This course explores a theological understanding of worship as it relates to Christian practice over the past two millennia. Current worship trends in Indian churches will be evaluated in light of this theological and historical perspective.
The term “worship” defies simple definition. It can mean what we do as a church for an hour on Sunday. Some refer to the music portion of the service as “worship.” Still others say that worship is a lifestyle and encompasses anything and everything that we do. How should we define it? In this course we will examine this subject by looking at scripture through the lens of worship. We will survey both Old and New Testaments asking ourselves “What does the text have to say about how we should worship?” Secondly, we will examine how the church throughout history has answered that question. Finally, we will apply what we’ve learned to our current context by looking at contemporary issues involving how worship is practiced in today’s churches in India and around the world.
At the end of the course, students will be able to gain:
A. Thinking (Knowledge):
- This course is an Introduction to the Christian Worship in relation in the church and ministry
- It is to enable the student to understand the importance of Christian worship through careful studies and apply it in the personal and ministerial dimension of his/her life.
- Interact with a number of thinkers and practitioners in the area of Christian worship
- Acquire knowledge to develop personal actions in corporate and individual worship practices
- Develop a theology of worship in context
- Gain a deeper historical perspective on current worship practices
B. Experience (Skills):
- The course maintains an overall aim to enable the student to practice proper way of worship for the ministry of the church and develop essential skills to read, listen, watch (multimedia and digital resources technology) and observe worship scenarios parallel with the current church practices.
- Evaluate corporate worship in light of biblical teaching and examples
- Contribute to and participate in corporate worship in a more meaningful way
- Develop the skill of leading worship in the church and in personal life
- Go to right from wrong through Bible based theology of worship
C. Relational (Attitude & Behaviour)
- The course expects to help the student consider the worship as significant for living. It challenges and imparts to the student’s relational, behavioral, moral, and ethical values deriving from church messages and demonstrates them in his/her interpersonal and public life.
- Give increasing value to God as subject and object in personal and corporate worship
- Discern holistic worship as related to spirit and truth
- Gain a broader appreciation of the wide spectrum of worship traditions based on Biblical characters
D. Spirituality (Devotion & Passion)
- The course expects the students to develop devotion towards meaningful worship.
- The course encourages students to engage in spirituality that will bring an ability to move the church through meaningful worship towards God and develop a passion for righteousness, truth, and justice relevant to the context.
- Theological education on worship is complete only when we trust in God and maintain a personal devotion with Him beside all our academic exercises with smart works, because He is the ultimate giver of wisdom and true knowledge.
- Christian Spirituality is developed based on proper Biblical knowledge, guidance of the Holy Spirit and proper execution in the context.
Peterson, David. Engaging With God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. Click here to download
Webber, Robert E. Worship Old & New. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009. Click here to download
SUPPLEMENTARY / RECOMMENDED READING AND TOOLS (Bibliography)
Bateman, Herbert W. IV, ed. Authentic Worship: Hearing Scripture’s Voice, Applying Its Truths. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Inc., 2002.
Beale, G. K. We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2008.
Benedict, Daniel, and Craig Miller. Contemporary Worship For The 21st Century. Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 1998
Brueggemann, Walter. Israel’s Praise: Doxology against Idolatry and Ideology. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1988.
Campbell, Heidi A. (ed.) Digital Ecclesiology. Digital Religion Publications, 2020.
Carson, D.A., ed. Worship By The Book. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002.
Chapell, Bryan. Christ Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Academic, 2009.
Costa, Tony, Worship and the Risen Jesus in the Pauline Letters, New York: Peter Lang, 2013.
Drury, Keith. The Wonder of Worship: Why We Worship The Way We Do. Marion, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2002.
Dryness, William A. A Primer on Christian Worship. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009.
Erickson, Gary D., Pentecostal Worship: A Biblical and Practical Approach, Weldon Spring, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1989.
Frame, John M. Worship In Spirit And Truth. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishers, 1996.
Articles: (Available in PDF format)
Moss, Phyllis Anita, “The role of the praise and worship leader: a model for preparing the singer for leadership in contemporary worship” (2001). ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. Paper AAIDP14652.
Mabry, Paul, “A Strategy for the Implementation of Contemporary Worship in a Church of the Nazarene”, Lynchburg, Virginia A Thesis project submitted to Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, D.Min, 2004 (44- 56)2011
Rowan, Karen D. “A Design for a Christian Contemporary Worship Environment,” 2001 A Thesis submitted to the Department of Interior Design in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts
Riches, Tanya, “What Makes Our Worship “Pentecostal”?
Marius Nel, “Attempting to develop a Pentecostal theology of worship”
Mookgo S. Kgatle, “Singing as a therapeutic agent in Pentecostal worship”
Williams, Andrew, Spiritual landscapes of Pentecostal worship, belief, and embodiment in a therapeutic community: New critical perspectives.
GUIDELINES FOR INTERACTIONS
We anticipate our students to have varied viewpoints which will enrich the discussions in our learning community. Therefore, we ask our students to be charitable and respectful in their interactions with each other, and to remain focused on the topic of discussion, out of respect to others who have committed to being a part of this learning community.
ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
- Discussion Forum
A. Weekly Discussions and Written Responses: 200 Words each (Total 35%).
Late responses are not accepted. Each week’s initial response is due on Wednesday (11:59 pm) and interactions with other responses are due on Saturday (11:59 pm).
Attendance in this course is demonstrated by regular log-ins and up-to-date participation in forums.
Every Monday a weekly discussion question will become visible. Each student will read through the question and take time to formulate a response.
Aim for responses that display a thorough understanding of the textbooks and primary sources relevant to each question and a clear engagement with the class discussions and lectures, especially identifying areas of your understanding of each week’s themes that have challenged, changed, and/or enriched you. This is not a summary of the readings and the lectures, but a response to particular themes/arguments. Be specific and brief, but not superficial.
The initial response should be 200 words but there is no set limit on words for the subsequent interactions between students. In order to maximize the benefit of this element of the course, the student should post his/her initial response by 11:59 pm on Wednesday of the week and then spend the remainder of that week interacting with their colleagues in the class until Saturday at 11:59 pm.
Each weekly question and themes will be discussed on following week during optional class meetings
2. Discussion Forum and Grading Rubric (see the General Grading from FBC Grading standards)
B. Reading Response to Robert E. Webber* (10%) Due on the last day of 3rd Week.
Read 300 pages from the “Recommended Source” list in this syllabus (above). Prepare a critical book review with less than 3 pages
C. Essay/Research Paper: 1000 Words, 35%. Due on the last day of classes.
Based on your biblical and historical overview, discuss the validity of the practice for corporate worship today and how it should be part of our worship today. If possible, identify a church tradition or stream that demonstrates use of the practice in a way that is faithful to your theological perspective.
D. SUMMARY OF ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
Evaluation is based upon the completion of the following assignments:
Weekly Discussions and Responses
Critical Book Review
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THE SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN WORK
Submission Method and Late Submission
Submission: Papers to be submitted electronically in .doc or .docx format via Global Classroom
Late Submission Penalties:
- Weekly Responses and Primary Source Analysis Paper will NOT be accepted as
- All other late assignments will be penalized 1% (1 point) per day
In all assigned work, proper style guidelines must be used and followed exactly; failure to do so will render the submitted assignment unacceptable.
For proper citation style, consult the FBC Style Guide or the full edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers: Seventh Edition, especially chapters 5 and 6 for arrangement of entries through in-text citations and Works Cited.
Integrity in academic work is required of all our students. Academic dishonesty is any breach of this integrity, and includes such practices as cheating (the use of unauthorized material on tests and examinations), submitting the same work for different classes without permission of the instructors; using false information (including false references to secondary sources) in an assignment; improper or unacknowledged collaboration with other students, and plagiarism.
Global Classroom takes seriously its responsibility to uphold academic integrity, and to penalize academic dishonesty.
COURSE EVALUATION (Feedback)
Global Classroom values quality in the courses it offers its students. End-of-course evaluations provide valuable student feedback and are one of the ways that Global Classroom works towards maintaining and improving the quality of courses and the student’s learning experience. Student involvement in this process is critical to enhancing the general quality of teaching and learning.
Before the end of the course, students will receive an email with a link to the online course evaluation. The link can also be found in the left column on the course page. The evaluation period is 2 weeks; after the evaluation period has ended, it cannot be reopened.
Course Evaluation results will not be disclosed to the instructor before final grades in the course have been submitted and processed. Student names will be kept confidential and the instructor will only see the aggregated results of the class.
ONLINE PRIMARY SOURCE READINGS
The readings can be found as PDF files on the course web page at under “Materials”.