Jeff Barker, M.F.A.
Northwestern College Endowed Professor of Theatre and Speech
M.F.A., University of South Dakota
M.A., Northern Illinois University
B.A., Seattle Pacific University
The Iowa Professor of the Year for 2006, Jeff Barker has written more than 50 plays, including "Unspoken for Time," published by Dramatic Publishing, and "Kin: the Trial of Carrie Buck," a finalist for the Arlin Meyer Prize in 2005. Barker’s play "September Bears," about events surrounding 9/11, was featured on the FOX News Channel in 2003. In 2004, the DeWitt Theatre Arts Center opened with "And God Said," a musical Barker created in collaboration with Broadway composer Ron Melrose. This latter play, along with "Terror Texts: The Musical" and many others is part of the Ancient Hebrew Drama Project. Along with Dr. Tom Boogaart at Western Theological Seminary, Jeff is working to help the world reclaim performance literature drawn directly from the Old Testament.
Also a scholar of the interplay of story and worship, Jeff is the author of The Storytelling Church, which was published by Webber Institute Books, in association with Parson’s Porch Books, in 2011. He co-teaches the "Music and the Arts" course at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, a doctoral-level program in Orange Park, Florida. During the fall of 2011 he was on sabbatical, working with members of First Reformed Church in Oak Harbor, Washington, on the presentation of Scripture within worship, a topic on which he’s writing a book. He also did research in Africa for his third play about Arlene Schuiteman’s missionary career.
- Public Speaking
Public Speaking (2 credits) This course emphasizes the improvement of public speech habits and the development of proficiency in the organization and presentation of ideas.
- Story and Worship
Story and Worship (4 credits, alternate years, consult department) The study of the story of worship as well as story within worship. An application of the principles and practices of dramatic art to worship planning and leadership, and also a study of plays within the context of Christian corporate worship.
Directing (4 credits) Beginning directors review the guiding principles of theatrical art and then apply these to script selection, development of a prompt script, and the complete rehearsal process. Each student prepares a short play for public performance. Prerequisites: THE113 and215 or permission of instructor.
- Playwriting: The Full-Length
Playwriting: The Full-Length (4 credits, alternate years, consult department) This continuation of the study of playwriting focuses on the challenges of the long form. The course includes the processes of writing according to classic structural principles, rewriting, formatting and submitting plays for publication. Prerequisite: THE206 or permission of instructor.
- Drama Ministries Ensemble
Drama Ministries Ensemble (1/2 credit) A performance group emphasizing preparation of scripts for presentation in worship services and worship-related settings.
- See vitae and webpages.