LW Course Descriptions

LW 550 – Introduction to Worship (Self-standing; required; 0.5 credit)

– This course is a prerequisite for all other courses in Leading the Church in Worship.  In it students master basic concepts and theological issues that will be drawn on throughout their liturgical and homiletical studies.  Specifically, in this course students will become familiar with:

  • a basic understanding of ritual
  • a general understanding of worship
  • a beginning theology of Christian worship and proclamation
  • a broad overview of the history of Christian worship
  • issues related to leadership in worship
  • an introduction to leading public prayer

Prerequisite: None

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LW 551 – Liturgical Time (Required; 0.5 credit)

– In this course, students examine the way the Church interprets and structures time in relation to worship of God through Christ. Specific issues to be studied:

  • linear vs. cyclical time
  • Sabbath vs. Lord’s Day
  • structuring the time of the worship service
  • structuring the liturgical year.

Prerequisite: LW 550

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LW 552  – Congregational Song (On-campus Intensive; required; 0.5 credit)

– In this course, students engage the history and theology of congregational singing as part of Christian liturgy as well as learning practical skills for choosing congregational music for worship.

Prerequisite: LW 550

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LW 553 – New Birth in Christ:  Baptism, Table, Wedding Funeral (Required; 1.0 credit)

– This course is an introduction to the history, theology, and leadership of Christian rites of passage and sacraments/ordinances.   Students will focus on the major rituals of

  • baptism
  • Table
  • weddings
  • funerals

Prerequisite: LW 550

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LW 554 – Sermon Preparation (On-campus intensive; required; 1.0 credit)

– Students will learn practical skills for moving from exegesis of a biblical text to a finished sermon. Steps considered will include:

  • developing a sermonic claim
  • determining an appropriate rhetorical form to carry the claim
  • discovering imagery and language to bring the claim to life.

To take this course, students must be able to preach in their ministry site (ad record/upload the recording) following the on-campus intensives.

Prerequisites: LW 550, IS 560, and IF 552

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LW 570  – Liturgical Performance & Sermon Delivery (On-campus intensive; optional; 0.5 credit)

– In this course, students will examine some do’s and don’ts concerning the embodiment of leading worship. Focus will be on use of the voice as well as posture, gestures, and movement.

Prerequisite: LW 550

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LW 571 – Inter-generational Worship

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LW   – Preaching & Teaching
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LW 573  – Worship & Pastoral Care

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LW 575 – Worship Renewal

– While the decrease of participation in church life in North American society can be traced to a range of complex reasons, one certainly must be the mediocrity of preaching, liturgy and music in worship. The Twentieth Century has seen major liturgical renewal efforts in the form of the scholarly Liturgical Movement research, Vatican II, the WCC’s efforts resulting especially in the Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry document, the widespread acceptance of the Revised Common Lectionary, and the struggle between “traditional” and “praise” worship especially in the arena of music. But continued work to renew worship at the congregational level is needed for the Twenty-first century church if it is to thrive and inform the lives of its members. This course will introduce students to the history of worship renewal and principles for evaluating and renewing worship in their congregations.

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LW 576 – Worship Space (Self-standing; optional; 0.5 credits)

– This course is an introduction to the historical evolution and theological/liturgical interpretation of Christian worship space as well as an introduction to the varieties of art and symbolism found within the worship space.

Prerequisite: LW 550

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LW 572 – Preaching & Leading Worship in the Black Church

– W. E. B. Dubois in his book The Souls of Black Folk stated that “the preacher is the most unique personality developed by the Negro on American soil. He early appeared on the plantation and found his function as the healer of the sick, the interpreter of the Unknown, the comforter of the sorrowing, the supernatural avenger of wrong, and the one who rudely but picturesquely expressed the longing, disappointment, and resentment of a stolen and oppressed people. Thus as bard, physician, judge, and priest, within the narrow limits allowed by the slave system, rose the Negro preacher, and under him the first Afro-American institution, the Negro church.”

This course will provide the students with a broad overview of the central place that this unique personality plays in leading the black worship experience. The students will become familiar with the black preacher’s role and function in the black church community, the emphasis on call, preaching style and prayer.

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LW 578 – Preaching and Leading Worship in Hispanic Church

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LW 579 – Preaching and Leading Worship in the Small Church

– Smaller congregations present both different challenges and potential for meaningful and appropriate Christian worship. In this course, students will explore a range of principles and practices specifically targeted for leading worship and preaching in congregations with an attendance of 100 or less.

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LW 580 – Praise Worship

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LW 581 – Technology in the Sanctuary (Optional; 1.0 credit)

– This course will examine the evolving role of technology in Christian worship, introduce students to theological and practical issues related to utilizing technologies available to worship planners, and equip students with beginning skills in using some of these technologies.

Prerequisite: LW 550


LW 672 –  Sermonic Design

– During the last forty years, homiletical scholarship has given extensive attention to the question of sermonic form, especially since 1) content and form are inseparable and 2) sermon form implies a certain theological understanding concerning the nature of the Good News and of scripture, and vice versa. However, one rhetorical form does not fit all sermons. This course in sermonic design will serve as an introduction to a few of sermon forms that have been most influential over the last few decades, and will include discussions of how one chooses an appropriate form for a given sermon, how form shapes delivery, and how different forms are heard and experienced.

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