What People Are Saying
Here is a personal word about the Institute for Worship Studies from a current student, faculty member and alum.
Mary Jane Brewer
Current M.W.S. student Mary Jane Brewer describes how IWS has impacted her–and her family!
Professor Lester Ruth
Lester Ruth As a faculty member at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, I used to kid with Robert Webber, the school’s founder, about whether he should pay me to come or whether I should pay him for the privilege of teaching at IWS. With a twinkle in his eye, he would always say that he was willing to take my salary back.
I used to joke with him because teaching at IWS has rarely felt like work. It usually feels much more like a reward, the grandest of teaching opportunities.
Over twenty-five years ago, I became interested in worship history to renew the worship of congregations. I first I thought this would mean applying what I saw in history to the churches I served. But in God’s providence, I have gained opportunities to teach students who can take their insights from worship history across the nation and the world. Of these opportunities, the Institute for Worship Studies is closest to my own sense of vocation. What a joy it is to teach eager students able to take new insights and apply them immediately, usually in their own ministries but sometimes as professors in other schools. To step into an IWS class, see students ready to learn, and know that the liturgical history I share will rock their worship worlds is a highlight of my year.
Dr. Lester Ruth, Professor
DWS 701: The Biblical Foundations and Historical Development of Christian Worship
Alumnus James Dodge
Jim Dodge Through the mission of IWS, God transforms worshiping communities as He transforms the worship student. That certainly has been the case in the world I inhabit. The school where I teach held no affinity with the ancient-future discussion so much a part of IWS. Gradually, as God transformed me, He worked His grace into our school. The same holds for my church. An emerging culture of worship with more intentional identification with Christ through the ages is evident in our community.
If not for Bob Webber’s obedience to God’s vision where would my college and church be? If not for IWS-trained ambassadors of Christian worship renewal, how would the worshiping community realize its context in a heritage as old as the Apostles and Church Fathers? I think about this stuff—a lot! Now I can add my voice to advance the call for renewed, God-honoring, transformational worship for the life of the Church. I heartily endorsement the work of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies!
James Dodge, DWS (2008)