IWS Alumni News

September 2004                                                                                                                 Volume 1, Number 1

In This Issue

·    Greetings from Dr. Webber

·    Keeping the IWS Community Alive

·    IWS News: Accreditation

·    First Post-Graduate Seminar

·    2004 Commencement

·    Recommended Reading
















Link of Interest


Dr. Webber’s website that includes resources, newsletter and workshop information.






















“Incarnation is not an event in history; it is a defining concept of the reality of Jesus.” 


(Stanley Grenz, Post-graduate Seminar, June 14, 2004).





















Bob said . . .


“Don’t ask, ‘how do you read this passage of Scripture?’  Ask rather, ‘how does this passage of Scripture read me?’” 


(Robert Webber,

Commencement Address, June 13, 2004)





Your Profile

Is your personal profile and contact information up to date on the IWS website?  Don’t be cut off from the community.  Go the website, click on “Student Directory” and then your name.  Click on “Update”. If you don’t know your user name and password, contact Ken Rushing.  Thanks!





A Call for Newsletter Submissions

Would you be so kind to consider what you could contribute to this newsletter that would be of interest and edification to your colleagues (e.g., a book or worship resource recommendation, a report regarding ministry or life change, a testimony of worship renewal in your church, a prayer request)?  The IWS community thanks you in advance. 


Please submit content to:









Contact Information

151 Kingsley Ave.

Orange Park, FL 32073


Ph: 904.264.2172

Fax: 904.215.0799



Director of Alumni Relations and Editor of IWS Alumni News


Kent Walters

7323 Westlane Ave.

Jenison, MI 49428


H: 616.457.5234

W: 616.538.9350

Fax: 616.538.3564



Greetings from Bob Webber

Hello graduates of IWS!  The Lord be with you! 

One of the primary emphases of IWS that I've personally enjoyed is the we experience with each other.  The IWS Alumni News has been stcommunity arted to keep us in touch and continue community among us.  I am pleased to announce that Alpha grad Kent Walters has been appointed as the Director of Alumni Relations.  Kent is in his 29th year at Grace Bible Church in Grandville where he serves as Pastor of Worship and Music.

Another goal IWS has had from the very beginning is full accreditation with a federally approved accreditation association.  I'm pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Ohlmann as the Director of Strategic Planning and Accreditation.  Eric has more than 30 years experience as a seminary dean.  Now retired, Eric's contract reads "to do whatever is necessary to bring IWS to full accreditation."

In the paragraphs below you’ll be introduced to Kent and Eric.  Keep in touch!

Keeping the IWS Community Alive

It is a privilege to serve the IWS Community as the newly appointed Director of Alumni Relations.  One of my goals is to foster as much as possible the community that was developed during our invaluable times together in Orange Park.  As you remember, learning, growing and worshiping in community is at the heart the IWS educational philosophy.  As a student you experienced this dynamic firsthand.  We learned, grew, and worshiped together.

Hopefully this newsletter will serve to renew and maintain your contact with the IWS community and to facilitate communication in a number of directions.

The IWS Alumni News will be written for and by the alumni.  The content is intended to inform and inspire.  Features may include: a faculty column, book column, worship resource column, student column, post-graduate development opportunities, alumni spotlight (update on ministry and life changes), renewal column (testimonials regarding worship renewal), IWS news, and a prayer list.  Your feedback and any content you are able to contribute will be greatly appreciated by us all.  Please, contact me.

IWS News: Accreditation—High on the Agenda

The appointment of Eric Ohlmann as Director of Strategic Planning and Accreditation brings the realization of full accreditation into clearer view.  Bob recently expressed his excitement to me (the editor) about God’s timing and providence in aligning Dr. Ohlmann’s “retirement” and the need at IWS for one person who would follow the accreditation process to its completion.  Completing the accreditation process is one of Bob’s priorities.

Eric’s background makes him especially suited for this responsibility.  After earning a doctorate in Historical Studies, he began his subsequent 33 years in theological education as a faculty member at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.  During sixteen of those years, he was primarily a faculty member and secondarily carried some administrative responsibilities, and for seventeen years he was primarily an administrator.  His administrative positions included fourteen years as Director of Masters Studies, Associate Dean, Acting Dean and Interim Dean at Northern Seminary and twelve years as Vice President/Academic Dean at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Specifically related to his new position with IWS, Dr. Ohlmann has been extensively involved in strategic planning over the years, contributed to two institutional self-assessments at Northern and had the primarily responsibility for three such evaluations at Eastern, each of which resulted in continued accreditation.  Based on that experience, he fully expects to secure accreditation for IWS in two to three years.  May God bless Eric’s efforts!

First Post-Graduate Seminar

The first IWS graduate seminar was held this past June 14-15 commemorating the 5th Anniversary of the Institute’s inception.  Theologian Stanley Grenz led an engaging study in Christology: Getting Beyond the “Plastic” Jesus, which included the use of video excerpts from “Superman I” and “Star Trek” to illustrate how culture has plagiarized Christ’s life and story creating a “plastic” Jesus.  What a rich time we had in worship, study of the Word, discussion, and the ingesting of eternal truth.  It was like being back in class!

Here are comments from a few participants:

 “My headline for this session is—No More Plastic Jesus!  I appreciated the Christological insights applied to current culture and expressed in worship.  I have a lot to think about” (Steve Flint, Alpha).

 “I thought Dr. Grenz's seminar was beneficial, even if the greatest benefit was getting together again with other IWS alumni!  It is great to see my fellow IWSers, to share ideas, and worship together” (Sandra Roberts, Beta).

“The workshop with Stanley Grenz was encouraging and stimulating both intellectually and socially.  He presented solid material in an interactive format, which created a nice sense of community.  I also enjoyed getting to know some of the students from other classes (e.g., Beta, Gamma).  I appreciate any excuse to come back to Orange Park and be a part of the community” (Eric Bolger, Alpha).

If you are not familiar with the work of Dr. Grenz you may consider these books:

·         What Christians Really Believe and Why (Westminster John Knox Press)—an accessible, postmodern apologetic

·         Created For Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living (Baker Books)—Eric Bolger uses this text in one of the under graduate classes he teaches at College of the Ozarks.

·         Theology For the Community of God (Eerdmans)—graduate level text, highly recommended

We are considering how often to offer post-graduate seminars.  It may be feasible to schedule a 2-day seminar every June in conjunction with the Sunday Commencement Ceremony enabling the alumni to robe in their regalia and process with the faculty, staff and graduates (“festooning”).  Bob Webber has been tapped to teach the next seminar.  What do you think?  Would you be interested in attending a seminar in June 2005?  What about June 2006?  Your input is very important.  Let me hear from you.

June 2004 Commencement

Congratulations to the 2004 graduates!  The following certificates and degrees were conferred at the June 13 commencement ceremony:

Advanced Graduate Certificate of Worship Studies (AGCWS)

Marvin L. Crawford (Dr. Hart) In Absentia

Samuel David Green (Dr. Torgerson) In Absentia

Vilia K. Walter (Dr. Waterman) In Absentia


Master of Worship Studies (MWS)

Brandon E. Bliss                       Robert Nyle Sexton

Avis L. Hunt                            Julie Anne Smith

Edward E. Lockamy                  John D. Sullivan In Absentia

Jeremy R. Montgomery              Lin Yu, Wang

Joel David Phillips                     Elizabeth Wetherby


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS) / Thesis title

Edith Katherine Allen / Remembering and Living Our Baptism: Implications for Spiritual Formation in the Members of First Church of the Nazarene, Kankakee, Illinois (Dr. Sharp)

Margaret Lynn Bellows / Enhancing the Understanding of Divine Healing for the Order of Saint Luke the Physician Chapter at Indian River City United Methodist Church in Titusville, Florida through a Study of the Healing Concepts Found in the Book of Psalms (Dr. Alford)

William Wallace Cummings II / Designing Blended Services of Worship for North Park Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Dr. Sharp)

Walter McGregor Dunnett / Worship in the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (Dr. Ruth)

Dinelle Marie Frankland / A Strategy for Leaders Who Plan Worship for New Church Plants in the Christian Church, Non-denominational, to be Taught to Students at Lincoln Christian Seminary (Dr. Hill).

Donald James Fugate / Enhancing Unity and Authentic Worship at Foxworthy Baptist Church, San Jose, California Through the Teaching and Application of Forgiveness (Dr. Moyer)

Gary J. Gregory / Worship at the Lord’s Table: A College Course of Study and Preparation for Students at Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary (Dr. Ray)

Esther A. Hetrick / A Pilot Program Developed for the Independent Christian Churches for Working through Changes in Worship Styles with the Assistance of Great Lakes Christian College (Dr. Alford)

Richard Taylor Hunt / Recovering the Role of the Congregation in Sunday Worship: A Curriculum for Adult Members of Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas (Dr. Kidd)

Gary Wayne Matthews / A Worship Discipleship Course for Current and Future Worship Leaders of Highland Park Baptist Church in Southfield, MI (Dr. Ray)

Robert L. Matthews / Learning Basic Concepts of Worship Through a Designed Curriculum and Musical for the Children’s Choir of Trafalgar Village Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee (Dr. Hill)

Mark Louis Moeller / Using Varied Forms of Communication to Enhance Worship Engagement at First Baptist Church of San Angelo, Texas (Dr. Ruth)

Patricia Strong Myers / Developing and Pilot Teaching a Theological Education by Extension Course on Worship for the Institut Biblique Lumiere in Les Cayes, Haiti (Dr. Ray)

Matthew J. Packer / Discovering Eucharistic Meaning Utilizing the Service of Word and Table at Fenton United Methodist Church, Fenton, MI (Dr. Sharp)

Stephen Ray Phifer / Experiment in Prayer—The Convergence of Fixed and Extemporaneous Prayers in the Daily Private Worship of Congregants at Word of Life International Church, Springfield, Virginia (Dr. Hart)

William E. Price, Jr. / The Application of Established Worship Core Values to Youth Worship at First Baptist Church, Rochester, Minnesota (Dr. Ray)

David Michael Satterwhite / Increasing the Creative Use of Scripture in the Worship Services at Roebuck Baptist Church in Roebuch, South Carolina (Dr. Alford)

Patricia Lewis Stromstra / Reviving the Season of Easter at Third Christian Reformed Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan (Dr. Witvliet)

Michael G. Wiebe / Equipping the People of Nampa, Idaho First Church of the Nazarene to Experience the Healing Presence of Christ in Communion (Dr. Ruth)

Waverly W. Wilkerson / Implementing a Plan for the Usage of Visual Symbols in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper at First Baptist Church of Groveport, Ohio.

Robin David Ziegenfuss / A Strategic Worship Transition Plan to Assist First Christian Church of Council Bluffs, Iowa, in Moving from a 450 to a 1000 seat Worship Space (Dr. Van Marion)

Recommended Reading

As you may remember, Bob recommends a book to be read and discussed by the entire IWS community each session.  The book for last June was Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, Harold Best.  InterVarsity Press, 2003.

You may have read Harold Best’s earlier book, Music Through the Eyes of Faith, which I found to be hard going at times yet nonetheless insightful and often inspiring.  I read his new book while on vacation this summer and found it to be an easier read, displaying the wisdom of a seasoned pilgrim. 

Thought-provoking are Best’s insights on the corporate gathering (e.g., seeker sensitive vs. sensitive seekers), idolatry in worship, and intergenerational worship. 

The practical truth Best offers may be just what your church leadership and worship staff need to challenge the way they think about worship.  You may not agree with all the author’s conclusions, but he will cause you to examine the motives behind your worship choices.

Bob is recommending a new book for the January 2005 class session that addresses how to think about and respond to cultural change.  It is:  The Millennium Matrix: Reclaiming the Past, Reframing the Future of the Church, M. Rex Miller.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004.  Would one of you be willing to write a brief review of this book for our next edition of the Alumni News?  Please let me know.