Building a Theology of Worship – WRSP 635

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 10/26/2022

Course Description

This course is a study of the purpose and practice of a theology of worship in the local church. The study is divided into two parts: 1) the understanding and discovery of a biblical theology of worship and music that is biblically-rooted, Christ-centered, and gospel-focused; and, 2) practical application of that theology in a local church setting. Students develop a personal theology for application as a worship practitioner for both corporate and continuous worship.

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


Worship is at the heart of everything we are and do as Christians. Our obedience to Christ as believers is in direct proportion to our concept of God and theology of worship. Our ministry endeavors are vain or done with half-hearted intent without worship; preaching without worship, music without worship, education without worship, evangelism without worship, missions without worship. Old and New Testament principles give apt attention to the practice of worship. The spiritual health of a believer is directly related to his/her concept and practice of private and public worship.

Evangelical congregations often experience conflict related to their worship that may be traced to issues surrounding the theology of worship. Worship leaders carry their theology on the lyric of their songs. They teach theology. Misunderstanding or abuses of worship theology often lead to conflict. This course is both preventative as well as prescriptive in nature. The course offers systematic, historical, Old Testament, New Testament, and practical application for building a theology of worship.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete 3 Discussions throughout this course. The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided topic for each forum. Each thread must be at least 350 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Response Assignments (3)

The student will write 3 Response papers; 1 on the Hamilton text, 1 on the Cosper text, and 1 on the Tozer text. Each report has specific instructions for that particular paper. The student is to engage the text utilizing the specific questions assigned for consideration for each text and follow the guidelines for each section of each paper.

Position Paper Bibliography Assignment

In preparation for the research-oriented Position Paper, the student will research scholarly sources, and submit a bibliography. The Bibliography must include at least 20 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The Bibliography must be formatted in current Turabian style.

Worship Service Evaluation Assignment

The student will describe a typical worship service at his/her church. The student will analyze and critique the theological strengths of the worship service. In addition, the student will identify weaknesses, and make recommendations for improvement. The paper must be approximately 4 pages. There must be at least 5 references used in documenting the paper, including notes taken during the worship service being evaluated. Note that this is to be an evaluation, not merely a report; Assess, be critical, and candid as necessary.

Position Paper Assignment

The student will write an 16-page research-oriented Position Paper in current Turabian format. The Position Paper must describe the theology and philosophy behind the student’s own personal and public worship. The paper must include at least 20 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.