J-Term Class Transforming Worship: A Theology of Worship

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1 J-Term Class Transforming Worship: A Theology of Worship Course Description: This will be a broad based study of the theological foundations of worship. We will explore the multiple ways that worship has formed and continues to form the faith and practice of the Church. Included in the study will be an exploration of the ways worship has changed over time and how it continues to change us. The course will cover both the Biblical foundations and the historical developments of worship practice and theology in the Christian church. We will also discuss contemporary forms of worship and the challenge of cultural relevancy. The course will provide a theological foundation for worship planning through the Christian year. Instructor: Dr. Ron White comes to this class with a deep passion for the worship of the Church. He earned his Doctor of Ministries degree in 2001 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in worship. His D. Min. project was entitled A Sacrament of Joy: The Discovery of the Lord s Supper as a Weekly Celebration at the Stanwood Free Methodist Church in Stanwood, Michigan. He has been in senior pastoral ministry for 24 years after working in youth ministry for 5 years. Prior to that he completed his Master s Degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dr. Ron is currently the Senior Pastor at Stanwood Free Methodist Church and also the Superintendent of the North Michigan Conference. He is married to Janet who is also an ordained Elder. Together they have two sons who are married and two grandchildren. Course Objective: The primary objective of this class is to establish a theology of worship to guide the future pastor as he or she forms the local church into a worshiping community. To accomplish this objective we will try to move beyond a narrow understanding of worship as a preaching service or something the praise band does. The goal will be to understand the role that every believer plays in the worship of the Church. In building a theological foundation for worship we will seek to move beyond the worship wars of personal preferences. We will be good students of the Bible and of history in our theological work. As good theologians we will also take what we learn and contextualize it back into our contemporary and local settings. Course Texts: Webber, Robert E., Worship Old and New. Revised Edition. Chapters 1-8 and Peterson, David, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. All chapters. Wardle, Terry, Exalt Him! Designing Dynamic Worship Services. Chapters 1-4, Summary, and Epilogue.

2 Grades: The grade will be based upon completion of the readings, class participation, and the final research paper. A passing grade will be either an A, B or C. You will have 30 days to complete your written work and send it to me. After 30 days, you will be given an Incomplete and penalized one full grade upon completion. Extensions may be granted for unusual circumstances. Pre-Class Work: It is strongly recommended that you read your texts before coming to class. This will prepare you for engaging in the subject matter and class discussion. There will be two papers that you should prepare and bring to class the first night. These should be no longer than one page each. 1. Prepare a real life case study of a worship issue in your local church. 2. Reflect on a worship experience that was unusually memorable to you. Describe the experience and what specifically made it memorable. Class Schedule: Monday Night: Introduction What is worship? What does worship look like in your church? What theology of worship does your practice communicate? Why do we do what we do? Where are we and how did we get here? Tuesday Morning: Biblical Foundations of Worship Practice Protoevangelum Abrahamic Worship Mosaic Worship Davidic Worship Prophetic Worship Messianic Worship New Covenant Worship

3 Tuesday Afternoon: Worship and Theological Formation Creation Incarnation Christology Pneumatology Soteriology: The Exodus Event and the Christ Event Ecclesiology Missiology Eschatology Wednesday Morning: Biblical Patterns of Worships Sinai Worship, Deut 5, Dedication of the Temple, 2 Chron 5-7, Tabernacle/Temple Worship, Ex Isaiah s Worship, Is 6 Spiritual Worship, Rom 12 Eschatological Worship, Rev 5 A Gospel Pattern Wednesday Afternoon: Historical/ Theological Movements in the Christian Church New Testament Early Church Church Orders and Creeds Medieval Reformation Church of England Methodism

4 Free Methodism Vatican 2 Charismatic Contemporary Seeker Services The Contemporary Cafeteria of Worship Thursday Morning: The Theology of Sacred Places and Sacred Actions Sanctuaries and Store fronts Creating worship spaces Use of the Arts Sign and Symbol Rites and Rituals Thursday Afternoon: The Role and Practice of Sacraments Theological foundations Theology and Practice Tradition and Relevance Friday Morning: Worship as Pastoral Care and Spiritual Formation How worship forms us How worship transforms us How worship cares for the soul Friday Afternoon: Planning the Worship Menu Sacred Times: Sabbaths and Holy Days The Christian Calendar as a Gospel Calendar Cultural Calendars Lectionaries Themes and Series

5 Saturday Morning: Dialogue, Doxology, Charge, and Benediction Tying up Loose Ends Questions and Sharing Research Papers Evaluations Worship with Communion Research Papers: Each student will be given 4 weeks to write a 10 page double spaced research paper. Each paper should include evidence of Biblical study, theological reflection and practical application. Some papers may be more heavily weighted in one of those areas than another but no area should be neglected. Below are some suggested papers. You may take them as they are or use them as a springboard into a related topic. You will be asked to share your topic with the rest of the class on Saturday morning. Suggested Topics: Write a Theology of Worship Plan a year of worship services Explore the theological foundations of Communion Explore the theological foundations of Baptism Develop a Contemporary expression of Ancient Worship Exegete the earliest Creedal Statements found in the New Testament and reflect on the use of creedal statements in contemporary worship Explore the ways that worship has historically been used to teach theology and how we can continue to do so today Integrate worship theologically with the ministries of the church such as Christian Education, small groups, evangelism, pastoral care and spiritual formation Do an historical study on Free Methodist worship practice and the theology which formed it Explore the use of the arts in worship and the theology that was taught Explore what it means for our worship to be Christocentric Develop a sermon series on worship Develop a multi-week small group study or Sunday School class on worship Develop a curriculum on worship for children

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