I am a worship leader, a worship planner, and a musician. I’ve worked for the church and for the denomination. I’ve worshiped all my life. You’d think I’d have this ‘worship thing’ down. But what I’ve discovered is, the more I learn about worship, the more I want to know! Why do we do the things we do on Sunday? Is there a deeper meaning? What can we do better to reach new heights and depths in our worship? Are there new things we should try? Things we shouldn’t try? How do I discern what is best for our congregation?
I decided to take a class, but like most of you, I am very busy. I am not in a position in life to go to school—whether seminary or a Bible school. So when I discovered the online Worship Leader class offering an Online Certificate in Worship Leadership from Anima, the Center for Worship and the Arts, partnered with Samford University, I checked it out. The course is called Designing Creative Worship. Here is the description: Leaders called to serve the church through the ministry of music and worship should strive to become theologically perceptive leaders. This course studies musical, theological, philosophical, and technological principles that inform public Christian worship. Particular attention will be given to application through guided experience in multiple models of worship design.
This online course is offered in four eight-week courses and you can take one, several, or all of them. Each quarter is taught by a different professor. The quarters of study are:
- Introduction to Worship Leadership
- Designing Creative Worship
- Biblical Foundations for Worship
- The Worship Leader as Pastor
I’ve completed the first two quarters and look forward to the next two. I highly recommend this course to any of you who perhaps, like me, love worship, love to plan worship, and love to learn, but do not have a theology or worship degree. To be honest, I have taken this course not only to learn and obtain the certificate in Worship Leadership, but to test it and find out whether it is something that we, as Worship Ministries for the CRC, can recommend to all of our churches, worship leaders and planners. Anima has associations with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, and is a trusted source, but this is a brand new course and I wanted to try it out. I’ve found the instruction to be biblical, thoughtful, and very practical. I have found the study material helpful. The interaction with the other students in the class online has been helpful, interesting, and encouraging.
I believe this may be a very good and timely resource for our churches and those who lead or plan worship. So many of us working as worship planners and leaders have ‘grown’ into our jobs, maybe because we are musicians, writers, or just love worship! But we lack the deeper understandings and thought processes that help us grow in worship. While reading books and going to conferences is helpful, I’m finding that a commitment to this ongoing study has been very beneficial.
This is a good time to start planning ahead. I’d encourage you, as worship leaders, to think of joining this class next September. Plan to allow for 5-6 hours a week for this study. You may want to get your church’s blessing and even monetary support. If you would like more information about this class, check out this link, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.