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)

MW201 - Medieval Art and Spirituality
This course is an immersive experience held on location in Italy. Students, accompanied by a DTS professor in the department, interact with art, practices, key people, and theological ideas as they visit medieval cities such as Venice, Milan, Florence, Orvieto, Assisi, Siena, and Rome. Group members stay in monasteries and experience spiritual disciplines practiced by the medieval church. (3 hours)

MW202 - 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)

MW203 - 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 in conjunction with the annual Calvin Symposium on Worship held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (3 hours)

MW204 - Theology at Sundance Film Festival
This course provides an opportunity for students, accompanied by a DTS professor in the department, to dialog 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 semester. (3 hours)

MW205 - South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film, and interactive Conference
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)

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
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)

MW307 - 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)

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)

MW404 - 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 (see EML104). (1 hour)

MW410 - Audio Production for Ministry
A study of principles and practices that help students expand their ministries by equipping them to design and execute audio resources for various media platforms, including radio stations, internet streaming audio, podcasts, as well as capturing sermons and church services. (3 hours)

MW415 - Video Production for Ministry
A course designed to equip students to shoot and edit digital video, with an emphasis on ministry application (i.e., reports, documentaries, creative programming, promotions, and video letters). Students will learn digital, nonlinear editing software in the classroom. Digital video cameras will be provided. Enrollment limited to 18 students. May also be credited in the Department of Educational Ministries and Leadership. (3 hours)

MW451 - Theological Reflections on 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 (3 hours)

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
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)

MW703 - 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)

MW801 - Public Reading of 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)

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
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 MW903. Enrollment requires consent of the department. (3 hours)

MW903 - M.W. 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 semester (for a 2-hour thesis, including summer) or two additional semesters (for a 3-hour thesis, including summer). (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)