Biblical Foundations of Worship – WRSP 510

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/03/2022

Course Description

A study of the principles of worship as found in the Old and New Testaments. Includes study of the Tabernacle as a model of worship, worship in the lives of biblical characters, and the biblical roots of worship practices developed by the early church.

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


The need for qualified, trained, and equipped worship leaders has never been greater. Today’s worship leaders are responsible for developing a theological base and biblical understanding of worship for those they lead. These responsibilities require understanding of the role of Old Testament worship and New Testament worship in the life of believers today. They need to know the structure and implications of Hebrew worship as applied to 21st Century evangelical ministry. Further, an understanding of the worship of Jesus will provide a model for leadership in the church today.

This course is designed to meet these needs by telling a story. This is the story of worship from Genesis through Revelation. Just as the narrative of redemption is interwoven through the pages of the Bible, God’s plan for us to worship Him is articulated, explained, illustrated, documented, and applied throughout the pages of His Word. Beginning with Genesis and the truth that God is the ultimate Creator and concluding with worship of The Lamb in The Revelation, principles of worship are drawn from the lives of biblical heroes, ordinary people, events, Old and New Testament practices, biblical poetry, the wisdom books, the life of Christ, the epistles, and Old and New Testament prophecy.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Points to Ponder Essay Assignments (5)

At the conclusion of each chapter in Whaley’s Called to Worship is a section entitled "Principles from this Chapter About Worship." Using this portion of the chapter as source material, a question will be crafted to help you articulate critical points about worship. In that each assignment differs in nature, no specific word count is mandated. A title page is required for each of these essays. (Outcomes: C, E, F)

Discussions (5)

Throughout the course, you will participate in Class Discussions . You will post a thread of 250–300 words discussing various assigned topics related to biblical worship, and then post replies to the threads of at least 2 classmates with 150–200 words each. Your thread should include at least one biblical reference. No title page is required. (Outcomes: A, B, C, D)

Psalms Research Paper Assignment

Using the required reading from the texts, study Bibles, and other research materials, you will complete an 8–10-page research paper on the Book of Psalms. The title page, contents page, and bibliography are not included in the 8–10-page requirement. Your resources should include a minimum of six to eight scholarly sources.

The paper should include a 2–3 page overview of the book to include the major division of the Psalms, the various writers, and themes. You will then select one psalm and include thorough research on that chosen psalm. Research should include etymology of key words, occasion for its writing, and information on the writer of the Psalm. This portion of the paper should be 7–8 pages in length. The selected Psalm must contain no fewer than eight verses. (Outcomes: A, B, E)

Book & and Chapter Critique Assignments

You will read Engaging with God, by Peterson, and then write a book critique in a chapter-by-chapter summary-analysis format for each chapter. You will also read Engaging with God, Worship: Old and New, by Webber, (chapters 1–4), and write a chapter critique in the same summary-analysis format for each chapter. (an example and template are provided in the Assignment Instructions folder) The template and a title page are required.. (Outcomes: A, D, F)

Capstone Research Paper Assignments

You will write a 12–16-page paper. The paper will be divided into two sections. In the first section, you will choose from one of three examples of worship in leadership. You will research and subsequently write about that which brought them to biblical prominence.

In section two, you will research and prepare a written presentation on one of the Pauline epistles. You may employ class notes, materials suggested or recommended in class, video recordings, materials on Internet websites, church or denominational publications, Study Bibles, commentaries, and other resource materials. It will be composed in current Turabian format (notes-bibliography) and must include title page, contents page, footnotes, and a bibliography with 8–10 scholarly sources. (Outcomes: A, D)

Quiz: Worship in the Old Testament

You will complete an open-book/open-notes exam covering the material from Chapters 1–15 of Called to Worship, the weekly lectures, and related study materials used to answer the Points to Ponder exercises. The exam must be completed in a 2-hour period and will consist of 50 questions, including 25 true/false and 25 multiple-choice questions. (Outcomes: A, B, D)