoring kindness, practicing justice, and living in a way that brings attention to the God made known in Jesus Christ.” She uses the metaphor of feeding people out of their own baskets—reminding them that God has gifted them with a flourishing life and talents—and letting them know that it is sufficient. If we have confidence in what we bring, our own abundance, it frees us to be ourselves. And that in itself invites us to favor kindness and practice justice.

It was at Garrett-Evangelical that Dr. Moore was introduced to Methodism, realized she was Wesleyan, and learned what it means to be part of a wider family of faith—“thinking globally while acting locally.” Dr. Moore is inspired by an authentic spirit of multi-culturalism and the hospitality that emerges from it. Having pastored many different types of congregations over the years, she has focused her ministry on preaching and practicing hope, hospitality, and honesty—so that all feel welcomed and invited to accept the reconciling love of God. She is especially motivated by “congregations who worship in the name of Jesus on Sunday and can show the world what intergenerational, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic worship is at its best.”

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