Emerging Issues in African American Worship – WRSP 632

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 02/11/2022

Course Description

This course focuses on the cultural, social, inter-generational, and ecclesiastical issues surrounding worship in the black church community. Issues include but are not limited to social norms and values, inter­generational relationships, reconciliation and multiculturalism, role of the worship leader and the family, and the diverse issues in the worshiping community.

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

Rationale

African American worship contains a rich history filled with cultural and social relevance. Fostering a deeper understanding of intergenerational considerations and the intersectionality of traditional and contemporary dynamics are central to exploring emerging challenges and opportunities to embrace the core mission of Worship.

Course Assignment

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

Each student is required to provide an initial thread for each discussion topic by Thursday. Each thread must be 500-600 words, and demonstrate course related knowledge. The initial thread must reference 3 sources. The student must reply to 2 other classmates’ thread by Sunday at midnight. Each reply must be 300 words and include at least 2 citations. Each reply must contain at least 2 reference. All posts must follow the current Turabian format.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the importance of the black church as an important social institution in the black community.
  2. Discuss the future leadership of the African American Church.
  3. Discuss how the African American church manages women and gender related issues.
  4. Discuss the state of music in the African American Church.
  5. Discuss the various musical styles utilized in African American worship.
  6. Discuss the history of hate crimes towards the African American Church.

The student is to complete a book analysis of Strange Fire by J. Wendell Mapson, Jr., and Let Mt. Zion Rejoice! by Dr. James Abbington. Each book analysis should be a minimum of 5 pages and is to consist of three sections: summary, analysis, and personal/practical application. The book summary should include a title page and follow current Turabian format.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the leadership roles, musical roles.
  2. Discuss the challenges, dynamics of African American worship.

The student will evaluate two online worship services of an African American church, writing an observation and analysis paper that is 6-10 pages in length. The paper must include an evaluation of the order of service, liturgy, music selections, pastor, worship leader and overall worship atmosphere. The paper must include a title page and follow current Turabian format.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze the relationship and challenges between the pastor and musicians in the African American Church.
  2. Explain the declining role of the choir in African American Worship.
  3. Discuss the various musical styles utilized in African American worship.

In preparation for the research paper, the student will provide an annotated bibliography with 15-20 scholarly sources. The bibliography must include a brief description of at least 50 words for each resource, a title page and follow current Turabian format. 

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the state of music in the African American Church.
  2. Explain the decline of church choirs in the African American Church.
  3. Discuss the transition to praise/worship, and traditional/contemporary music.

The student will submit a 15-20-page research paper on the topic of emerging issues in African American worship. The student must choose 1 topic from the list below:

  1. The relevancy of the African American Church in the 21st
  2. The Roles of the pastor/worship leader, musician in the African American Church.
  3. The challenges of traditional and contemporary worship in the African American Church.
  4. The Role of African American Women in the African American Church.
  5. The history of hate crimes towards the African American Church.

The paper must be written in Turabian format, and include a title page and bibliography. The paper must include 15–20 references.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the history of hate crimes towards the African American Church.
  2. Analyze the role of the church in the community that have been affected by hate crimes.
  3. Articulate your view of how the African American Church should respond to hate crimes.

The student will write their personal reflections of the emerging issues in African American worship that were addressed in the course. The reflection should be a minimum of 300 words and include a title page, and follow current Turabian format. 

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze your personal reflection on the relevancy African American worship.
  2. Discuss the challenges of traditional and contemporary worship in the African American church.
  3. Explain your views on the role of African American women in the African American Church.
  4. Explain your views on hate crimes towards the African American Church.