Historical Developments of Christian Worship – WRSP 801

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

Course Description

A study of the historical and cultural influences on Christian Worship from Old and New Testament practice, and a survey of the development of Christian worship from the Patristic era through modern worship practice. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of worship order (i.e. liturgy) and corporate worship practices.

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


Over the centuries, various biblical, local church, and cultural shifts have influenced worship in the evangelical community. As worship leaders examine their own calling and purposes in teaching and leading worship, it becomes increasingly important that they demonstrate an understanding of the biblical origins and history of Judeo-Christian worship. Those who plan and lead worship for today’s congregations must take great care to ensure their presentations are theologically sound and honor Christ. This course is designed to enhance and encourage the student’s knowledge of the dynamic theological, historical, and cultural influences on the paradigms of twenty-first-century corporate worship.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt. Each thread must be at least 500 words. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 classmates' threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words. For the thread and reply, the student must demonstrate scholarly engagement (no citations required) with Scripture as well as the read and watch assignments. If sources are referenced outside of assigned material the student will provide footnotes in current Turabian format.

4-MAT Book Review: White Text Assignment

The student will write a 1,300–1,800-word 4-Mat Book Review of the assigned textbook, James White's A Brief History of Chrisitan Worship, in current Turabian format (including a title page, numbered pages with properly formatted footnotes, and a bibliography). For the review, the student will provide the following sections: Abstract (400-600 words that includes at least 2 footnotes to the textbook being reviewed), Concrete Response (250-300 words written in first person), Reflection (250-300 words), and Action (two action steps described in 400-600 words). In addition to the textbook, the review must contain at least 1 other scholarly reference and 1 biblical reference. 

Book Review Assignments (3)

For each Book Review, the student will write a 5–7-page review of the assigned textbook in current Turabian format. The student will address the five questions provided within the assignment instructions regarding the contents of the text. In addition to the textbook, each review must contain at least 1 other scholarly reference and 1 biblical reference.

Pedagogy Project Assignments (2)

The student will develop an 8-week residential course (a full 8-week syllabus and 4 complete modules) that is designed to be taught in a college setting. The topics of the course will be “Developing a Theology of Worship,” “Historical Developments of Worship,” and “Worship in the Early Church.” Only 1 of the 3 topics is to be selected. For this project, the student will develop the syllabus, module overviews, and outcomes for all 8 modules. Additionally, the student will develop lectures and a PowerPoint presentation to accompany any four (4) of the 8 modules.

Pedagogy Project: Bibliography Assignment

In preparation for the final submission of the Pedagogy Project, the student will provide a bibliography with at least 15 scholarly sources (not including textbooks from this course). The bibliography must include a brief description of at least 50 words for each resource and follow current Turabian format.

Pedagogy Project: Final Assignment

The student will submit the materials for his or her 8-week course. The syllabus must include a basic course description, 4–7 course objectives (each of which contain only 1 measurable verb), bibliographic information for 6–8 relevant textbooks, and general assignment instructions. All eight modules must include an overview of at least 50 words and at least 2 outcomes (each of which contain 1 measurable verb). Four of the modules (chosen by the student) must include a lecture and a PowerPoint presentation supporting the lecture. Each lecture must be 3–5 pages, reference at least 3 scholarly sources, and follow current Turabian format. Each PowerPoint presentation must contain at least 5 slides. 

Research Project Assignment

The student will write a 12–15-page research paper about significant preacher-music leader teams throughout the history of revivalism in the United States. The paper must follow current Turabian format and cite at least 12 scholarly sources (in addition to the textbooks). The page count does not include the title page, table of contents, bibliography, or appendices.