History and Philosophy of Worship – WRSP 502

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/06/2022

Course Description

This is a study of the history of worship music from the early church through the modern period. Emphasis is given to changes in worship practices resulting from the Reformation, the Great Awakenings, revival moments, large evangelistic crusades of the 1940s and 1950s, Jesus Movement, Praise and Worship Movement and Modern Worship.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


At the heart of successful worship leadership is the preparation and presentation of worship. The course seeks to help the worship leader accomplish these tasks on a regular basis by raising awareness of the historical development of worship and how it has and is influencing worshipers within the evangelical tradition.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist in the Course Overview.

Discussions (5)

Throughout the course, you will participate in Class Discussions. You will post a thread of 250–300 words based on Morgan's, Then Sings My Soul, book and particular video presentations. You must then post 2 replies of 150–200 words. (Outcomes: A-F)

Reading Reflections Essay Assignments (3)

Throughout this course the student will read Worship Through the Ages and articulate the main points that should be remembered about worship within the selected passages. Each review must be no less than half a page (250 words) and no more than 2 pages. A title page is required. (Outcomes: C and E).

Webber Chapter Critique Assignment

The student must complete a critique of Worship Old and New, by Robert Webber, Chapters 5, 9, 10, 11 only. The student must use the template provided and write a summary, an analysis and a 1-sentence statement of what was learned for each chapter. Each chapter report must be no more than 1-page in length. A title page is required. (Outcomes: A, C, and D).

Lim and Ruth Book Critique Assignment

The student must complete a Critique of Lovin on Jesus', by Swee Hong Lim and Lester Ruth. For each of the eight chapters, the student must use the template provided and write a summary, an analysis and a 1-sentence statement of what was learned. Each chapter report must be no more than 1-page long. A title page is required. (Outcomes: A, C, and D).

History of Worship Music Capstone Paper Assignment

The student will complete a paper in narrative writing style articulating the History of Worship Music from the Protestant Reformation (1517) through the present day, using the timeline outline in Appendix I of the textbook, Worship Through the Ages, as a resource guide. This must be a 12–15 page research paper, which incorporates at least 10–15 sources. The student must articulate historical, biblical, philosophical, and personality influences impacting the development of worship music in the evangelical tradition. The student will use the Towns and Whaley text as a primary resource for completing the paper. This is a formal paper and must conform to Turabian writing format; to include properly written title page, contents page, footnotes, and a bibliography page. The paper should include a well written introduction and conclusion.

The paper will be submitted through Turnitin. (Outcomes: B, C, D, and F)

Quizzes (2)

The student has 2 hours to complete Quiz: Midterm, and 1 hour to complete Quiz: Final. Each quiz is open-book/open-notes with questions derived from the Towns and Whaley textbook.

  • Quiz: Midterm is comprised of 50 multiple choice questions from chapters 1–10.
  • Quiz: Final is comprised of 25 matching questions from chapters 1–16. (Outcomes B, C, D and F).