We finished a day and a half of curriculum planning this afternoon for the Christian Worship course to be offered next Fall. Helping were Constance Cherry, John Drury, Bud Bence, Keith Drury, Russ Gunsalus, and myself. I don't think Bud would mind me mentioning what he said as we wearily left the conference room today--something like, "Wow, anyone who says this is seminary lite doesn't know what has gone into these courses."
Just to give a foretaste, students will read the majority of three of the texts in the series, The Complete Library of Christian Worship, including the volumes on Sacred Actions of Christian Worship, Twenty Centuries of Christian Worship, and The Services of the Christian Year, in addition to Dr. Cherry's own forthcoming The Worship Architect and Drury's Wonder of Worship. Students will create portfolios of detailed self-instruction for everything from performing baptisms, the Lord's Supper, weddings, funerals, services of Advent and Lent, with alternative biblical assignments for those from traditions that do not practice traditional baptism and communion.
The course will also include the standard features of all praxis courses in the seminary:
1) a Bible, theology, or church history related assignment each week;
2) an Integration Paper threaded from Weeks 3-14 in which they use their exegetical skills and their ability to draw from theologians and church history to address a pastoral issue;
3) action research, strategy, or application every week in relation to the topic of the week;
4) an application strategy piece in the final week, in which they take the various action research, strategy, and application work they have done and formulate a three year realistic plan for their ministry context in some area or areas they have covered, to be revisited in the capstone course.
Thanks to God for helping us these two days of planning!