WRSP 840 Current Trends and Transitions in Christian Worship

An exploration of the current trends and transitions related to leadership, music, worship, and culture, and their influence on the church today.

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

Course Guide

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Today’s evangelical church is witnessing numerous shifts in philosophy, methodology, and theology related to worship. The resulting trends establish what appears to be positive adjustments for the worshiping community. However, not every change is thoughtfully vetted and carefully developed. Additionally, new positions of influence in the church have been recognized: the worship artist and songwriter. The responsibility of these positions should not be underestimated as congregants often learn their theology from the lyrics of songs more than from the points of the pastor’s sermon. With the recognition of gifted musicians, artists, and songwriters, the church leadership must also recognize and emphasize the imperative of theological grounding of these servants of Christ and, further, encourage the stability of the body of Christ through theologically grounded songs for worship. The transitions that permeate the Evangelical Church culture in the twenty-first century should be studied and evaluated to determine the value, necessity, and wisdom of such changes.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview Module.

Discussions (8)

Discussions 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 400 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. For each thread, students should refer to course readings and presentations, but direct citations are not necessary.  For any references to external documents, citations are required in Turabian format. Additionally, students should include 1 biblical reference in Turabian format. Students may include 1 citation or 1 biblical reference in Turabian format in their reply to their colleague’s posts as a demonstration of further research support, but this is not required.

Research Paper Assignment

The student will write a 15–18-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on one of the topics provided in the course. The paper must include 20–25 references, not including the course textbooks and the Bible.

Pedagogy Project Assignments (2)

The student will develop an 8-week residential course (8 modules) on the topic of “Transitions in Worship” that is designed to be taught in a college setting. For this project, the student will develop the syllabus, module overviews and outcomes, lectures, and a PowerPoint presentation to accompany each lecture. All required resources for this course must be utilized for this project.

Annotated Bibliography

In preparation for the Final submission of the Pedagogy Project, the student will provide an annotated bibliography with 25 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 the materials for his or her 8-week course. The syllabus must include a basic course description, 4–7 course objectives, bibliographic information for 6–8 relevant textbooks, and general assignment instructions. Each module must include an overview of at least 50 words and at least 2 outcomes. The student will select one module from the 8 that have been designed and write a lecture to teach the material for this particular module. The lecture must be 5–7 pages, reference at least 6 scholarly sources, and follow current Turabian format. A PowerPoint presentation will be created to support the lecture and must contain at least 5 slides.

4-MAT Book Review Assignment

The student will write a 1,300–1,800-word review of the assigned textbook in current Turabian format. In addition to the textbook, the assignment must contain at least 1 other scholarly reference and 1 biblical reference.

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