Worship Arts

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.

Worship arts department homepage


NWC 450SR - The Meaning of Life *
(2 credits) 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.
BTS 345 - Theology of Worship
(4 credits; alternate years, consult department) 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.
THE 305 - Story and Worship
(4 credits, alternate years, consult department) 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.
WOR 220WI - Worship Words
(4 credits) 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.
ART 122AE - Art History Survey, Renaissance Through Early 20th Century
No course description available.
MUS 115AE - Music of the Church
(3 credits) (NWCore 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
(4 credits) 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.
MUS 101 - Music Fundamentals
(2 credits) 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. Note: Includes 1 1/2 hours of lab per week. Does not count toward a music major or minor.
WOR 233x - Leading Worship Teams
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) 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. Cross-Referenced: Cross-referenced in music.
WOR 350 - Worship Technology
(4 credits) 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.
WOR 405 - Practicum in Worship Arts
(2 credits) Each worship arts student will be placed in relationship with a church or parachurch ministry to gain hands on experience in worship arts. Prerequisite: must be taken during last three terms prior to graduation or by permission of instructor. Note: graded on a pass/no pass basis.

Total credits required: 36

Note: *Students who are double majors are not required to complete PHI450SR if completing a Senior Seminar for the other major.