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Online · School of Music · Worship & Music Studies

Foundations of Christian Worship

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

Contact Information

See detailed faculty information in Blackboard.

Course Description

A study of the Biblical, Theological, and Historical foundations for Christian Worship. The Biblical foundations of worship are identified and explored, with attention given to practical integration into the worship practice of 21st Century evangelical culture.





Christ followers are responsible for developing a theological base and biblical understanding of worship.  This course is designed to meet this need by telling a story. This is the story of worship from Genesis through Revelation. Just as the narrative of redemption is interwoven through the pages of the Bible, God’s plan to worship him is articulated, explained, illustrated, documented, and applied throughout the pages of his Word. Beginning with Genesis and the truth that God is the ultimate creator, and concluding with worship of The Lamb in Revelation, principles of worship are drawn from the lives of biblical heroes, ordinary people, events, Old and New Testament practices, biblical poetry, the wisdom books, the life of Christ, the epistles, and Old and New Testament prophecy.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Articulate God’s plan for biblical worship from Genesis to Revelation.
  2. Explain why the worship of the Old Testament and New Testament applies to today’s worship models.
  3. Articulate God’s plan of redemption as seen in the story of worship.
  4. Articulate the principles for worship leadership taught by Jesus and practiced by his disciples.
  5. Guide others in the process of building a biblical foundation for worship.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Borchert, Gerald L. Worship in the New Testament: Divine Mystery and Human Response. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780827225145.

Castleman, Robbie F. Story-Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History. IVP Academic, 2013. ISBN: 9780830839643.

Knight, George W. The Names of God. Uhrichsville: Barbour Publishing, Inc., 2009. ISBN: 9781624167508.

Liberty University Custom. A Musician Looks at the Psalms: 365 Daily Meditations. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2004.

McConville, J. Gordon. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Prophets, Volume 4. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780830853120.

Peterson, David. Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780830826971.

Roberts, Vaughan. God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780830853649.

Whaley, Vernon M. Called to Worship: From the Dawn of Creation to the Final Amen. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009. ISBN: 9781401680084.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resource

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Current ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Additional Materials for Learning 

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word

Course Assignments

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 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 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. At least 2 citations in current Turabian format are required for each thread. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200 words and include at least 1 citation in current Turabian format. (MLOs A, B, C, D)

Names of God Research Paper

The student will develop a research paper on 5 names most commonly used in the worship of the God of the Bible.  The paper should be 8–10 pages in length, utilize current Turabian format and include 8–10 scholarly resources. (MLO B)

Book Reviews (2)

The student will complete a review of 2 texts during the course. Each review will be completed using the 4-MAT review method. (MLOs A, C)

Biblical Worship Annotated Bibliography, Research Paper, and Curriculum Project

Annotated Bibliography

In preparation for the Biblical Worship Research Paper and Curriculum Project, the student will create a list of at least 20 references in current Turabian format. At least 10 references must be from peer-reviewed and scholarly journals and/or books written within the last 10 years. For each reference, include a short rationale of at least 3 sentences that articulates the reason for utilizing the source.

Biblical Worship Research Paper

The student will write an 18–20-page research paper, selected from a list of 8 topics.  The paper should include 18–20 scholarly references in current Turabian format. (MLOs A, B, C, D)

Biblical Worship Curriculum Project

The student will create a curriculum project based on the topic of the Biblical Worship Research Paper.  The curriculum project should include at least 4 course or devotional learning outcomes, an outline of 4 lesson plans, and a 1-sentence teaching goal for each of the 4 lessons.  The project should utilize current Turabian formatting. (MLO E)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (3 at 75 pts each)


Names of God Research Paper


Book Reviews (2 at 125 pts each)


Annotated Bibliography


Biblical Worship Research Paper


Biblical Worship Curriculum Project





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at

Grading Scale

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.


WRSP 810

Textbooks: Borchert, Worship in the New Testament (2008).

Castleman, Story-Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History (2013).

Knight, The Names of God (2009).


Reading & Study




Castleman: chs. 1-4

4 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Discussion: Class Introductions

Discussion: The Pentateuch





Castleman: chs. 5-7

Knight: resource, read as needed

8 presentations

Names of God Research Paper



Castleman: chs. 8-10

6 presentations

Book Review: Story Shaped Worship



3 presentations

Annotated Bibliography



Borchert: parts 1-2

2 presentations

Discussion: Worship in the Gospels



Borchert: parts 3-5

5 presentations

Book Review: Worship in the New Testament



4 presentations

Discussion: Early Church Worship

Biblical Worship Research Paper




5 presentations

Biblical Worship Curriculum Project






NOTE: Each course module begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.