Academic Departments

Courses in Media Arts and Worship

MW101 - The Art of Media and Worship
A biblical, theological, and worshipful introduction to the imagination and creativity. This course provides a cursory history of the church's relationship with the arts, explores a theology of beauty, and seeks to develop a spiritual discipline of creative response to God's truth and beauty in students' particular areas of art and/or worship. (3 hours)

MW102 - Media Arts Apprenticeship
A supervised, field-based apprenticeship, comprising the development and enhancement of media-related communication skills and/or worship design and implementation in a ministry context. Disciplines may include, but are not limited to, writing, acting, audio production, and video and film production, as well as worship design and implementation. Students will construct a professional portfolio as part of the apprenticeship. Enrollment is limited to MA/MW and ThM Media Arts emphasis students. Students must complete 30 credit hours of DTS coursework before enrolling in MW102. (3 hours)

MW103 - A Christian View of Art
How can a Christian evaluate artistic expression? What is beauty? These questions and others are answered in this study of biblical-exegetical foundations of creativity and art, the development of a Judeo-Christian theology of art, and biblical-philosophical analyses of artistic expression, with emphasis on the visual arts (painting, sculpture, and film). Students must complete 15 credit hours of DTS coursework before enrolling in MW103. (3 hours)

MW104 - Jesus and the Media
(3 hours)

MW201 - Audio Production for Ministry
. (3 hours)

MW301 - Creative Writing in Ministry
A study of the principles and techniques of effective writing, designed to prepare students for writing in the Christian field. Students will write and read their own material in class as well as edit and critique the writing of their fellow students. Enrollment limited to 15 students. (3 hours)

MW302 - Writing for Publication
A course designed to help students develop basic skills in writing for publication. Students research, write, and submit work to publications in a variety of formats during the semester. Enrollment limited to 12 students. (3 hours)

MW303 - Advanced Creative Writing
A course in which the student applies the techniques from MW301 Creative Writing in Ministry to a particular creative-writing project. Each student selects and develops one form from a variety of media (e.g., play, article, short story, teleplay, film script, first-person narrative sermon, novel, radio drama) and adapts the style and message to the unique character of the chosen medium. Prerequisite: MW301 Creative Writing in Ministry. Enrollment limited to 12 students. (3 hours)

MW304 - Theology and Contemporary Literature
An exploration of modern and postmodern attitudes toward the “spiritual/transcendent/God” found in selected American literature. Students will read a variety of writings from notable authors, as well as selected essays in critical theory, as a means of engendering dialogue from a theological perspective on how American fiction over the last fifty years has interacted with the religious and spiritual currents that pervade culture. (3 hours)

MW305 - C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Imaginary Worlds and Learning Moral Virtue
* (3 hours)

MW307 - Blogging for Ministry
* (3 hours)

MW401 - Graphic Design for Ministry
A study of the principles of graphic design and the mechanics of layout and composition to produce finished projects for both print and digital publications aimed toward solving communication problems in a ministry setting. Students will also give attention to the creation of a digital, graphic-design portfolio. (3 hours)

MW451 - A Biblical Theology of Technology
This course examines the place of technology in the biblical drama and in modern culture. Students will critically reflect on how technology affects their personal lives and ministries, analyze various theories of the nature of technology and how those theories contribute to and/or influence our understanding of what it means to be human, and investigate how selected Old and New Testament passages contribute to a biblical theology that can offer ethical guidance on current and forthcoming technologies (3 hours)

MW501 - Video Production for Ministry
(3 hours)

MW502 - Media Presentations
A study of the principles of graphic design and the mechanics of layout and composition to produce finished projects for both print and digital publications aimed toward solving communication problems in a ministry setting. Students will also give attention to the creation of a digital, graphic-design portfolio. (1 hour)

MW503 - Adv Video & Audio Production
(3 hours)

MW603 - Collaborative Practices in Art and Theology
This course will explore theological study through collaborative practices of research, discussion, and art-making (music, video, painting, acting, poetry, etc.). Four theological concepts will be explored in groups to develop those concepts and to create works of art that embody their truth and mystery. Enrollment is limited to 12 students. (3 hours)

MW701 - Hymnology
A study of the historical and theological development of the songs of the church, concentrating on the spiritual priority of hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs in believers' lives; singing as prayer; and composing hymn texts in diverse settings with mastery of metrical elements and devotional aims. (2 hours)

MW702 - Praise and Worship Music
(2 hours)

MW703 - Seminar in Worship Arts
(3 hours)

MW704 - Psalms and the Worship of God
(2 hours)

MW801 - Public Reading of Scripture
(3 hours)

MW802 - Dramatizing Scripture
A course designed to improve students' vocal and physical delivery through dramatic presentations of Scripture. The course emphasizes character and scene analysis, blocking, acting theory, and presentation. Enrollment limited to 15 students during the fall and spring, and 10 students in the summer. (3 hours)

MW901 - Indep Study in Media Arts & Worship
Independent research in some phase of media-related ministry, including, but not limited to, writing, drama, video production, film production, dance, and radio production. Credit is allowed proportionate to the amount of work but not to exceed 4 semester hours in any one subject of study. Enrollment is subject to the consent of the professor. (4 hours)

MW902 - Media Arts & Worship Thesis
(3 hours)

MW903 - M.W. Thesis Continuation
(1 hour)

MW905 - Special Topics in Media Arts & Worship
This course is designed for students who choose to participate in special conferences, training, or programs that are more formal in nature and require student participation other than a standard independent study. Approved special topics will provide expertise or training not specifically covered in the seminary curriculum. Credit is allowed proportionate to the required amount of work, but is not to exceed 4 semester hours on any one topic. Enrollment requires consent of the department. (3 hours)

MW905: Theology at Sundance
This course is an opportunity for students to engage the film industry (movies and people) from a theological perspective. The majority of the course requirement will be met by attending one of the most significant film festivals in the world: Sundance. Students will take part in the Windrider Forum at Sundance, daily discussing theological issues with over 100 other Christians at the festival, and will also meet daily as a DTS class. Theology at Sundance is a hybrid course and will continue online as students meet the full requirements for reading and papers throughout the remainder of the semester.

  • Park City, UT
  • Faculty: Dr. Tim Basselin
  • Next offering: January 21-31, 2016

Jesus told his disciples that they (we) are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-15). He used the metaphors of salt and light to describe their (our) relationship to the world (Matt. 5:13-15). In the incarnation, the eternal Son of God became a creature and came into the world that he created. In so doing, he not only told us how to relate the world, he showed us.

The South by Southwest(SXSW) Conference offers the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. This course is designed to give students the opportunity to experience immersion in a music and media conference and to reflect theologically on the experience together with other students and with a faculty member and spouse.

  • Austin, TX
  • Faculty: Dr. Glenn Kreider
  • Next offering: March 15-20, 2016

MW905: Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing
An immersion experience interacting with critically acclaimed writers and their writing that demonstrated an integration of art and faith as part of the biennial Calvin Festival. The Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College brings together writers, editors, publishers, musicians, artists, and readers for three days of discussing and celebrating insightful writing that explores, in some significant way, issues of faith. The Festival began in 1990, and since that time has welcomed thousands of attendees and hundreds of speakers—including John Updike, Elie Wiesel, Maya Angelou, Salman Rushdie, Donald Hall, Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L’Engle, Annie Dillard, and many more.

  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Faculty: Dr. Sandra Glahne
  • Next offering: April 14-16, 2016

MW905: Medieval Art & Spirituality
A study of the spiritual practices of the medieval church and the art that supported her worship in Italy. The class trip to Italy is truly a unique experience of medieval architecture, spirituality, and culture. It is the perfect setting to explore the ancient influences and contemporary application of medieval spirituality, art, and theology. 3 hours. (Option for additional hours of independent study credit in the area of a student’s choice, such as spiritual formation, historical theology, Aquinas studies, iconography, images in Christian art, medieval mystics such as Catherine of Siena and Francis of Assisi.)

  • Orvieto, Vincena, Venice, Padua, Florence, and Milan, Italy
  • Faculty: Dr. Sandra Glahn, Dr. Barry Jones, Sten-Erik Armitage
  • Next offering: May 2017