Jubilate Studies in Christian Worship
This syllabus is for a course that is a study of Christian Worship which includes biblical and theological principles for worship, the historical development of the liturgy, cultural dynamics in contemporary worship, and explores the rich and varied resources within the ecumenical, global Christian community
I. Jubilate: Studies in Christian Worship
Description: This course is a study of Christian Worship which includes biblical and theological principles for worship, the historical development of the liturgy, cultural dynamics in contemporary worship, and explores the rich and varied resources within the ecumenical, global Christian community. There will be an emphasis on preparing students to be both wise and discerning worshipers and competent and well-equipped worship leaders. It is assumed that participants in this course will have worship experience as well as a basic ability to read music.
Objectives: Upon completion of the course students will have acquired:
- A grasp of the character and content of biblical texts concerning important worship themes
- An understanding of the development and function of various components of the liturgy, and an ability to select and prepare each of these for worship.
- A greater ability to lead worship: especailly musical leadership but also offering prayers, performing drama and readings.
- A knowledge of the essential principles for liturgical planning, especially hymn texts.
- An increased awareness of and appreciation for the global and ecumenical diversity of Christian worship.
- An ability to appreciate, analyse and critique various forms of worship and their underlying theologies and traditions.
- An understanding and appreciation of the dramatic shape of liturgy, including the liturgical year
- Familiarity with liturgical resources that are available to worship planners and leaders
II. LEARNING MODES
The Practice of Worship: A course that wishes to deepen student’s discernment regarding worship must include worship as one of its primary elements. Hence, each class will begin and end in worship, and other worshiping opportunities will be observed as they arise. These will be occasions for practice, reflection, analysis, and modelling.
Lectures and discussion: Lectures provide substance and starting points for discussion of the issues raised in the course. By attending lectures faithfully and well-prepared, students not only get the most from the lectures, but are also able to enter into thoughtful dialogue with fellow students and the professors. A high level of classroom openness, participation and interaction leads to better learning.
Readings, assignments: Readings from the Bible and other sources will be assigned throughout the term. Short written assignments will be given from time to time on these readings, as a means of encouraging students to keep up with the schedule of readings and to be well-prepared for classes.
Field Visits: Students will visit worship services in various ecclesiastical settings to observe and reflect on different practices, recording observations and reporting in class.
Practical Application: Students will plan and lead one campus worship service each month.
Term Paper: Students will prepare a research term paper on a topic of their choice, to be agreed upon in consultation with one of the course instructors.
Midterm Exam: A mid-term exam will be given.
Final exam: A cumulative final exam will be given during final exam week.
III. EVALUATION COMPONENTS
IV. REQUIRED TEXTS (available in TKUC Bookstore)
The Bible – use the version of your choice
Dearborn, Tim A. and Coil, Scott, Worship at the Next Level (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004)
Farlee, Robert B. and Bangert, Mark Paul, Leading the Church’s Song (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1998)
Plantinga, Cornelius, Jr., and Rozeboom, Sue A. Discerning the Spirits (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003)
Van Dyk, Leanne, ed., A More Profound Alleluia (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005)
Voices United Hymnbook, United Church Publishing House, 1996
Witvliet, John D. Worship Seeking Understanding (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003).
V. COURSE THEMES and SCHEDULE
Schedule of Themes and Readings
(subject to sudden change in favor of irrational pursuits)
Note: WNL means Worship at the Next Level
DTS means Discerning the Spirits
MPA means A More Profound Alleluia
LCS means Leading the Church’s Song
Session 1: Introduction to the course, themes and assignments
Session 2: Foundations
Readings: WNL, chapters 1, 2; also Nairobi Statement
Session 3: Foundations
Readings: WNL ch. 4, + handouts: Witvliet chs. 12, 13, and Sourcebook Preface
Session 4: A Brief History of Hymnody
Session 5: Theological Themes: Trinity
Readings: MPA ch. 1
Session 6: Theological Themes: Sin and Grace
Readings: MPA ch. 2
Session 7: Theological Themes: Ecclesiology
Readings: MPA ch. 4
Session 8: Theological Themes: Eschatology
Readings: MPA ch. 5
Session 9: Theological Themes: Ethics
Readings: MPA ch. 6
Session 10: Theological Themes: Mission
Readings: WNL ch. 3
Session 11: Theological Themes: Justice
Readings: Wolterstorff handout
Session 12: Enjoying the Hymnody of Brian Wren
No prep required!!
Session 13: Worship: The Biblical Drama
Session 14: Theological Themes: Lament
Reading: Brueggemann and Wolterstorff handouts
Session 15: The Psalms
Readings from Cal Seerveld, CS Lewis and others (handouts)
Session 16: The Body at Worship: Liturgical Movement
Session 17: Worship and the Visual Arts
Readings: WNL, ch. 12, handout of William Dyrness
Session 18: IONA
Reading: DTS, chs. 1, 2
Session 19: Taize
Reading: DTS, chs. 3, 4
Session 20: Orthodox
Reading: DTS, ch. 5, WNL ch. 5
Session 21: Contemporary Issues
Reading: WNL chs. 6, 7, Witvliet handout “Blessing and Bane of the North American Evangelical Megachurch”
Session 22: Contemporary Issues
Reading: WNL chs. 8-10
Session 23: Conclusions and Onward to the Kingdom