Academic Offerings

Worship Arts Ensemble

Whether you are an undergraduate or a Seminary student interested in pursuing studies in worship ministries, Seattle Pacific’s Center for Worship offers an ever-growing number of worship courses available for credit through SPU’s School of Theology and Music Department. Undergraduate students can also pursue a minor in Worship Arts Leadership.

Worship Courses for Undergraduate Credit

MUS 3401: Music and Worship

A study of the philosophical, biblical, and theological relationships of music to worship in the Christian church.

THEO 3403: History and Theology of Christian Music

An examination of representative liturgical practices and worship spaces from different periods, cultures, and branches of the Christian tradition that will not only ask how Christians in various times and places have actually worshipped God, but also ask how Christians ought — and ought not — to worship. The course will suggest theological tests for determining when worship has degenerated into emotionalism, formalism, or superstition. You will be expected to attend Sunday worship services at several different churches in the Seattle metro area.

THEO 3722: Christian Disciplines: Worship as a Spiritual Discipline

An investigation of worship as a Christian spiritual practice, or discipline, central to deep devotional life.

THEO 3500: Christ and Culture: Gospel Music Culture

"Christ and Culture," THEO 3500, is the study of a "hot button" topic of contemporary importance for Christ's people when engaging our culture to change the world. "Gospel Music Culture" is the study of Negro spirituals, black hymnody, Watts chants, and gospel, which have shaped and framed the ethos of the African-American church for more than 200 years. The course will explore the history of African-American sacred music traditions and their theology, approach to biblical interpretation, and musical analysis. Each quarter a different topic will be studied with attention given to how theological and biblical instruction shapes distinctively Christian responses to the issues staked out. A case-study approach with interactive class sessions will be the norm. This course may not be used to satisfy School of Theology major or minor requirements. May be repeated for credit up to 18 credits.

MUS 4401: The Song of the Church
A study of congregational singing, including its history, its genre, its criticism, and its effective use in the worship service.

MUS 4899: Music, Musician, and Religious Experience

This capstone course, along with MUS 4654 and 4655, involves an integrative approach to advanced musicianship. The process includes reading, writing, listening, analysis, composition, improvisation, counterpoint, and computer notation. The in-depth study of great works such as Bach's "St. Matthew Passion," Handel’s “Messiah," Faure’s Requiem," and Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Services" offers you the opportunity to reflect on the integration of your discipline and faith, larger liberal arts experience, and sense of vocation. This course counts toward the Music Department’s context studies requirement. Prerequisites: MUS 1101, 1102, 1103, 2601, 2602, and 2603.

THEO 4911: Worship Arts Leadership Seminar

This course brings together, into cohorts, visual artists, musicians, filmmakers and theatre personnel. Through a theological lens, in the context of spiritual formation and discipline, students will investigate worship arts leadership and liturgics. The course will also explore how reconciliation, prayer, suffering, commitment, growing in wisdom and stature, are aspects of Christian Spiritual Disciplines.

THEO 4931: Worship Arts Leadership Practicum

Through the creation of new artistic performance practice systems, icons, and spaces for leading and designing Congregational Christian Worship, students will learn how to implement a theology of worship arts into both liturgical and non-liturgical contexts. The practicum course will also explore how reconciliation, prayer, suffering, commitment, growing in wisdom and stature, are aspects of Christian spiritual disciplines. May be repeated for credit 1 time.

Worship Courses for Seminary Credit

THEO 6403: Theology of Christian Worship

An examination of the doctrinal content, aesthetic form and intended ethical outcomes of Christian worship, including an in-depth study of representative liturgies and theologies of word and sacrament from the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions. The class may make several Sunday morning site visits to Seattle-area churches in the Seattle area that use these liturgies.

THEO 6412: Leading and Designing Congregational Worship

An exploration of the relevance of theological and biblical instruction — through a variety of resources such as music, visual arts, poetry, drama and dance — that equips you to design and lead faith communities in worship.

“The entire reason for our worship is that God deserves it.”
Marva J. Dawn
A Royal “Waste” of Time: The Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church for the World