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Online · School of Music · Worship & Music Studies

Theology, Philosophy and Methodology of Worship
WRSP-835

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/29/2020

Course Description

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.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

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 (spirit) is important, the intellectual pursuit of worship (truth) 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:

  1. Compare biblical models of worship as found in Scripture, as well as identify central characteristics of each model.
  2. Evaluate principles for developing a personal philosophy of worship based on biblical theology.
  3. Evaluate the theological and philosophical elements of worship by designing and implementing a worship experience with biblically based methodology.
  4. Articulate an understanding of the role of Scripture, prayer, and song in the design and implementation of corporate worship experiences.
  5. Develop an 8-week pedagogical strategy for use in academic or local church settings.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Block, Daniel I. For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014. ISBN: 9781441245632.

Boswell, Matt, ed. Doxology & Theology: How the Gospel Forms the Worship Leader. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2013. ISBN: 9781433679728.

Hamilton, James M., Jr. What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bibles Story, Symbolism, and Patterns. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. ISBN: 9781433537714.

Old, Hughes O. Leading in Prayer: A Workbook for Worship. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995. ISBN: 9780802808219.

Tozer, A. W. The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship. Compiled and edited by James L. Snyder. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2009. ISBN: 9780764216237.

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 Office

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/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.

Summary-Analysis Reports (2)

The student will complete Summary-Analysis Reports on the assigned textbooks using the provided template. For each 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.

Pedagogy Project

The student will develop an 8-week residential course (8 modules) on the topic of “Building a Theology of 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.

Bibliography

In preparation for the final submission of the Pedagogy 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.

Final

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, at least 2 outcomes, a lecture, and a PowerPoint presentation supporting the lecture. Each lecture must be 5–7 pages, reference at least 3 scholarly sources, and follow current Turabian format. Each PowerPoint presentation must contain at least 5 slides.

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.

Personal Ministry Evaluation

The student will complete a self-study that incorporates an evaluation of his or her theological, philosophical, and methodological concepts of worship. This treatise must be 14–16 pages (not including the title page, table of contents, bibliography, or appendices), reference at least 14 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 the theological, philosophical, and methodological elements of the chosen subject area and include evidence from 3–4 sources.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forums (3 at 50 pts ea)

150

Summary-Analysis Report 1 (Hamilton)

80

Summary-Analysis Report 2 (Block)

120

Pedagogy Project

Bibliography

50

Final

150

4-MAT Book Reviews (2 at 100 pts ea)

200

Personal Ministry Evaluation

150

Worship Experience Project

100

Total

1010

Policies

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 https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. 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 http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

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.

Schedule

WRSP 835

Textbooks: Block, For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship (2014).

Boswell, Doxology & Theology: How the Gospel Forms the Worship Leader (2013).

Hamilton, What Is Biblical Theology? (2014).

Old, Leading in Prayer: A Workbook for Worship (1995).

Tozer, The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship (2009).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Hamilton: entire book

4 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Summary-Analysis Report 1 (Hamilton)

10

0

80

2

Boswell: chs. 1–7

Tozer: chs. 1–7

4 presentations

DB Forum 1

Pedagogy Project – Bibliography

50

50

3

Boswell: chs. 8–14

Tozer: chs. 8–14

3 presentations

DB Forum 2

4-MAT Book Review 1

50

100

4

Block: chs. 1–5

2 presentations

Personal Ministry Evaluation

150

5

Block: chs. 6–9

5 presentations

Worship Experience Project

100

6

Block: chs. 10–13

Old: chs. 1–5

2 presentations

DB Forum 3

Summary-Analysis Report 2 (Block)

50

120

7

Old: chs. 6–10

3 presentations

4-MAT Book Review 2

100

8

2 presentations

Pedagogy Project – Final

150

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

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