October 2011                                                         Fall Edition                                                  Issue #26

In This Issue

Click to go to the article.

·   From the editor

·   President's column

·   Faculty column: Jeff Barker

·   June seminar reflections

·   January worship seminar with Chuck Fromm

·   Faculty and board news

·   Student and alumni news

·   New faculty members

·   IWS endorsement






















IWS named "Best of Best" (again)

Read more here.











































Scripture presentation resources
(click the links)

Jeff Barker plays

Numerous print, web and publisher resources may be found here.

Let Story Form Your Worship: OT dramas

Ancient Plays Channel on YouTube

From Scripture Reading to Scripture Proclamation (Jeff's Worship Symposium handout PDF)

Scripture Presentation: An Interview with Jeff Barker (mp3)



























2012 Worship Seminar guests

January 9-10
Dr. Chuck Fromm,
publisher of Worship Leader magazine, Song DISCovery and The Worshiper magazine. More here.

June 18-19
Dr. Christopher Hall,
Dean of Palmer Theological Seminary; Chancellor and Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Eastern University. More here.
































First graduating class 10 year reunion
June 9-12, 2012

Make plans to return to IWS for our 10th year reunion during the June 2012 session. Details forthcoming.
























Chuck Fromm on communication in worship

"Cultural elements are converging: selling and sharing, being an audience for worship and participating in a community of worship, hierarchies and networks. But God is still speaking. As we remediate the past utilizing the tools and language of the present, we are formed and transformed through the worship we offer to our immutable ancient/present/future God."


















IWS session pictures

Pictures from the June Session 2011 are published on the IWS website. Pictures of the Summer Worship Seminar may also be viewed. To see the archive of photos dating to January 2005, click on the Photo Story link.
























From the Editor: The work of our hands

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17).

Examples of God's work through the hands of IWS students and alumni around the world continue to multiply. Bob Webber's vision to bring worship renewal through the training of worship planners and leaders is evidenced in different yet remarkable ways in each story. As you read the Students and Alumni News column below, let us give thanks to God for the work of the Kingdom our Lord is enabling as a result of the training taking place at IWS. Then, take a minute to send me an email with your story.

As always, I'm looking forward to reconnecting with many of you at our Worship Seminars in the coming year: this January with Chuck Fromm and in June with Chris Hall. Check out the details below.

And, the 10-year anniversary of the first graduating class occurs in June 2012. Get ready to celebrate, Alphas (and one Beta!). See below.

The Lord be with you!

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

President's Column: Thank you!
by Dr. Jim Hart

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).

Eucharisto!  Thank you! 

Due to your faithful and generous support and advocacy, this past fiscal year has been a remarkable year.  Thank you!  Here are a few facts:

  • June saw the highest registration of any alumni seminar, with an attendance that exceeded previous seminars by over 50%!
  • Alumni participation in giving doubled from 27% last year to 54% this year!
  • Overall dollars donated to IWS increased by 27%!
  • The new IWS intercessory prayer team has had the privilege of praying for many in the IWS community, and the answered prayers continue to flood in.
  • Ongoing connections with alumni continue to be strengthened and vitalized.
  • Although economic difficulties impacted last year's on-campus enrollment, total enrollment and new student contacts and enrollments remain high.

The IWS 2010-2011 Annual Report will be released later this month.  With sincere appreciation for the sustained dedication of the alumni, students, faculty, staff and board of the institute, readers will see evidence that the IWS community has continued to grow in impact, size and generosity.

We recently received this message from D.W.S. alum Dr. Philip Chan (Delta 2005), which reveals a bit of the worldwide cross-cultural impact that our school is having:

I am now serving as pastor at a Baptist Church with an active congregation of 2600. One of my major responsibilities at church is on planning and leading worship. The D.W.S. program not only equipped me to act as a pastor in worship, but also provided me a solid education to become one of the key persons in the area of music and worship among Chinese churches around the world.

Thanks be to God.  As G. K. Chesterton wrote, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  The shear wonder of God’s goodness is overwhelming.  May we continue to revel in that goodness with the heartbeat of thankfulness for his abundance revealed in and through the IWS community.

The Lord be with you!

James R. Hart, President

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Faculty Column: Hidden in Our Hearts
by Jeff Barker

I am on sabbatical from Northwestern College—my other school when I am not at IWS. I am living this semester in the Pacific Northwest, where Karen and I are working alongside Pastor Jon who is committed to reclaiming the orality of scripture. For starters, every Sunday Jon speaks his sermon’s scripture text from memory.

We arrived at this church around the same time as Noel, a young worship leader fresh from doctoral coursework (not at IWS, but another fine seminary). Last week I sat in Noel’s office in conversation about presenting the Bible in worship—in particular, God’s Word as testimony, story and drama. I explained that it was natural that I would spend my sabbatical at this church because reclamation of biblical forms often requires one particular starting point: memorization.

“I think this is how my seminary mentor would respond,” said Noel. “He would argue that there is a serious danger in presenting the Bible from memory in public. The memorization itself may be a distraction. People will notice how fascinating and unique it is that the passage has been memorized. But they might stop paying full attention to the scripture. In other words, the form of presentation might obscure the content.”

“Here’s my dream,” I said. “I dream of the day when presenting the scripture from memory will no longer be unique. I dream of people from the culture at large saying, ‘Isn’t it fascinating that Christians place such a high value on Bible memorization? If you go to one of their worship services, you always hear someone speaking whole passages from memory—and not just the pastor or the worship leader. No. Everyone in the church seems capable of speaking straight from the book.’”

I asked Noel, “How will our people catch this vision unless they see it modeled in the church’s most public and formative gathering—the worship service? And how will it be modeled unless the church’s leaders lead the way?”

We do not want scriptural content to be obscured. We want the form of a presentation to support the content. And we want the opposite as well. We want the content to be presented in an appropriate form. What can we learn by reclaiming the forms in which the scriptures were created? What can we learn by following the practices of a people who wrote God’s law upon their hearts?

Before I left Noel’s office, I said, “I’m going to meddle. I offer you this challenge. In your worship planning, are you willing to have at least one verse spoken from memory every Sunday by you or someone on the platform?”

Noel said, “I’m there.”

As pastor of worship and discipleship, Noel will sometimes preach. Yesterday Noel preached his first sermon at this new church. His text was the final seven verses of Jesus’ high priestly prayer (John 17:20-26). He looked us in the eye and spoke the words that Jesus prayed for us. I must admit that I was distracted a bit from the content of Jesus’ words because I was so thrilled that Noel was speaking them from memory. I expect that, after a while, my experience with Noel will be the same experience that the rest of this church has had with Pastor Jon. Jon said to me, “When I first came here eight years ago, people would often say, ‘It’s so fascinating that you speak the scripture from memory!’ Do you know how often I hear that now? Never.”

Today, I got up early and went out to a local coffee shop. As I flipped open my laptop, I glanced over at the next table and noticed a kindly gentleman grinning at me. “I’m Paul,” he said. “I saw you present the Psalm in church yesterday. I’m involved in our pastor’s scripture memory project. When I started, I struggled to memorize a single verse. Now I have whole chapters. It’s changing my life.”

Jeff's book, The Storytelling Church: Adventures in Reclaiming the Role of Story in Worship will be released and available on Amazon any day now.

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Bob Stamps Seminar Reflections

The Worship Seminar, "A Sacramental Journey: Remembering Jesus Christ, Risen from the Dead" taught by Bob Stamps, was a refreshing breath of renewal for the capacity attendance in Juneour largest registration.

Here are several quotes from seminar attendees:

I was certain the author of the hymn text “The Hymn to Life” would have something to teach me. I was not disappointed.

Dr. Stamps surfaced much deep theology through sharing his life experiences. Especially meaningful was his presentation, “God’s banquet on our table.”

Bob and Ellen were delightful. Bob has a winsome way to deliver and communicate deep truths. It will take me months and years to ingest and make full use of what I have heard.

Phenomenal! Both speakers brought me new understanding of the Eucharist, and helped keep the fire of learning aglow.

The June alumni seminar was a great joy, and somewhat of a surprise as well. I went with the expectation and anticipation of renewing friendships and hanging out with dear colleagues—and didn’t really have any high expectations for the seminar content itself. Of course, seeing everyone again was great, and Bob Stamps was absolutely wonderful! The seminar was thoughtful and scholarly, and it was also heart-felt and pastoral. I can’t wait to return and bring more of our church’s elders with me. We have confidence that no matter what IWS puts on, it will be terrific!

Chris Alford, D.W.S., Alpha 2002 and Pastor of Epiclesis: An Ancient-Future Faith Community

I had the privilege of attending my first IWS Worship Seminar this past June session. I was so blessed by Rev. Bob Stamps and his wife, Ellen. It was so rich being in class for two days under such anointed teaching. It was great sharing meals and testimonies with IWS alumni, as well as others from the community. I hope to be able to attend the next seminar in January.

Carol Hart, IWS Housing Coordinator

Click on the pictures below to see the full version. To see more pictures from the seminar, click here.



Register now for the January Worship Seminar:

January 9-10, 2012 with Dr. Chuck Fromm

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January 2012 Seminar with Chuck Fromm

Our guest lecturer for the January seminar is Chuck Fromm. The dates are January 9-10. The seminar title is, "God Still Speaks: Worship as a Living Theology of Communication."

Chuck's doctorate is in communications theories, so he is the perfect instructor for this seminar on a theology of communication for worship. In this day of incredibly rapid change, manufacturers of communication methods and devices struggle to keep up with advances in technology and the demands of the marketplace. What does this mean for worship planners and for churches committed to reaching a tech-saturated culture? This seminar will examine the current trends in communications and corresponding implications for the church.

Chuck Fromm is the publisher and founder of Worship Leader magazine and CEO of its parent company Worship Leader Media, which is a pioneering nondenominational communications company that serves churches through remediating ancient content in contemporary language and imagery through various educational environments and media. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, and received a communication award for his doctoral thesis: Textual Communities and New Song in the Multimedia Age: The Routinization of Charisma in the Jesus Movement. In 1975, Dr. Fromm became President of Maranatha! Music, the first major church-based Christian record label, where he served for 22 years. In addition to developing several innovative worship record series including The Praise Series (that launched an entirely new genre—Praise & Worship and fueled an industry and a movement), Kids Praise, Words of Worship, Psalms Alive and others, he founded Worship Times journal in 1986, which featured regular contributions from influential theologians and worship thought leaders. In 1991, he founded Worship Leader magazine, which, together with Song DISCovery, the National Worship Leader Conference (NWLC) and Worship Leader Training, has been a transforming force in the Church’s understanding of worship in its myriad expressions.

See the links below for seminar details. Be sure to register before December 1 for the best rate.

January 9-10
Worship Seminar links:

Schedule and Seminar Description

Register online / Register by mail

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Faculty/Board News

Gerald Borchert's latest book, Jesus of Nazareth: Background, Witnesses and Significance, was recently published by Mercer University Press. More information is available here.

Two new Board members were appointed this year: Gerald Borchert and David Witt. Making his home in Raleigh, NC, David is a management consultant, organist and worship leader. Click here to see the profiles of the members of the Board of Trustees.

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Student and Alumni News

Steven Brooks, D.W.S. Candidate, Upsilon 2012, was invited to teach "Introduction to Music and Worship Ministry" at Azusa Pacific University as an adjunct professor this past Spring. He was invited to teach two more classes this Fall: "Arts, Aesthetics and Actions in Corporate Worship" in the Graduate School of Theology and the hymnology course "Singing the Faith" in the undergraduate School of Music.

Daniel Longhin, D.W.S., Nu 2009, and his family have moved back to the States from Argentina. He now serves as Pastor of Worship at Calvary Church in Wayland, MI, and has been asked to develop a worship course that he will teach at SETECA, a seminary in Guatemala.

R. Kevin Johnson, D.W.S., Eta 2005, is a contributing author to the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell) for which he wrote articles related to worship, liturgy, and music history. The encyclopedia will be released in November 2011. He is a resident in Pastoral Care at Columbia University in New York City and a freelance author.

Jonathan Nelms, D.W.S., Alpha 2002 shares: The “ruinous work” of which Bob Webber so often spoke has occurred in me. I resigned from my position as associate pastor/music at First Baptist, Cookeville, TN in July after serving there for 18 years to plant a new church in Cookeville. Covenant Church follows an ancient-future model with a strong emphasis on relational discipleship. We have a Southwestern Seminary grad who is implementing our strategy for creating missional communities. We gather for worship in the large, historic courtroom in the Putnam County Courthouse, and we are renovating an old home, centrally located on the business thoroughfare, for office and meeting space. Our worship follows the fourfold covenantal pattern, which informs our ecclesiology as well. We are working in cooperation with five area churches including my former church. Our local association of Southern Baptist churches and the Tennessee Baptist Convention is also supporting us. I guess you could call us "bapturgical". I preach from the Revised Common Lectionary and we follow the church year.

Doris Wai, M.W.S., Daleth 2008. Congratulations to Doris and Chihung who were married on July 1, 2011 in Hong Kong!

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Welcome, New Faculty Members!

Emily Vermilya, M.W.S, Beth 2006, D.W.S. candidate (M.W.S. Ministry Internship course)

Emily A. Vermilya is the Director of Worship Arts at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, and an Adjunct Professor of Worship at Indiana Wesleyan University. An alum of Indiana Wesleyan University (B.A. in Communication Arts) and I.W.S., Emily earned her M.W.S. degree in 2009 and anticipates completing her D.W.S. degree in June of 2012. She is excited and grateful to use her experience in local church worship ministry and familiarity with equipping and mentoring worship leaders to serve the I.W.S. community.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside such wonderful men and women of God who are being used to encourage, educate, and equip the worshiping church. Specifically, I look forward to working with M.W.S. students as they embark upon the Ministry Internship and seek to apply their worship education to the place where God has called them to serve.”

Vaughn CroweTipton, Ph.D. (D.W.S. Thesis course)

Dr. Vaughn CroweTipton is the University Chaplain at Furman University. Formerly the senior pastor at Auburn First Baptist Church in Auburn, Alabama, Dr. CroweTipton also taught in the religion department at Auburn University, as well as Mercer University, Brewton-Parker College and Macon College. He has served as senior pastor at Northwest Baptist Church in Ardmore, OK, senior chaplain at Methodist Children's Home in Macon, GA, and pastor of Loveview Baptist Church in Hillsboro, TX. He has published numerous articles, edited several books, and serves as a conference speaker. A graduate of Mississippi College (B.A.), he holds the M.Div. degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Baylor University. Dr. CroweTipton has also done postdoctoral study at Oxford University. His current research topic is Decision Making in the Early Church and in Faith Groups. Other research interests include the early church, biblical canon and textual criticism.

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Bob Stamps Endorses IWS

Recently, it was my privilege to teach, as well as to preach, at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, FL. I was singularly impressed with both the rich scholarship and the profound worship manifest there. Indeed, I could hardly tell the difference!

Charles Wesley appealed to 18th-century Methodists: “Let us unite the two so long divided: Knowledge and Vital Piety!” Many have responded to Wesley's challenge; most with limited success. In my estimation, none have taken it quite so seriously and realized it as successfully as IWS.

To be part of this worshipping academic community is to witness first hand “the human mind being taught to worship and the human heart being taught to think!” What a delight for my wife Ellen and I to be committed partners with this vital ministry to the Church of Jesus Christ!

R. J. Stamps, Ph.D., Dean of the Chapel
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY

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© 2011 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


Kent Walters, D.W.S.,
Anamnesis Editor