The major in worship arts is for those who are called to plan and lead Christian worship. These leaders empower other servants of worship, especially in the areas of communication and the arts.
This major prepares you for entry-level positions in local churches or parachurch organizations as well as for continuing the study of worship at graduate school. By the conclusion of this major, you will be equipped to articulate a biblical theology of worship, plan and lead a season of worship services, and organize a team of fellow servant artists.
Worship arts leaders are called to be well-rounded visionaries, and the Northwestern Core program is a vital part of the preparation of our future leaders for the church. The worship arts curriculum is built on courses in biblical theology, Christian history, worship theory and artistic tasks specifically related to leading worship within the 21st-century evangelical church. In addition, students are encouraged to choose electives or even a second major in an area of their particular giftedness.
NWC 450SR -
The Meaning of Life *
In this interdisciplinary Senior Seminar, open to students of all majors, we
will explore and evaluate various answers to some of our most puzzling and
enduring questions: Who are we? Why are we here? How should we live our
lives? What makes a life worth living?
Prerequisite: at least junior standing. (2 credits; alternate years,
BTS 345 -
Theology of Worship
The purpose of this course is to thoughtfully examine the biblical,
theological, and historical foundations of Christian worship, as well as the
contemporary issues facing pastors and worship leaders in the 21st century.
An important part of this discussion will be the exploration of worship
skills and practices through reflection and participation, as well as the
creation of liturgies for a variety of worship services.
Prerequisite: BTS250. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
THE 305 -
Story and Worship
Christian worship, at its core, is remembering the story of God. This
includes biblical stories, personal narratives, the Liturgical Year, church
history (global and local), and the story journey of each worship service.
This course asks why the church must tell its stories and provides specific
tools for including stories within worship. This course is not primarily
focused on storytelling as drama, but the role of the dramatic arts will not
be overlooked. Students will be invited to seriously consider that the
ancient Hebrew people had a dramatic anthology, and the class will examine
together practical tools for restaging those biblical works for contemporary
culture. (4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
WOR 220WI -
A course about artful language for faithful ministry, particularly words
chosen and spoken for Christian worship. Students will analyze some of the
primary uses of words within worship (biblical texts, song lyrics, prayers,
faith stories, sermons, invitations, transitions, announcements, blessings)
and will practice writing and speaking beautiful words. (4 credits;
alternate years, consult department) (Writing intensive)
ART 122AE -
Art History Survey, Renaissance Through Early 20th Century
This course provides a survey of art from the Renaissance through early 20th
century. Students will study the development of artists and artistic styles
by examining key visual works and relevant social, political, and
philosophical ideas and events. Through written responses, discussions, and
projects, students will explore the impact of art from this time period, and
learn how to articulate thoughts clearly and tactfully. (4 credits;
alternate years, consult department) (NWCore option under Aesthetic
MUS 115AE -
Music of the Church
(3 credits) (IGE option under Aesthetic Experience)
This course provides an introduction to the fascinating and frustrating
history of how Christians have used, created, manipulated, or avoided music
in their worship of God. Although each of us comes from our own
denominational, geographical, and cultural backgrounds, we will seek to
understand the whole historical sweep of Christian church music, as well as
our own place in that history.
BTS 280 -
History of Christianity
A survey of the development of Christianity from the apostolic period to the
contemporary world. Themes examined will include the separation of Church
and Synagogue, Christianity in the Roman Empire, ecumenical councils,
missionary expansion of the church in Europe and Asia, monasticism, the
church in the High Middle Ages, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations,
Confessionalism and the Wars of Religion, Puritanism, Pietism, The
Enlightenment, Christianity and European Colonialism, Revivalism, Modernism
and Evangelicalism, modern missionary expansion, the ecumenical movement,
and Christianity as a global religion. (4 credits)
MUS 101 -
This course provides training in basic musical skills including concepts of pitch, rhythm and time signatures, scales and key signatures, intervals, triads and seventh chords and rules for part writing. It also provides an introduction to aural skills and to understanding Christian approaches to music and music-making.(2 credits)
WOR 233x -
Leading Worship Teams
This course covers several interconnected practical aspects of worship
ministry, built upon an articulate and sound personal philosophy of arts in
worship. This course explores leadership skills necessary for working with
volunteers, providing pastoral care for team members, preparing for and
leading rehearsals, and handling budgets and copyright issues. Students will
practice planning, leading, and then evaluating worship services. The course
includes methods of teaching and coaching the various instruments (including
singers) used in music worship bands, with an introduction to the technical
aspects of each instrument and the roles these instruments play within a
properly functioning band. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
Cross-referenced in music.
WOR 350 -
This course will equip church leaders to gracefully and effectively
communicate with the people who operate technology in corporate worship.
Students will cover the equipment, tools, and methods used in many churches
always asking how each element serves the body of Christ. (4 credits)
WOR 405 -
Practicum in Worship Arts
Each worship arts student will be placed in relationship with a church or
parachurch ministry to gain hands on experience in worship arts.
Note: graded on a pass/no pass basis. Prerequisite: must be taken during
last three semesters prior to graduation or by permission of instructor.
Total credits required: 36