Rev. Dr. Joni Sancken


Butler Chair of Homiletics and Biblical Interpretation

Phone: 604-822-0245

Email: jsancken (at) vst (dot) edu


Joni Sancken’s approach to preaching is interdisciplinary and theological. Sancken (PhD, Toronto School of Theology, Emmanuel College) was previously Professor of Homiletics at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH and Assistant Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, VA. Much of her recent work has concerned the intersections of preaching and trauma studies. Her current research is focused on how preaching can be vehicle for conflict transformation in congregations.

She is the author of several books, including Stumbling Over the Cross: Preaching the Cross and Resurrection Today (Cascade, 2016), Words that Heal: Preaching Hope to Wounded Souls (Abingdon, 2019), All Our Griefs to Bear: Responding with Resilience After Collective Trauma (Herald Press, 2022), and Getting to God: Preaching Good News in a Troubled World (co-authored, Cascade, 2023).

Sancken is passionate about supporting and encouraging pastors and church leaders in a variety of contexts. She is American, having grown up in a Mennonite congregation near Champaign-Urbana, IL and is an ordained pastor in Mennonite Church USA. She is energized by ecumenical and religious diversity, having previously studied, served, and worshipped in Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Canada, and United Methodist settings, and has completed training in the interfaith practice of scriptural reasoning. She is committed to non-violence and conflict resolution. She has completed two levels of training in Strategies for Trauma and Resilience (STAR) at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.

Sancken lives in Vancouver with her Presbyterian pastor spouse, Steve Schumm, children Maggie and Theodore, and dogs Bella and Pax. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, live music, reading, and taking long walks.