Biblical Foundations of Worship – WRSP 510

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

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.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Articulate God’s plan for biblical worship from Genesis to Revelation.
    2. Explain why the worship of the Old Testament applies to today’s worship models.
    3. Describe how God’s plan for worship in the Old Testament and New Testament are related.
    4. Articulate the principles for worship leadership taught by Jesus and practiced by his disciples.
    5. Organize a glossary of terms supporting the Biblical Foundations for Worship.
    6. Present a research paper on worship as seen in the book of Psalms.
    7. Present a Capstone Project that shows how God’s plan for worship is traced from  Genesis to The Revelation.

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 Module/Week 1.

Points to Ponder (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 in Modules/Weeks 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 to help the student articulate critical points to be pondered about worship. In that each assignment differs in nature, no specific word count is mandated. (Outcomes: C, E, F)

Discussion Board Forums (5)

In Modules/Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, the student will participate in a Discussion Board Forum. The student will post a thread of 300–350 words discussing various assigned topics related to biblical worship, and then he/she will post replies to the threads of at least 3 classmates with 150–200 words each. Threads should contain at least 3 citations, and each reply should have 1 citation; acceptable sources include the course textbooks and the Bible. (Outcomes: A, B, C, D)

Psalms Research Paper

Using the required reading from the texts, study Bibles, and other research materials, the student will complete an 8–10-page research paper on the Book of Psalms. The title page, table of contents, and bibliography page are not included in the 8–10-page requirement. The paper should include 2–3 page overview of the book to include the major division of the Psalms, the various writers, and the various themes. The student will then select one Psalm and include thorough research on the 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 Reports

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

Research Paper

The student will write a 15–20 page paper tracing God’s plan for worship from Genesis through Revelation. The project will be titled “The Story of Worship” and will employ class notes, materials suggested or recommended in class, video recordings, materials on Internet websites, and church or denominational publications and resource materials. It will be composed in current Turabian format (notes-bibliography) and must include title page, table of contents, footnotes, and a bibliography with 10–12 scholarly sources. It will also contain a glossary of terms relative to worship as Appendix A. (Outcomes: A, D)


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 Things to Remember exercises. The exam must be completed in a 2-hour period and will consist of 50 questions, including both 25 true/false and 25 multiple-choice questions. (Outcomes: A, B, D)