March 2010                                                            Spring Edition                                                     Issue #22

In This Issue

Click to go to the article.

·   From the editor

·   President's column

·   Faculty column: Reggie Kidd

·   Alumna focus:
Teresa Ho

·   Witvliet seminar reflections

·   June worship seminar

·   Alumni and student news

·   Giving and bequests

·   Songs of Assent:
still singing

















"Anamnesis" defined

"God's activity is a window into his character, so savoring redemptive history is essential to knowing and worshiping God. The definition of  Anamnesis is to savor the identity-shaping significance of God's action, past, present and future."

(John Witvliet, January 2010 Worship Seminar)




































































New photos added on the IWS Website

·   Photos from the
   January Session

·  Photos from the
   Witvliet Seminar







































Worship expressions that aren't about ME

"What would it look like to think about creating worship songs, artworks, etc. that link holy "self-forgetfulness" with divine glory? How can we compose songs in which emotional satisfaction is the by-product, but not the goal of the music--music that resists narcissism?"

(John Witvliet, January 2010 Worship Seminar)


























Simon Chan on worship music and leaders

"If music is to fulfill its intended purpose in worship, it has to be understood as an important medium through which the various components of worship retell the Christian story. . . . The real reason we worship is that we are a people shaped by the Christian story. If this is so, can we simply entrust our worship to worship leaders who have no such understanding?"

Simon Chan, (Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community, 157)















































January Session Resources

Audio files from the January 2010 session are being edited and added to the Website. Resources include the Presidential Address, Convocation sermon, Worship Seminar sessions, and chapel talks. Here's the link.






































Alumni Seminar
June 13-15

Dr. Simon Chan, Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore.

Seminar description link

Online registration link
















From the Editor: Landmark Accomplishment

We're ten years old, fully accredited, stronger than ever, still the same.

Accreditation is a milestone--a tenth year landmark that says something very significant about what we do at IWS. We are recognized, approved, accountable, bona fide.

As important as this credential is, our shining achievement and rewarding joy continues to issue from the lives of our students, alumni and faculty--the IWS community--whose stories reveal an ever-growing chain of influence that is spreading around the world, fueled by a passion for worship renewal to the praise of our crucified, risen, ascended and coming Savior and King, Jesus.

This edition of Anamnesis continues the practice of celebrating this dynamic community and the work the Lord is doing in its members and the churches they serve. The featured alumna in this edition is Teresa Ho of Hong Kong.

Our first January seminar was a great success. John Witvliet was a compelling speaker; read the report below, and make plans for your recharging this June with Simon Chan.

Lots more in this edition of Anamnesis. Read on!

Kent Walters, D.W.S. (Alpha 2002)

President's Column: Accreditation and Staying Connected
by Dr. Jim Hart

As most of you have learned by now, on February 17, the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education passed a motion granting the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies full accreditation!  Dr. Eric Ohlmann, Director of Strategic Planning and Accreditation, Dr. Eric Bolger, Academic Dean, and Dr. Luder Whitlock, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees attended the meeting with me and helped to field questions from the commission. 

I want to express my deepest appreciation to Dr. Ohlmann and Dr. Bolger who have both contributed invaluably to the accreditation process, to Dr. Whitlock, Dr. John Lindsell and the entire board of trustees for their support, leadership and hard work in this pursuit, to the superb faculty and staff for their tireless efforts and commitment, and for the prayers, support and input of our stellar alumni and students. I want also to thank ABHE for their encouragement, support and advice in our pursuit of accreditation. In particular, I want to acknowledge Dr. Ralph Enlow, Dr. Randy Bell, Dr. Larry McKinney and Dr. Tony Buchanan, along with many others in ABHE for starting IWS down this road, for standing alongside us, for encouraging us and advising us, and for partnering with us to advance the Kingdom through worship renewal in the context of Biblical higher education.   

Thanks be to God.

Some of you have asked what you can do to continue advancing the mission of IWS now that we are accredited. Here are some ideas:

1. Pray for the mission of IWS. Particularly, pray for continued strong enrollment, our strategic planning process and our development work. 

2. Send us students, or names of potential students. The DWS program tends to still have a strong draw (at capacity last session), but the MWS has a little more room to grow (75% of capacity last session). 

3. Come to the alumni seminars to refresh, reconnect with classmates and faculty, and re-experience the IWS ethos.

4. Consider a regular financial gift to the Annual Fund and the Alumni Scholarship/Grant Fund. We have met our fund-raising goals for the past two years, but this year is considerably behind due to the bad economic times. And, only 20% of the IWS alumni have been supporting the school financially. We truly depend on the participation of all alumni in the financial support of the school to keep advancing the mission as God has called all of us to do. Please remember Jim Dodge's recent $5,000 matching funds challenge for the Alumni Scholarship/Grant Fund.

5. Have you been getting all of our e-mails and communications? If not, your IWS e-mail account (through Gmail) may not be set up as a forwarder, or it may have the wrong forwarder. Log in to your Gmail account to view your e-mail and make delivery choices, or contact the IWS office.

6. Let Kent Walters and me know how your IWS education is impacting your life and ministry.

7. Are you receiving the Webber Quote of the Week? More than 550 people receive these quotes each week. Pray for the impact of Bob’s words on those who read; forward the quotes to others and invite them to sign up to receive them; copy and use the ad and hyperlink at the left on your Website or blog.

8. Join the IWS Facebook group and the AEF Facebook group.

Those are some ideas for you to stay connected to IWS. And, we deeply need you to stay connected!! Although we confer degrees every year, one never really graduates from IWS. The commencement ceremony is just the rite of passage into the next level of participation in the life and mission of the IWS community. Connections continue to form and grow, relationships are deepened, and the Kingdom of God is advanced, both in our lives and in our ministry contexts. 

The Lord be with you,

James R. Hart, President

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Faculty Column: Chanting the Psalms
by Reggie Kidd

As the credits roll in the movie I Am Legend, Bob Marley sings:

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

An artful choice. Marley’s reggae music provides the movie’s central character, Robert Neville (played by Will Smith), a slender line of hope. He’s reluctant to believe that in his post-apocalyptic world there’s a God with a plan, reluctant to believe even that any other non-zombie humans exist. Marley’s voice from a healthier world helps him fend off despair.

Many of us know what it is to feel cut off — to have no sense that there’s a master plan. The driver from hell nearly runs you off the road. Cash flow is negative. A relationship unravels. Evil reigns in the world, good is thwarted at every turn. And you go: “Am I left alone?”

Will Smith had Bob Marley’s reggae. I have the book of Psalms—and I have them in the ancient church’s plainsong. [Continue reading]

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Alumna Focus: Contextualizing our Training

by Teresa Ho

Around the world, graduates are working to apply what they learned at IWS in their culture and context. Teresa Ho (D.W.S., Nu 2008) is a shining  example of the global impact of IWS. She is pictured below on the left with her Dean at the seminary, Dr. Angela Tam.


It has been more than two years since I went back to Hong Kong to teach at my mother school, the Alliance Bible Seminary. I was called to serve there while I was in the middle of my studies at IWS, where I gratefully received the blessings of my professors and fellow classmates in this move. It was a great challenge for me to change my ministry from being a music pastor in a church to a lecturer at a seminary. This is not a normal phenomenon; however, I was granted special permission by both Dr. Gerald Borchert and Dr. Keith Ray, who acknowledged my vision and supported my decision. Moreover, they promised to offer guidance in my thesis writing as much as possible in this difficult transitional time.

God’s providence is sufficient! His guidance is marvelous and wonderful! The Alliance Bible Seminary is a community of more than 200 full-time and approximately 300 part-time Bible students. I serve in the Church Music Department. My responsibility is to teach church music courses, lead the seminary choir and the handbell choir, as well as handle some administrative work. Students are also assigned to professors in order to care for their spiritual growth. Although this is very fast-paced and heavy-loaded work, I enjoy my job. While I was writing my thesis, my work schedule was really packed; however, by God’s grace, I was able to finish my thesis on time and graduate with my Nu classmates in June 2008.

God further broadened my vision by giving me a chance to see the need for worship ministry in mainland China. In the past years, God has done miraculous work in China; the number of Christians grew rapidly especially along the coastal areas. Therefore, there is a great need for Christian leaders who can go there to teach the local Chinese leaders the biblical foundation of worship and how to lead a well-planned worship. As Hong Kong is part of China since 1997, it is easier for us now to reach the Chinese Christians and equip them with what we learn from the West. To my surprise, these Chinese people eagerly “thirst” for God’s word and treasure very much the opportunity to praise and worship. I had a few opportunities to go to some nearby provinces to teach during summer break. The experience was inspiring, and my heart was rejuvenated every time I met with them. My prayer is that God will raise Christian leaders who have the zeal to serve in China through preaching, teaching, worship and church music.

In January, I had the opportunity to meet DWS Chinese graduates Philip Chan, Sylvia Ooi, Perry Chow and Kelvin Lam at the Calvin Worship Symposium in Michigan. We enjoyed the time together and God gave us an opportunity to share our lives and ministries. I am grateful to see how God put us together at IWS, trained us and blessed our Chinese community. I remember what Dr. Carla Waterman said to me the day I invited her to come and conduct workshops in Hong Kong. She said that it is our responsibility to bring back what we’ve learned at IWS and contextualize it in our own setting. Yes, God bless us as we obey.

“He leads my way, He leads my way; my God’s own hand is leading me.
His faithful follower I would be, for God’s own hand is leading me.”

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Witvliet Seminar Reflections

The response was overwhelmingly positive to John Witvliet's January seminar, The Beauty and Glory of the Triune God: Grounding Worship in the Doctrine of God. John inspired us to think deeply and purposefully in dialogue with theological concepts that became remarkably fresh and practical—even urgent—in relation to worship in our churches. John also delivered the Opening Convocation sermon, A Rembrandtesque Epiphany(download mp3 audio, 22:54).

Media and print resources from the seminar are currently being edited. Some are already completed and available on our Website. Click on the thumbnail pictures below to see larger versions. More photos from the seminar are available here.

? ? ?

Here are reflections from participants at the event:

I attended my first IWS Alumni Seminar this past January with John Witvliet from Calvin College. It was one of the best workshops I’ve attended on worship (other than Bob’s, of course!), but John could do something Bob couldn’t—sing! And he has a great voice! The outline appeared daunting, but John skillfully lead us through all of it with many practical exercises and great ideas on ways to introduce Ancient-Future themes in worship [Joanne Webber, member of the IWS Board of Trustees].

My wife, Glenda, and I decided to attend the recent alumni seminar as soon as we learned it would be held in January. It was a joy to spend a few days on campus and to renew old friendships. Dr. Witvliet's sessions were wonderful. His content was rich, and his presentations were captivating. We appreciated how well-prepared and articulate he was. Our lives and our ministry were enriched by what he shared. I also appreciate Kent Walters’ commitment to keep the IWS alumni informed and involved. We look forward to returning to campus again soon [Jonathan Nelms, Alpha, D.W.S. 2002, pictured here with Glenda after the Convocation Service in January].


Make plans now to attend our coming Alumni Seminars:

June 13-15, 2010 with Dr. Simon Chan (see below)

January 10-11, 2011 with Dr. Don Davis

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June Worship Seminar, Event, Course . . .

Call it what you will--Worship Seminar, Alumni Event, Post-graduate Course--because it is all of these, and more. This annual (and for some, semi-annual) pilgrimage to Orange Park functions as a seminar for personal inspiration and spiritual renewal, an alumni event for re-connecting and sharing in community, a post-grad course for challenging and enabling masters and doctoral grads in the vital work of worship renewal in their ministries. I hope you can participate this June. You know that you need to intentionally plan for this kind of growth and personal rejuvenation in your life. So, I encourage you to do just that. Register now for the early registration discount.

June 12-14, 2010

Dr. Simon Chan

The Liturgy as the Epiphany of the Church

Dr. Simon Chan is the Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore. His book, Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community, is another must-read for everyone in the IWS community! View a list of Chan's published works here. For an overview of Dr. Chan's teaching on worship, the church and the liturgy, follow this link.

The June two-day seminar will take place on Monday and Tuesday, but you are encouraged to arrive by Saturday to enjoy the Alumni Lunch with President Jim Hart and Chaplain Darrell Harris, Jim's Presidential Address, and alumni and class reunion gatherings that evening. On Sunday, alumni are invited to process (with or without regalia) in the Commencement Ceremony in which Dr. Chan will preach. The Alumni Dinner Reception, which is always incredibly fun, immediately follows at Santioni's Italian Restaurant. Check out the schedule and seminar description links below for more details.

The early registration fee is $125.00 through May1, excluding meals and lodging. After May 1 the full registration fee of $150.00 applies. You may register a fellow church staff member or your spouse for half price.

Seminar links:

Schedule and Seminar Description

Register online / Register by mail

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Student and Alumni News

Some of the reports below were submitted by alumni and students; others were collected from various sources and word of mouth. Thanks to all who help keep us informed. That's the way it "oughta" be in this community.


Meg Bellows, D.W.S., Delta 2004, writes: "I'm currently serving as Associate Pastor at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Lake Worth, Florida. This Spring I will complete a Masters in Counseling Psychology at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Upon graduation and the sale of my home I will move to Houston where I will work toward full licensure as
a mental health and marriage and family therapist, hopefully working in a church setting. I covet the prayers of my IWS brothers and sisters."

Kai Ton Chau, D.W.S. candidate, Pi, was interviewed by the Herald Monthly (Canada East edition), a Chinese Christian newspaper. An article was published in November 2009, which traces the work of the Lord in Kai Ton’s life from his college training as a musician, to this career as an accountant, to his training at IWS and career change to college professor.  Links: Chinese version / English version.

Paul Clark, D.W.S., Xi 2009, reports: "I am conducting conferences with churches as part of my denominational ministry with Tennessee Baptists, but I have accepted engagements outside the state and outside the Baptist community as well. The conferences, called "Worship Renewal Through Congregational Singing," involve a mix of teaching, work with choir and church leadership, and involving the congregation in congregational rehearsals for singing worship. As an outgrowth of this ministry I am writing a book that is to be published late this Spring by CrossBooks entitled, Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace: Worship Renewal through Congregational Singing."

Larry Ellis, D.W.S., Nu 2008; M.W.S., Beth 2005, was recently interviewed on the Denver radio program Along the Way about his book, Forgiveness: Unleashing a Transformational Process. Access four short interview segments here:

From Phil English, M.W.S., Beth 2007 (Pictured on a typical day in the throes of thesis writing): "Anticipation! As an MWS grad soon to be a DWS grad, the words "a good thesis is a DONE thesis" keep me going! I am the Senior Pastor at a small rural church in Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada—right on the 45th Parallel! We are experiencing renewal in a number of ways, one of which is a renewal of Sunday morning worship. We are embarking on the journey into Four Fold worship, and it is exciting! It has been a struggle, but I'm fully anticipating great things as we learn together what it means to gather for worship for the life of the world! Also, I'm thrilled to begin as the director of a distinguished community choir in our region, the Spirit Singers."

Bob George, D.W.S., Theta 2007, shares: "We spent Christmas in Colorado with our son, Jason, and his family. I taught a class on liturgical theology for the local clergy last spring, and will teach a 2-day event in March on theology and practical worship issues. In April I will teach a 4-day event on the liturgical year. Janice is thinking very hard about retirement from teaching this summer. She tries to encourage me to do the same. We are hoping to go for a balloon ride in July and welcome another grandson in April. Peace and love to all."

Craig Gilbert, D.W.S, Kappa 2007, recently underwent major heart surgery. He is expected to return to his work at Sugar Land First United Methodist Church (Sugar Land, TX), where he serves as Director of Music Ministries and Worship Arts, around Easter.

Julie Janisch, D.W.S candidate, Tau, created a Stations of the Cross display for meditation during this Lenten season. It is the culmination of her 703 project and features the artwork of members of her congregation at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in St. Albans, VW. Check out the article and photos in the Charleston Daily Mail.

David Leestma, D.W.S., Zeta 2005, changed from the position of Executive Pastor to Minister of Music at Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX last year. David and his wife Cathy are proud grandparents of their fourth grandchild, a baby girl born to son, John and Katie Leestma last January in Oakland, CA. David says, “Hi to all you Zeta's out there!”

Clair Lundberg, A.G.C.W.S., Epsilon 2003 shares: "One of the exciting ministries I am engaged in is serving as a Director of Travel Ministry for Educational Opportunities through which I enlist and train tour hosts to lead groups to various parts of the world. One division specializes in music tours. Contact me for more information." 

David Manner, D.W.S., Xi 2009, has created a new blog entitled, Worship Evaluation: Asking the Right Questions. According to David, "The purpose of the blog is to generate discussion by asking evaluation questions of our worship to encourage worship renewal." David is Director of Worship and Administration for Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists.


Bob Myers, D.W.S., Theta 2007, reports: “I am leaving Huntington University at the end of this academic year to return to full-time local church ministry as Pastor of Worship at First Baptist Church, Sioux Falls, SD beginning July 1. My reasons for this change are two-fold: 1) Sioux Falls is less than ninety minutes from both of my kids and my grandchildren, and 2) while I have really enjoyed higher education, I know that the maximization of my gifts is in local church. Huntington has begun a national search for my replacement (see the job announcement and Worship Leadership program description). I would love to see an IWS grad fill the role. The program started with two students in 2005. Now there are more than 20."

Merril Smoak, D.W.S., Alpha 2002, has written a series of articles on the church year published in LifeWay’s Let’s Worship. He writes, “This coming June I will complete my 32nd year here at Trinity Baptist Church as Associate Pastor of Music & Worship. I am beginning my 6th year of teaching at Olivet University's Jubilee College of Music in San Francisco. The IWS experience continues to impact my ministry and teaching in numerous ways. And speaking of grandkids, we now have 7!”

Gabe Statom, D.W.S., Zeta 2005, reports that in August 2009, he became Director of Music at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN.  

Thomas Tyler, D.W.S candidate, M.W.S., Daleth 2008, conducted a performance of Messiah at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. this past December. His choir from Shiloh Baptist Church, where he serves as Special Assistant to the Pastor for Worship, received a glowing review, as did the soloists and other musicians on the program. See the article in the Kennedy Center Examiner.


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Giving and Bequests

Giving to the Annual Fund

Please remember the work and mission of IWS in your giving. Your participation at any level is vital and appreciated.

Checks should be made out to IWS, noted "Annual Fund" and/or "Scholarship Fund" and sent to IWS, 151 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, FL 32073. Tax deductible donations may also be made online through the Website ( Gifts may be designated in memory or honor of a loved one, and/or may be anonymous.  

Donations of appreciated assets, such as marketable securities, can be particularly beneficial to you and IWS. You can maintain your current cash assets, while reducing your tax liabilities. IWS acquires a tax free gift that would be sold at fair market value. Call the IWS office for more information (1.800.282.2977).  


A bequest can create a legacy which generously provides for the future of IWS and demonstrates love and support for the advancement of our mission. The inclusion of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in estate planning assures that your gift will have enduring influence and impact.

If you are interested in a bequest, your attorney will need to revise your will or add a codicil to be sure the bequest is left to IWS. A copy of the bequest provision or codicil will need to be sent to IWS for our files.  Those making a bequest will be invited to become a member of our Legacy Circle.   

A bequest is a wonderful way to show a significant and long-lasting commitment to the mission of worship renewal. For more information, please contact the IWS office.

Your support of the ongoing mission of IWS is absolutely critical to the work of real spiritual transformation through worship. Thank you for your partnership with IWS.

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Songs of Assent: Still Singing

Carla Waterman recently taught a five week series for the Wheaton Women's Community Bible Study on the scriptural passages that form the basis of her book, Songs of Assent. The sessions were recorded and are available on her blog site along with study guide notes.

Session 1: A Simple Response to God’s Favor

Session 2: Fiat, Faith and Fruitfulness

Session 3: A Magnificent Song

Session 4: Mary’s Path

Session 5: What Mary Modeled

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© 2010 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