Seminar Series Course Descriptions

Seminar Series Course Descriptions

Seminar 1: Histories and Theories of Worship

This seminar will explore the biblical and historical practices of worship from the patriarchal period to postmodern times. Attention will be given to each period with relation to how the practice of the church today is shaped and informed by the worship practices throughout the history of God’s people and the Christian church.

Topics can include:

  • An introduction to biblical worship including an Old and New Testament vocabulary of worship; biblical worship as a response to and re-presentation of saving events; and the concepts of symbolism, covenant, and sacrifice
  • A study of the history and institutions of biblical worship for the Israelite and New Testament communities
  • A historical overview of Christian worship including the links between New Testament and early Christian worship and worship in the early church (to a.d. 500), the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the pre-Reformation Western (Catholic) church, the Reformation and post-Reformation Protestant eras, and the renewal movements of the past century
  • A survey of historic models and theories of worship


Seminar 2: Contextualization and Practical Applications for Worship

This seminar will help to foster the understanding that there are a wide variety of contemporary cultural expressions of worship. Students will gain skills in indentifying practical theological questions for and interpreting their context. Along with developing these skills, students will be challenged to reflect theologically on worship and worship planning in their context of service.

Topics can include:

  • Congregational Study for deeper understanding of local history and theologies of worship
  • Ways to prepare for worship renewal and challenges renewalists face
  • An examination of traditional worship practices.
  • Developing Biblical and Theological Foundations for Worship
  • An overview of and applications for the four-fold pattern of worship
  • Summaries of the primary seasons of the Christian year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, and the Easter season (including Pentecost)

Seminar 3: Music & the Arts in Worship

This seminar will lead students into a deeper understanding of the use of various art forms in worship. Students will study the historical use of these art forms, as well as develop a theology of the arts that can be used to inform the voice and choice of art in worship.

Topics can include:

  • Studies from both the past and present that provide historical developments and theological backgrounds for music and the arts in worship
  • Summaries of all the forms and styles of the non-musical arts in Christian worship with an emphasis on the visual arts, drama, dance, architecture, and the literary arts
  • Practical applications for music and the arts in modern worship
  • A review of the many roles music and the arts serve in worship
  • Ideas for building and developing a worship team

Seminar 4: The Sacred Actions & Ministries of Worship

Understanding that the impact of worship includes more than what happens on the platform in a Sunday service, this seminar  will introduce students to the sacraments of the church, occasional services and the ways that worship can serve to shape congregations, parishioners and their mission in the world.

Topics will include:

  • A historical analysis of how Christian worship, from its beginnings in first-century Jerusalem to its present practice around the world, has always been dependent on actions as well as words
  • Biblical, historical, and contemporary descriptions of the acts of baptism, breaking of bread, washing of feet, anointing with oil, and laying on of hands
  • Studies of the worldwide observance of Christian worship for the seasons of life – child dedication and baptism, marriage, and funerals
  • Worship ministries within the church including pastoral care, spiritual formation, training children, initiation, and nurture
  • The church’s outreach through worship practices including hospitality, evangelism, and social justice


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