Biblical Foundations of Worship – WRSP 510

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

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 patriarchs and 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, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Points to Ponder Assignments (6)

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 the student articulate critical points about worship. These assignments should be a minimum of one half page (approximately 250 words) and a maximum of 2 1/2 pages. A title page is required for each of these essays. (Outcomes: C, E, F)

Discussions (5)

Throughout the course, the student will participate in Class Discussions. The student 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. The student's thread should include at least one biblical reference. No title page is required. (Outcomes: A, B, C, D)

Book & Chapter Critique Assignments

The student will read Engaging with God, by Peterson, and then write a book critique in a chapter-by-chapter summary-analysis format for each chapter. The student 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. (Templates are provided for each assignment.) Students must use the provided templates, and title pages for each assignment are required. (Outcomes: A, D, F)

Capstone Research Project Assignment

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

In section two, the student will research and prepare a written presentation on one of the Pauline epistles. The student 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. (Outcomes: A, D)

Quiz: Old Testament Principles of Worship

The student 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)