The IWS Family Newsletter

November 2007                                                  Fall Edition                                      Volume 4, Number 3

In This Issue

Click to go to the article.

·   In this issue

·   Bob's legacy

·   Missional focus

·   Board of Directors

·    Alumni Event 2008

·   Alumni news

·   Nethercotts in Japan

·   The Annual Fund












































IWS Mission Statement

The Institute for Worship Studies forms servant leaders in Christian worship renewal and education through graduate academic praxis, grounded in biblical, historical, theological, cultural and missiological reflection in community.







































Jimmie Abbington on MSNBC




(Click on picture to enlarge).

Jimmie Abbington, MWS faculty member, was featured in an October 3 NBC News report on musicians in the church.  The video (2:23) is available online.



































Email Spam

Question: Why do I sometimes get a pile of junk email through the IWS email system?

Answer: It's a mystery, but Ken Rushing has some advice for helping eliminate unwanted email from spamming and spoofing.  Read his article: Viruses, Spamming, Spoofing and More.





























Pass me on

Someone you know needs to be introduced to the unique education available at IWS. Why not forward this newsletter link to
a friend as an introduction to the
IWS community?
























From Don Saliers

"[Human] pathos [in worship] without God's ethos [His self-giving] is tragic self-expression; God's ethos without human pathos figured in Jesus is opaque, that is, sovereign but not serving. As Augustine said long ago: 'Without God we cannot. Without us God will not'" (From Worship As Theology: Foretaste of Divine Glory, 36).































Your news

Please share your news with the IWS community.  Send me an email with a few details about your life, family, ministry. Anamnetic minds want to know.
































Your Profile

Is your personal profile (contact data and employment info) up to date on the Web site? It is important that this information is accurate for our reports during the accreditation process (e.g., to indicate percentage of graduates in worship related work). Would you logon to your profile in the directory (students / faculty-staff / alumni)?  Click on your name, and then click the Update button. Click the link to have your username and password emailed to you. If your email address has changed contact me for your password info. Thanks so much! This is huge.

































Tis the season

Dan Sharp, DWS faculty member, has provided another valuable contribution to choral directors from his carefully chosen repertoire files: Choral Anthems for Advent and Christmas, Part 1.

You might be looking for one more piece for this season. Check out his suggestions and be looking for Part 2.




Highlights in this issue

When I began pulling together the content for this edition, I thought that it might be one of our shorter newsletters. But, once again, this Fall edition is loaded with news and info that you will find interesting and hopefully stimulating as well.  Here are a couple highlights.

I'm excited to facilitate a brief glimpse into the international impact of IWS with feature articles from two alumni serving in other parts of the world, one by Jonathan Wong (DWS 2005) and one by Nancy Nethercott (DWS 2006).

You'll be introduced to the eleven members of the IWS Board of Directors. I was thrilled as I read their bios and began to see the incredible amount of talent, experience and vision that is resident in these leaders. I can only include a few of the many responsibilities and accomplishments of these fruitful and devoted servants of the Kingdom. As you read, will you pause and pray for each of them and their influence on the ministry of IWS?

This and much more. Read on.  


The Legacy of Bob Webber Around the World

by Jonathan Wong (DWS, Eta 2005)

In April 2007, I was teaching a course on the biblical foundations of worship at Pacific Rim Bible College in Honolulu.  While lecturing one day on early Church worship it was as if Bob was standing next to me encouraging me to speak out.  In that moment, I realized that his legacy is being carried on by those of us touched by his life at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. 

This past June I taught a one week seminar for 35 pastors and lay leaders at Asian Theological Seminary in Manila, Philippines titled, Worship Team Leading: A Pastoral, Priestly, and Prophetic Approach to Leading Worship.  (Click on the picture to enlarge. Jonathan is waving from the center of the front row).  Eleven churches from several denominations were represented.  The students were very responsive and eager to explore how worship extends beyond the musical dimension with which they were accustomed.  I was moved by the heartfelt commitment and dedication these pastors and lay leaders have to serve their churches and communities. 

During my stay there I also encountered extreme levels of poverty and pollution that I came to realize is not unusual for a third world country.  My host noted that of the 12 million people in Manila close to 40% live on $1.00 a day. 

A faith-stretching moment happened the day before I planned to discuss the importance of God’s justice and worship.  One of the pastors asked that we pray for his senior pastor who had recently been kidnapped by the military/police for speaking out against the corruption in the government.  I was fearful for our safety and the wellbeing of the seminary, but after discussing it with the program director we decided to go forward with the talk because God calls us to seek justice for the poor and the oppressed.  The Holy Spirit spoke to each of us that morning as we renewed our covenant to seek his justice in all our relationships. 

My time in the Philippines also affirmed that God can use me in the Pacific Rim and Asia.  Lord willing, my wife and I will return to Asian Theological Seminary next summer to teach a course on the arts and worship for their M. Div. students in pastoral studies. 

X Return to top X  

The Missional Focus of IWS

Describing the missional theology of IWS, Eric Bolger (Academic Dean and MWS faculty member) writes: "A focus on God’s mission has been the guiding star of IWS from the start and remains the heart of its Vision Statement (below). . . .[And] is also apparent in its Mission Statement" (on the left).  Read Eric's article, "Missional Theology of IWS: a Working Description."

Vision Statement:

The vision of the Institute for Worship Studies is situated in the Divine Narrative.  It seeks to serve God’s action in history to express his lordship over all creation through worship.  Accordingly, it aspires to be an institution that:


1.      Focus.  Emphasizes God’s story of creation, incarnation and recreation through which God brings the entire cosmos under the reign of Christ.

2.      Theology.  Draws on the classical interpretation of Scripture, affirmed by the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Council of Chalcedon, together with the affirmation of an evangelical grounding and ecumenical outreach.

3.      Culture.  Offers an ongoing critical appraisal of Christian worship, with an open mind and heart to an authentic faith and practice in the twenty-first century.

4.      Ethos.  Remains a small, self-sacrificing, simple school of students involved in an intense spiritual interaction with each other, unencumbered by building ownership, big budgets and a large full-time staff.

5.      Influence.  Seeks to “teach those who teach,” continuing to raise up leaders around the world whose ministries are grounded in intentional theological reflection.

6.      Technology.  Pursues its vision through an educational methodology that combines an on-campus experience of academic learning and spiritual community, distance learning components and up-to-date technology.

X Return to top X 

Meet the IWS Board of Directors

Ms. Janet Carlson

Investment consultant, Roseville, Minnesota

B.S. (Education), University of Minnesota

Masters course work, University of Minnesota

Janet has worked in education as a teacher (elementary and college level) and administrator, as well as in real estate and financial services.  She is founder and former president (now retired) of Family Trust, Inc. and Trust Financial Group. Janet and her husband John (a retired pastor) were instrumental in establishing and are active in the work of the Shepherd’s Foundation (a ministry in Ukraine) and the Starfish Foundation (a ministry to single mothers in inner city St. Paul). Janet serves on the Trustee Board and the Foundation Board of Missionary Aviation Fellowship, and remains active in the ministries of their local church. Janet and John have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.


Dr. Melva Costen

B.A. (Education), Johnson C. Smith University

M.A.T.M. (Teaching Music), University of North Carolina

Ph.D. (Curriculum and Instruction), Georgia State University

Honorary doctorates (Litt.D.) from Wilson College and Erskine College

Dr. Costen is a widely recognized authority on music and worship. She has just retired as the Helmar Emil Nielsen Professor of Music and Worship at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta and is a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School for Fall 2007. She is the author of several books, including African American Christian Worship, which is widely used by theological seminaries. Melva's latest book is titled Somewhere I Heard...! Worship and Celebrations in African American Traditions and is forthcoming from Geneva Press. Melva's vision and ministry is extended through speaking, writing, arranging and serving on publications committees.  She chaired the committee that created the 1990 PC(USA) hymnal.


The Rev’d Dr. C. Wayne Freeberg

Dr. Freeberg is an ordained Pastor assigned to Christ the Redeemer Cathedral Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He serves as Chair of Education and Ministry for the Diocese. In addition, he is President of CWF Consulting, working with religious and distance education colleges and universities.

Wayne holds a post-doctoral certificate in Leadership from Harvard University and a certificate in Distance Education from Penn State University.  His academic degrees include a doctorate from Indiana University, masters degrees from Valparaiso University and New York University, and the bachelors degree from the State University of New York., along with six honorary doctoral degrees.

Prior to ordination, he served Governors Askew, Graham, Martinez, Chiles and Bush as the chief administrative officer for Florida's Board of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Wayne and his daughter, Diana, live in St. Augustine, Florida, where Diana is a sophomore at Nease High School.


Dr. James R. Hart

B.M. (Sacred Music), Oral Roberts University

M.M. (Performance), University of Tulsa

D.W.S., The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship

Jim continues to serve as the Director of Music and Arts Ministries at Grace Church, Orange Park. His influence and assistance was instrumental in the establishing of the IWS Florida campus. Jim initially served as Dean of Students, and, at Bob Webber's request and with the full support of the Board, faculty and staff, was appointed as the school's second president earlier this year.

Dr. John Lindsell, Chairman of the Board

Ed.M & Ed.D. (Administration, Planning, and Social Policy), Harvard Univ.

M.T.S. (Church History), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

A.B. (English Literature), Wheaton College

John is Headmaster at the St. James School in Montgomery, Alabama. He also teaches on finances in nonprofit organizations in Harvard’s Summer School. Previously John worked as the Headmaster and CFO at Westminster Schools of Augusta, Georgia and also as the Assistant Superintendent for Finance for the Merrimack School District in New Hampshire.  Johns serves his local community of Montgomery on various committees.


Mr. Matthew Price

B.A. (English), Mt. Vernon College

M.A. (Church History and Communication Theory), Wheaton College

Mr. Price has served in various roles in the publishing business for over 20 years including business owner, author, publisher, marketing and sales director, producer, and consultant. He developed multiple curriculum resources and textbooks as vice-president and publisher of Abbott-Martyn Press and has had nineteen books published by eight different publishers. Matt has been honored as a publisher with 3 Gold Medallion Awards (one for The Complete Library of Christian Worship) and an Angel Award for producing the video I Am Wonderfully Made. Matt is the Executive Director of the Institute for GIS Studies (GIS, Geographic Information System, is a computer system that records, stores, and analyzes information about the features that make up the earth’s surface). 


The Rev’d Dr. Tim Roberts

B.A. (Philosophy & Religion), Flagler College

M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary

D.Min., Columbia Theological Seminary

Tim has served in churches in Tampa, Florida and Norfolk, Virginia, and has been the pastor of Orange Park Presbyterian Church since 2003.  His church (IWS’s neighbor) graciously provides education space for our master’s classes.  Tim and his wife Staci have 3 children.


The Rev’d Dr. R. Wayne Stacy

B.A., Palm Beach Atlantic University

M.Div., Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dr. Stacy serves as Intentional Interim/ Transitional Pastor offering consultation and help to congregations in transition. He has pastored churches in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina; and taught at Palm Beach Atlantic University, St. Vincent dePaul Regional Roman Catholic Seminary, and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and served as professor and Dean of the Divinity School, Gardner-Webb University.


Joanne Lindsell Webber

B.A. (Education), Wheaton College

M.P.A. (Masters in Public Administration),
   Northeastern University, Boston, MA

J.D., John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL

Joanne worked in education, social work, and law in the public sector for 30 years, and has been retired since 1997. She resides in the home she and Bob built at Bethany Beach in Sawyer, Michigan.


The Rev’d Dr. Luder G. Whitlock, Jr.

Dr. Whitlock is a graduate of the University of Florida, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Vanderbilt University (D.Min.). He served as the president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando for 23 years, and was the Executive Director of The New Geneva Study Bible and The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible. Dr. Whitlock is the Executive Director of The Trinity Forum, an organization that serves leaders around the world. He and his wife, Mary Lou, have three grown children and eleven grandchildren.


 The Rev’d Sharon Williams

 Sharon has been in ministry for over 30 years, and currently serves as Executive Pastor of Ministries at Christ the Redeemer Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

Her areas of expertise include principle-centered teaching, missions, mentoring, prophetic ministry, dance and drama.  Sharon has a specific passion for women’s ministry.  Her vision is to see women set free, made whole and thoroughly equipped to become the women God has destined them to be.  She helped create “Women Alive,” a monthly gathering and weekly radio program designed specifically to minister to women and their needs. 
Sharon has been married for 33 years, has four children and eight grandchildren.


X Return to top X

Alumni Event 2008

Please mark your calendar for the annual Alumni Event: June 14-17, 2008. The post-graduate seminar will be taught by Don Saliers who recently retired from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta where he had served as the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship and Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program. Dr. Saliers has written, edited and contributed to numerous books; click here for a listing.

Look for Alumni Event 2008 details in the Winter Edition of Anamnesis.

X Return to top X

Alumni News

Greg Barmer, DWS (Alpha, 2002)

Greg has served as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Washington, NC for the past 12 years.  He gave me permission to publish a personal story he shared with me via email a couple weeks ago. Congratulations Greg!

I recently had the surprise of my life.  In a matter of moments I had both the greatest shock and greatest honor of my life.  Throughout the entire 11:00 a.m. service on October 7 I agonized over why on earth this odd collection of people I loved were in attendance—my mom and sister, several “second moms and dads,” a few folks returning for the second service who had already been at the early service, the church secretary (who is not a church member), etc.  Then, at the conclusion of the service, a choir member came up and began sharing with the congregation the story of “To God Be the Glory” and that Joel Raney is a favorite keyboard arranger of mine.  All this time I was sinking deeper into confusion.

Then Joel Raney and Jane Holstein, who were present in most of the service without me knowing it, stood up to perform the premier of a grand setting of “To God Be the Glory” written for piano, organ, choir, handbells, and congregation and arranged “to the glory of God and in thankfulness for the ministry of Greg Barmer.”  I was TOTALLY floored!!! The choir had commissioned the piece for me and rehearsed in secret and I never knew a thing about it for all these months!  They presented me with a gorgeous framed copy of the cover and the first page where the dedication is printed.  Joel and Jane are recording it next month and it will be published by Hope Publishing after the first of the year.

Click here to view the video clip (18:33) of this presentation recorded as it happened.  Then, answer this survey question: On a scale of 1 to 5, to what degree does Greg look "shocked" in this video?   5= "Oh, my...I can't believe this is happening!"  1= "Man, this service is getting long." 

Organ/piano duets by Joel Raney.

Don Fugate, DWS (Delta, 2004)


After 24 years as Associate Pastor at Foxworthy Baptist Church in San Jose, California, Don accepted the call to be Senior Pastor this past September 23rd.

God’s blessings on your ministry, Don!


Merril Smoak, DWS (Alpha, 2002)

Merril is the Associate Pastor for Music and Worship at Trinity Baptist Church in Livermore, CA.  He also teaches on worship and music at Olivet University in San Francisco.  Here is the report on Merril's sabbatical abroad that was promised in the last edition of Anamnesis.  Once again, congratulations, Merril!

This past June we celebrated 29 years of ministry here at Trinity.  On June 17 my wife, Donna, and I departed for a four week sabbatical in Italy and Greece.  In Italy we stayed in a farmhouse near Lucca; highlights included hiking the Cinque Terra and hearing the Gregorian Chant at Abbey Sant' Antimo.  Our two weeks in Greece included ancient Corinth, Patmos, Ephesus, other islands, and then Athens.  It was a joy to be with Donna for four consecutive weeks!

The IWS experience and the teachings of Bob Webber continue to impact my life, ministry, and teaching.  Everyone must read Bob's "The Divine Embrace".  I believe it to be one of his best books.  Special greetings to my ALPHA brothers.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge.  1) Merril & Donna at the Abbey in Italy; 2) Coliseum in Ephesus; 3) Areopagus in Athens

X Return to top X  

Alumni Focus: Nancy Nethercott, DWS

(Iota 2006) serving in Tokyo, Japan

My husband Paul and I have been in Japan as church planting missionaries with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) since 1987. We have one daughter, Naomi (10 years old), who is God’s gift of grace to us. (Click on the picture to enlarge).

In 1995, we established CAN (Christians in the Arts Network), which is now our main ministry focus and joy. The purpose of CAN is to connect, equip, train, and encourage creative individuals to be effective leaders of church renewal and growth. We hold worship seminars, workshops, retreats, and mentor young adults and do a lot of networking. We host a “CAN Monthly” at our house, thirty or more people gather in our home for a meal and an “open mic” session. (Click picture to enlarge). Artists from many disciplines, not just musicians, participate.  It is a lot of fun and a great way to connect with each other. Paul and I also teach in the CLTC (Christian Life Training Center)—a ministry of CAN for training Christians to be effective ministers of the gospel using their gifts and abilities to build the church and reach Japanese for Christ.

In 2002 I found an IWS brochure in a magazine. I was very excited about the program because one of my ministries is planning and leading worship services in Japanese churches.  I was also amazed to see that Carla Waterman was teaching at IWS. Carla was one of my roommates when we were students at Bethel University in Minnesota! My DWS projects and thesis focused on worship renewal in the Japanese church. I have applied so much of what I learned at IWS to our situation here. For example, I lead a CAN project called Alleluia! Seminars offering “Worship Renewal Workshops” in local churches. I have also had the opportunity to do training in the area of biblical worship design and planning in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Link to the Nethercott family blog.

X Return to top X

Letter from the President

Dear Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Board Members and Friends of IWS,

Because of your prayerful support of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies and your commitment to our mission of forming servant leaders in worship renewal, IWS continues to thrive and grow. Enrollment remains high and our graduates, faculty and students are impacting worship renewal and education around the globe. During our June session, we hosted an affirming visit from an accreditation team with the Association for Biblical Higher Education in response to our candidacy application. The Commission for Accreditation meets in February and will communicate their decision at that time. This Spring, through generous donations of books, shelving and funds, we expanded our library from 200 to 8,000 volumes and added a part-time library staff. The Board of Directors has been expanded with the addition of Dr. Melva Costen, Ms. Janet Carlson, Dr. Tim Roberts, and Ms. Joanne Webber. It is exciting to be part of the fulfillment of the vision of IWS!

IWS remains committed to its mission of promoting worship renewal and education through academic praxis, grounded in biblical, historical, theological, cultural, and missiological reflection. We fully understand that the ongoing fulfillment of our mission is truly a team effort.  That team includes you, the students, alumni, faculty, staff, board members and friends of IWS.

With the illness and subsequent death of our dearly loved founding president this past year, IWS has been propelled into a new phase of ministry and leadership. Many within our family have assumed a significantly increased role in supporting and promoting our mission by investing time, talent and treasure into our school’s future. Last year we established the Annual Fund, raising close to $50,000. Additional gifts have been designated for scholarships, the library, the Alumni Fund and the Robert E. Webber Endowment Fund. As the school has grown and matured, related operational expenses have also grown. New areas of expense include our accreditation pursuit, library resource expansion, technology upgrades, and activities related to development and recruitment. We want to continue responding to the challenges of entering a new era without our founder and faithfully fulfilling God’s mission for IWS. Therefore, we are launching the 2007-8 Annual Fund, chaired by alumna Karen Carpenter, with a goal of raising $75,000 to bridge the gap between tuition revenue and true operating costs. We are relying on your generosity to help build the financial muscle we need for a secure future. Our students will greatly benefit from the gifts received, and the mission of our beloved institute will continue to be fulfilled.

We have already raised over 8% toward our target for this year’s Annual Fund, with additional funds pledged. Our goal for this drive is again to receive 100% participation from the board, faculty and staff of IWS and a high percentage of participation from the students, alumni and friends. No gift is too small. This year IWS has been given a generous matching grant of $20,000 from a Michigan foundation, a matching gift of $15,000 from an alumna, as well as matching donations from board members.  That means every dollar you donate to IWS will be doubled! Because of our emphasis on worship renewal in light of the missio Dei (mission of God), we also request that IWS be considered in the mission budgets of your churches.

Checks should be made out to IWS, noted “Annual Fund,” and sent to IWS, 151 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, FL 32073 attn: Dana Brodsky.  Donations may also be made online through the website.  All donations are tax deductible.  Gifts may be designated in memory or honor of a loved one. 

Thank you for your support of the Lord’s work in and through IWS.

Grace and peace to you,

James R. Hart, President
October 24, 2007

Letter from the Alumni Fund Chair

Dear Friends, Students, and Alumni of IWS:

I am honored to write this letter encouraging all of us not only to continue, but also to increase our support for the Institute for Worship Studies.  My time at IWS was been one of the most marvelous, yet challenging, times in my life.  The Institute has provided the framework for the experience of worship in my life as defined by Harold Best, “ . . . the continuous outpouring of all that I am, all that I do and all that I can ever become in light of a chosen or choosing God.” (Unceasing Worship:  Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts).  Dr. Webber’s vision for the Institute has provided that opportunity for all its students, alumni, faculty, staff and any others who have experienced life at IWS.  Furthermore, the Institute is equipping these representatives to carry the message of a joyful and continuous outpouring back to their congregations and academic institutions in the form of worship renewal and education.

The Institute for Worship Studies is poised to lead a radical worship renewal throughout evangelical churches in the United States as well as around the world.  We need to keep the vision and provide support for the spreading of the vision through prayer, service, and financial gifts.  Dr. Jim Hart, President, the Board of Directors, faculty and staff are committed to fulfilling the mission of the Institute.  Let’s provide the support they and the faculty need to lead the way. 

Very truly yours,

Karen K. Carpenter, D.W.S.

Delta Class, 2006

X Return to top X

© 2007 The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies

Contact Information
Robert E. Webber
Institute for

Worship Studies
151 Kingsley Ave.
Orange Park, FL 32073
Ph: 904.262.2172
Fax: 904.278.2878

Director of Alumni Activities and Editor of Anamnesis
Kent Walters
7323 Westlane Ave.
Jenison, MI 49428
H: 616.457.5234
M: 616.304.9363