Pastoral Roles of the Worship Leader – WRSP 845

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

Course Description

A philosophical study of the use and function of music in the worship practice of the local church. Particular emphasis is given to the goals, motivations, responsibilities, parameters, and aesthetics of music in the evangelical church community. 

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


Developing a Philosophy of Music and Christian Worship is vital to those serving in leadership positions in ministry. An understanding of music and liturgy and the role that each play in the formation of corporate gatherings is tethered to a proper theology and determines the methodology of worship. 

Course Assignment

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. While there is no required word count, each thread should be between 250-300 words. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply should be at least 150 words. There are no required citations. 

Optional Live Discussions may be offered for this course. Should the student choose to attend a Live Discussion, the student will need to download a free version of Microsoft Teams (this is available in Canvas). A link with instructions on how to download and use Microsoft Teams is included under the Resources header for each Discussion.

Using the Turabian Chart of Citations as a guide, the student will create sample footnotes and bibliography samples for each of the textbooks for the course. The student will also create a footnote and bibliography entry for a journal article and course lecture, as well as provide a sample parenthetical citation for a Scripture reference. This assignment provides preparation for the detailed formatting work required in other course assignments. 

In these assignments, the student will write a two-part reflection journal consisting of a Summary and a Response section in current Turabian format. The required content for each assignment will include the Read and Watch items as specified for the particular assignment. The summary must be written in third-person perspective while the response may be written in first-person perspective. The purpose of these assignments is for the student to recall and respond to the concepts discussed in the course as a point of preparation for applying them in worship ministry. The total page count (title page, contents page, summary and response, and bibliography) for these assignments should not exceed 9 pages. 

Based on insights gained throughout the course, the student will craft a 12- to 15-page paper outlining an individual Philosophy of Music and Christian Worship for use in future ministry applications. The paper should include topics discussed in the course with specific application to musical style, musical pluralism/diversity, worship ordo and liturgy, creativity in worship, and excellence in practice and presentation. 

Capstone Project: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will prepare a Bibliography of at least 15 sources including course texts, external texts and journal articles. A brief annotation of 35 to 50 words per source is required to establish relevancy and the Bibliography must be submitted in current Turabian format.

Capstone Project: Outline and Introduction Assignment 

The student will present an outline of required elements for the research project and write an introductory paragraph for the paper, including a carefully constructed thesis statement.

Capstone Project: Philosophy Paper Assignment

The student will present a 12- to 15-page research paper which presents the student’s personal Philosophy of Music and Christian Worship. The paper must include support from 15 scholarly references, including all course textbooks, external texts, journal articles, and the Bible. The paper must be written in current Turabian format.

The student will examine two songs currently being used in weekly worship in his or her home church for inclusion or lack of lyrics that reflect eschatological hope. The student will analyze the meaning of the lyrics and identify key phrases of the future hope of resurrection with support from Scripture, or explain how the lyrics fall short of that objective. The student will write a brief 1-page summary of each song.

The student will review the Turabian Sample Paper found through the link to the Turabian Format Quick Guide and provide responses to 15 multiple-choice and true/false questions to exhibit understanding of the requirements of Turabian formatting in written assignments.