Pastoral Roles of the Worship Leader – WRSP 845

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/29/2022

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. Each thread must be at least 350 words. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words. 

A testimony offers detailed information about how a certain event can directly impact the life of others.  In this assignment the student will write a 3 to 5-page Testimony of Witness that could be used as a statement in the local church to address idolatrous practices that impede worship today and how to overcome those practices to experience worship in spirit and truth. As part of the testimony process, the student will examine the metaphorical language of the pending judgement of a non-repentant and disobedient Israel people and how this translates to modern society, and more importantly, the Church. 

The student will write two, 5-page research-based response papers in current Turabian format that focus on one of the topics presented in the course. Each Response Paper should include affirmation, critique and application for modern worship practices. 

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: 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: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will prepare a Bibliography of at least 20 sources including course texts, external texts and journal articles. A brief annotation of 35 to 50 words is required to establish relevancy and the Bibliography must be submitted in current Turabian format.

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 student will examine two songs currently being used in weekly worship in his/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 and provide responses to multiple choice and true/false questions to exhibit understanding of the requirements of Turabian formatting in written assignments.