This course is a comprehensive study of the purpose and practice of a theology of worship in the Evangelical church community. The study is divided into three parts: 1) cognitive theology that includes the understanding and discovery of a biblical theology of worship and music; 2) personal and professional philosophy derived from the application of theology to worship; and 3) methodology for worship ministry 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 and then develops a pedagogical paradigm for inclusion of the course material and constructs in a worship curriculum. This course is offered online only.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
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 theology has in the day-to-day application of the ministry. Theology impacts a worship leader’s understanding and application of philosophy; philosophy, in turn, impacts a worship leader’s choices of methodology for worship. Over the years, 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 is equally essential. This course seeks to address these issues and provide opportunities for the student to apply learned principles to local 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.
- Evaluate principles for developing a personal philosophy of worship based on biblical theology.
- Evaluate the theological and philosophical elements of worship by designing and implementing a worship experience with biblically based methodology.
- Articulate an understanding of the role of Scripture, prayer, and song in the design and implementation of corporate worship experiences.
- Develop a comprehensive plan for worship ministry based upon a Biblical Theology 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 Module/Week 1.
Discussion Board Forums (3)
Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 600 words, reference at least 1 Reading & Study video presentation, and include at least 2 citations. 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. Each thread and reply must also contain at least 1 biblical reference and follow current Turabian format.
Book Response and Summary-Analysis Report (2)
The student will complete a Book Response and a Summary-Analysis Report on the assigned textbooks using the provided instructions/template. For the Book Response the student will discuss the priority of Scripture in worship and the advantages of the application of Biblical Theology to worship study in a 10-12 page paper. For the Summary-Analysis Report, the student must provide a 2–3-paragraph summary and a 1–2-paragraph analysis of each chapter. The student must also include a 1-sentence statement of what he or she learned from each chapter. Each chapter summary-analysis must be no more than 1 page. Each Summary-Analysis Report must include a title page.
The student will develop a three-tiered comprehensive plan for worship ministry based upon a Biblical Theology of Worship that the student has derived from scripture. It will include a substantial section of biblical study that undergirds the function and regulation of worship in the church; a robust assimilation of philosophical principles that are built upon these biblical presuppositions; and a fully-orbed summary of proposed methodological approaches for a worship ministry that is built upon the biblical presuppositions and philosophical principles.
In preparation for the submission of the Final 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.
The student will submit a final paper of 25-30 pages that summarizes the findings of biblical study, philosophical consideration, and methodological application 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.
4-MAT Book Reviews (2)
For each 4-MAT Book Review, the student will write a 1,300–1,800-word review of the assigned textbook in current Turabian format. In addition to the textbook, each 4-MAT Book Review must contain at least 1 other scholarly reference and 1 biblical reference.
Biblical Presuppositions Project
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 12–14 pages (not including the title page and bibliography), reference at least 10 scholarly sources, and follow current Turabian format.
Worship Experience Project
The student will plan a 15–20-minute worship experience based on 1 of the subjects covered in the course. The student will submit a detailed order of worship outlining all Scripture, lyrics, and creative elements utilized in the service, as well as any slides used for the projection of lyrics. This assignment must present prioritize the use of Scripture and gospel content, and include evidence from 3–4 sources.