A survey and development of a Biblical theology of worship practice for the broader evangelical church community. Particular emphasis is given to developing a gospel-focused pedagogical strategy for teaching worship theology as a worship practitioner.
At the heart of successful worship leadership is the preparation and presentation of worship by a worship leader. Those preparing to work as worship leaders, as well as pastors and professional clergy preparing to work alongside worship leaders, need to understand the biblical role that theology has in the day-to-day application of the ministry. Theology, and a proper understanding of the role of the gospel, primarily impact a worship leader’s application of worship ministry in the local evangelical church. In some training programs, those involved in the process of training worship leaders have often focused only on the experiential aspects of worship. While the experience in worship is important, the intellectual pursuit of worship informs the experience. This course seeks to address these issues and provide opportunities for the student to apply learned theological principles, and the gospel, to a local church's worship ministry.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Compare biblical models of worship as found in Scripture, as well as identify central characteristics of each model.
- Establish principles for developing a personal Theology of Worship based on carefully derived Biblical Presuppositions.
- Evaluate worship practice utilizing theological principles for worship based upon biblically-based presuppositions.
- Articulate an understanding of the role of gospel-centered Scripture, prayer, preaching, song, and the ordinances, in the design and implementation of corporate worship experiences.
- Develop a comprehensive theology for worship ministry based upon the gospel and a Biblical Theological approach to the study of worship.
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 are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 600 words. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words and include at least 1 citation. (MLOs A, B, D)
Response Report Assignments (4)
The student will complete Response Reports on the assigned textbooks using the provided instructions/rubrics. For Response Report: What is Biblical Theology Assignment the student will discuss the priority of Scripture in worship and the advantages of the application of Biblical Theology to worship study in a 4-5 page paper. For Response Report: What is Gospel Liturgy Assignment the student will discuss the nature of the gospel and "liturgy" in worship and the advantages of the application of Gospel-Focused Liturgy to worship practice in a 5-page paper. For Response Report: What is Real Presence Assignment the student will discuss the theology of Real Presence in worship and evaluate the view before advocating for a personal view on God's presence in worship practice in a 5-page paper. (MLOs B, C, D)
For Response Report: Gathering Assignment, the student must provide a 6-page paper summarizing and dialoging with the author on the subjects of Liturgical Theology and "embodied" theology in worship. The student will advocate for applications from the study for worship practice today. (MLOs B, C, D)
Final Theology Project Assignments
The student will develop a comprehensive but brief Theology of Worship that is derived from scripture. This should represent the culmination of content assimilation from this course (and other courses the student has taken), and that could be applied to the student's particular/potential area of worship ministry service. It will include a substantial section of biblical study that undergirds the function and regulation of worship in the church that is clearly built upon scripturally-identified biblical presuppositions. (MLOs A, B, C, D, E)
Final Theology Project: Bibliography Assignment
In preparation for the submission of the Final Theology Project, the student will provide a bibliography of at least 15 scholarly sources. The bibliography must include a brief description of at least 50 words for each resource and follow current Turabian format.
Final Theology Project: Final Theology Paper Assignment
The student will submit a final paper of at least 12 pages that summarizes the findings of biblical study and theological principles for a personally-identified area of worship ministry application. The student will include a personal evaluation of the plan and identify areas in need of further development. This paper could serve as preparatory work for a future doctoral thesis.
Biblical Presuppositions Assignment
The student will identify at least 10 primary biblical passages related to worship study and provide an analysis of the passage and its application to worship. This paper must be at least 6 pages (not including the title page and bibliography), reference at least 10 scholarly sources, and follow current Turabian format. (MLOs A, D)
Worship Service Plan Assignment
You will plan a 1-hour worship experience based on a gospel-centered liturgy that incorporates the 4 Biblical elements of worship (singing, reading, praying, and preaching the Scriptures) and at least 1 of the ordinances (Baptism or the Lord’s Supper). You should also include giving in your order of worship. (MLO E)