School of the Arts, Media + Culture SAMC

Minor in Worship Studies

1. Overview

  • 24 semester hours, including:
    Worship Studies Core (12) …required
    Worship Arts Track (12) …choose one of five options
  • available to all students, regardless of major
  • consult David Squires ( for program choices

2. Worship Studies Core (12 s.h.)

  • Theology and Church History (7 s.h.)
    WSTU 200 (3) Worship Foundations
    WSTU 300 (3) Current Worship Leadership Issues
    WSTU 400 (1) Songs of Faith
  • Applied Seminar (1 s.h.)
    WSTU 320 (1) Creative Arts Seminar
  • Leadership Practicum in Local Church (3 s.h.)
    WSTU 401/402/403 (1/1/1) Worship Design and Leadership
  • Contemporary Topics (1 s.h.)
    WSTU 490 (1) Topics in Worship Studies

3. Worship Arts Track (12 s.h.)

Students choose a track ...for theoretical and applied study in an arts/media discipline:

  • Art + Design Track (12 s.h. ART)
  • Media + Communication Track (12 s.h. COMM/MCOM)
  • Music Track (12 s.h. MUSI)
  • Theatre Track (12 s.h. THTR)
  • Interdisciplinary Track (12 s.h. Arts, Media + Culture courses chosen in consultation with a WSTU advisor)

Consult this academic calendar for a list of the specific requirements for each worship arts track.

4. WSTU Course Descriptions

WSTU 200 (3) Worship Foundations (prerequisites: RELS 101/102)
This is the first course of the minor: a foundational study of biblical worship theology and practice, and the changes and cultural adaptations of worship theology and practice from Pentecost to the present day, including the role of the arts in worship history.

WSTU 300 (3) Current Worship Leadership Issues
(prereq: WSTU 200)
An examination of trends and leadership issues in contemporary worship practice. The course is concerned with theological, philosophical, and practical issues relating to leadership of a biblical worship ministry in our contemporary culture.

WSTU 320 (1) Creative Arts Seminar
(prereq: upper level standing, or permission)
An interdisciplinary creative course for the development of new artistic expression for worship. Students work with artists in the field towards workshop presentation of new works. Subject areas and disciplines vary from one year to the next.

WSTU 400 (1) Songs of Faith
(prereq: WSTU 200 and upper level standing, or permission)
An examination of meanings and purposes of sacred/church song  in the context of the believing community, from Old Testament psalms through to contemporary worship songs. Emphasis is given to understanding musical and textual expressions within their historical context.

WSTU 490 (1) Topics in Worship Studies
(prereq: upper level standing)
A senior-level directed study course involving specific topics pertinent to worship in the contemporary church. Topics vary, relating to guest lecturers, scholar– or artists-in-residence.

Leadership Practicum in a Local Church

WSTU 401/402/403 (1/1/1) Worship Design + Leadership 1, 2, 3 
We believe training for leadership involves practical mentoring as well as academic study. Therefore, as part of the requirements of the Worship Studies minor, students are given opportunity, usually in the senior year, to intern in a local church setting under the mentorship of a staff worship pastor or lay worship leader. This is a valuable opportunity to explore the practical application of things studied in earlier years of the program. Prerequisites include WSTU 300 and upper level standing.

5. Questions?

David Squires, PhD
Professor of Music | Dean, School of the Arts, Media + Culture
Ph: 605.513.2121 x3469
Office: MPF 104