The purpose of the Department of Media Arts and Worship is to glorify the Triune God by preparing students to recognize and reveal God in and through worship and the arts.
MW5101 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.
MW5102 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 and complete the MinistrySafe Sexual Abuse Awareness certification as part of the apprenticeship. Enrollment is limited to MAMW students and ThM students in the Media Arts and Worship concentration. Students must complete 30 credit hours of DTS coursework before enrolling in MW5102. 2 hours.
MW5103 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). Prerequisite: MW5101 The Art of Media and Worship or professor approval. 3 hours.
MW5201 Medieval Art and Spirituality
A two-week immersive experience on location in Northern Italy (with optional three-day add-on in Rome). Students accompanied by a DTS professor in the Media Arts and Worship department and at least one other DTS department interact with art, practices, key people, and theological ideas as they visit medieval cities with a view to integrating classic visual art and Christian practices with their communication of truth. 3 hours.
MW5202 Calvin Festival: Writing and Writers
This course offers an immersive experience in which students, accompanied by a DTS professor in the department, interact with critically acclaimed writers and their writing. Attention is given on ways to incorporate faith themes winsomely. The course takes place in conjunction with the biennial Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 3 hours.
MW5203 Calvin Symposium: Worship Arts in the Church
In this immersive-experience course, students, accompanied by a DTS professor in the department, participate in worship experiences and interact with worship-arts professionals with a view to communicating biblical truth in worship contexts. This course is held in conjunction with the annual Calvin Symposium on Worship held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 3 hours.
MW5204 Theology at Sundance Film Festival
This course provides an opportunity for students, accompanied by a DTS professor in the department, to dialogue with the film industry (movies and people) from a theological perspective. Students will attend Sundance Film Festival, one of the most significant film festivals in the world. While at the festival, the class will take part in the Windrider Forum in order to meet and discuss theological issues with about 150 other Christians. The course also contains an online component that fills the rest of the term. 3 hours.
MW5205 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals
This course is a supervised cultural immersive experience at the annual SXSW Conference and Festivals held in March in Austin, Texas. The course focuses on increasing the student’s understanding and appreciation of divine revelation in culture. The emphasis of the course is on music; students will dialogue with musicians and others in the music industry in an integrative and interactive environment. 3 hours.
MW5206 British Authors and Biblical Themes
This course engages students in a ten-day immersive experience on location in the United Kingdom interacting with biblical themes in the writings of classic British authors with a view to using narrative in their communication of truth. 3 hours.
MW5301 Creative Writing in Ministry
A study of the principles and techniques of effective writing, designed to prepare students to communicate biblical truth through the written word. 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 12 students. 3 hours.
MW5302 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 term. Enrollment limited to 12 students. 3 hours.
MW5303 Advanced Creative Writing
A course in which the student applies the techniques from MW5301 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: MW5301 Creative Writing in Ministry or consent of the professor. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Audits permitted only with the permission of the professor. 3 hours.
MW5304 Theology and Contemporary Literature
An exploration of cultural attitudes toward the theological topics found in critically acclaimed literature. Students will read a variety of writings from notable authors as a means of engendering dialogue from a theological perspective, paying attention to how award-winning narratives since World War II have interacted with the religious and spiritual currents that pervade culture. 3 hours.
MW5305 C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien: Imaginary Worlds and Learning Moral Virtue
An examination of selected fictional and nonfictional writings of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, which illustrate and describe the creation of imaginary worlds. The student will read and interact with a variety of essays, correspondence, and fictional works by Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on how experience of these fictional worlds enables the reader to grow in moral virtue by refining one’s ability to discern between good and evil. 3 hours.
MW5307 Blogging for Ministry
This course will introduce basic blogging techniques as part of an effective writing ministry. The student will learn to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, choose a niche audience, maintain a blogging schedule, apply creativity to repurposing content, write for search engine optimization (SEO), set up and grow an email list, learn tips and tools to maximize productivity, utilize Google Analytics, and implement an effective social media strategy. The course will also discuss the balance of promotion, monetization, and motive in the context of a blogging ministry. Requires the purchase of a Premium WordPress Theme. 3 hours.
MW5404 Media Presentations
A hands-on exploration of speaker-support media for face-to-face teaching, with emphasis on clear communication and aesthetic design. May also be credited in the Department of Educational Ministries and Leadership. 1 hour.
MW5410 Digital Production for Ministry
A course designed to equip students in the craft of digital audio and video production with an emphasis on creativity in scripting, performance, and the strategic use of podcasting and online video in ministry, including evangelism/apologetics content, dramas, and interviews. Enrollment limited to 15 students. 3 hours.
MW5451 Theology, Technology, and Digital Culture
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. May also be credited in the Department of Theological Studies. 3 hours.
MW5603 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.
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.
MW5702 Praise and Worship Music
A practical guide to the philosophy and administration of the music ministry in contemporary worship, including the examination of the spiritual ministry of music in the life of the congregation, musical styles, cultural renewal, trends, budgets, and music education. 2 hours.
MW5703 Seminar in Worship Arts
Principles and practices to equip students for diversity of artistic expression in corporate worship. The course includes interdisciplinary projects and seminars to develop vision for restoring and renewing the culture of the world and the church. 3 hours.
MW5704 Theology and Practice of Ethnodoxology
A development of the biblical, theological, historical, and cultural principles of ethnodoxology. This course assists students who will be serving in multi-ethnic contexts as worship leaders, pastors, and cross-cultural workers. Attention will be given to introducing new artistic expressions into worshiping communities, undergirded by the use of relevant research methodologies and muticultural worship approaches. 3 hours.
This course is a study of the principles and techniques of effective songwriting and is designed to prepare students for communicating Christian worship, life, and theology through song. Students will write, cowrite, record, and share their own material during class time as well as discuss their fellow students’ original songs. Enrollment limited to 16 students. 3 hours.
MW5706 Worship Leadership Lab I
A biblical, theological, and practical introduction to worship leadership, emphasizing character, content, and competency. Students will prepare and lead in class, receiving feedback from their fellow students and the instructor. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Prerequisite: MW5101 The Art of Media and Worship or PM5302 Pastoral Theology and Church Leadership. 3 hours.
MW5707 Worship Leadership Lab II
Instruction and practice in the cultural, pastoral, and practical facets of worship leadership, emphasizing context, community, and advanced competency. Students will lead in class, including two long-form sets, and will receive feedback from their fellow students and the instructor. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Prerequisite: MW5706 Worship Leadership Lab I. 3 hours.
MW5801 Public Reading of Scripture
This course focuses on how to read the Bible effectively in public worship. It explores proven methods for helping congregations experience the power and beauty of God’s Word in fresh ways. Students discover how to interpret the text through vocal tone and a strategic use of the stage through individual and group reading (Readers Theater). Enrollment limited to 15 students. 3 hours.
MW5802 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.
MW5901 Independent Study in Media Arts and 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 credit hours in any one subject of study. Enrollment is subject to the consent of the professor. 1–4 hours.
MW5902 Media Arts and Worship Thesis
Independent research and writing of a thesis on an approved topic under the supervision of two faculty advisors. Students will have one calendar year to complete the thesis. If the thesis is not completed by the end of a year, students will be registered in MW5903. Enrollment requires consent of the department. 2 or 3 hours.
MW5903 Media Arts and Worship Thesis Continuation
The thesis continuation course is required of all students writing a thesis who are beyond one year in the thesis process. Thesis continuation is permitted for a maximum of one additional term (for a 2-hour thesis, including summer) or two additional terms (for a 3-hour thesis, including summer). 1 hour.
MW5905 Special Topics in Media Arts and 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 credit hours on any one topic. Enrollment requires consent of the department. 1–4 hours.