Theological and Cultural Contextualization in Worship – WRSP 812

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

Course Description

This course explores the practical integration of theological foundation with modern culture as it relates to 21st century evangelical worship. Specifically, core beliefs that define evangelicals are identified and examined, and are then applied to worship within a variety of national and international ministry contexts.




This course is designed to establish biblical principles for worship that are eternal and universal, while recognizing the great diversity within the various world cultures that are demographic in nature. The purpose is to provide for critical contextualization in the use of indigenous music for worship, discipleship, and evangelism.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze some of the artistic worship resources and practices of a community.
  2. Articulate a transcultural theology of worship.
  3. Evaluate various approaches to contextualizing worship based on the principles of “critical contextualization.”
  4. Identify likely factors (cultural, social, worldview, translation issues, media) leading to the success or failure of communicating Christian messages in contextualized forms.
  5. Assess the process of critical contextualization of local arts forms and meanings.

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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (8)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide at least 2 threads in response to the assigned reading and topics for each module/week. Each thread must focus on 1 topic, be at least 200 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 200 words. The student is encouraged to cite important quotes from the reading that support his/her argument or idea. All citations must be in current Turabian format.

Reading Reflection Papers (3)

The student will write three 6–7-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on 2 modules/weeks of readings. The page count does not include the cover page and bibliography, both of which must be present. Each paper must include at least 4 scholarly sources, which may include the course textbooks and the Bible. The student must reflect on his/her reading by summarizing and critically analyzing new topics and information. If provided, the student must respond to a specific prompt tied to the readings.

Final Project Topic Submission

The student will read the instructions for the Final Project and submit a preliminary choice for his/her topic. The student will provide the name of his/her worship community, location, and how he/she will gain entrance into that worship community for the purposes of this project. The student must include at least 4 scholarly sources in current Turabian format and describe an initial plan to address the chosen issue of contextualization.

Final Project Outline and Bibliography

The student will complete a 1–2-page outline based on his/her planned Final Project. In addition to the outline, the student will include a bibliography that lists at least 10 scholarly sources. The outline must include a thesis statement for the student’s project. Current Turabian format must be used.

Final Project

The student must choose a challenging issue of contextualization that has emerged recently in his/her own worship community. Then, using the materials from the course, research demographics, and other scholarly sources (at least 15 sources), the student will develop a plan to address the issue. A 2–3-page teaching module/sermon extended outline must be produced as an appendix, and the main body of the project must be 20–25 pages. The page count does not include the cover page, bibliography, or appendix. Current Turabian format must be used.