Wounds of the Soul

The Distillery Season Five

How do you preach in a way that is mindful to those who have experienced trauma? Joni Sancken is an assistant professor of homiletics at United Theological Seminary, and author of Words That Heal: Preaching Hope to Wounded Souls. In this episode, Sushama Austin-Connor talks with Joni about her expertise in preaching and her personal experience of trauma, sharing ways for the Church to become a place that welcomes expressions of trauma and offers love, care, and healing to survivors.

The Distillery is a podcast that explores the essential ingredients of book and research projects with experts in their field of study. Learn what motivates their work and why it matters for Christian theology and ministry.


Joni Sanckenis an ordained pastor with Mennonite Church USA and has served as a pastor in Mennonite congregations in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Her credentials are currently held by Virginia Conference. She received her PhD from Toronto School of Theology (2009), MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary (2004), and BA from Goshen College (1998). Prior to joining the faculty at United, she served as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, VA, where she also served as the director of their Preaching Institute. Joni also served as a sessional faculty member at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and Candler School of Theology as a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University.

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Bismarck, ND

Sylvia Bull, Class of 2015

“My field education placements lifted up my gifts for ordained ministry, and the dual-degree program helped me develop the skills for ministry.”