Building a Theology of Worship – WRSP 635

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is a comprehensive study of the purpose and practice of a theology of worship in the local church. The study is divided into two parts: Cognitive theology that includes the understanding and discovery of a biblical theology of worship and music; and, practical application of theology which includes developing a strategy for teaching theology as a worship leader. The class is guided by a series of projects whereby students build a personal theology for private and public worship.




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.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply principles of systematic theology to worship practices for the evangelical tradition.
  2. Articulate the need, significance, and value for developing a biblically-based worship theology as part of a local church ministry.
  3. Articulate the need for a practical application of worship theology to the traditions most commonly associated with worship in the evangelical tradition.
  4. Design a strategy for teaching biblically-based worship theology in a local church worship ministry.
  5. Articulate a theology of change as applied to worship in the local church.
  6. Evaluate practices of worship theology as related to preaching, missions, and teaching.

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.

Discussion Board Forums (6)

There will be 6 Discussion Board Forums 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. At least 1 presentation and 1 text must be cited in current Turabian format in each forum. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 3 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Summary/Analysis Reports (2)

The student will write 2 Summary/Analysis Reports; 1 on the Ross text and 1 on the Peterson text. For each chapter in the text, the student must write a summary, an analysis, and a 1-sentence statement of what he/she learned in the chapter. The student must use the Summary/Analysis Reports template provided when writing each report. The Analysis portion is not to be an extension of the Summary.


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.

Book Outline

The student will write an outline for each chapter in the Man text. The outline must use Roman numerals. Main points, sub-points and sub-sub-points must be included for each chapter. Full sentences are not necessary; instead discipline yourself with the use of strong words and concise/descriptive phrases. The outline must be roughly 1 page per chapter.

Worship Service Evaluation

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 8–10 page. There must be at least 10 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

The student will write an 18–20-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.