President’s Column, August 2012 (Anamnesis)

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers (Ephesians 1:15-16).

Due to the faithful blessing of the Lord and your faithful and generous support and advocacy, this past fiscal year has again been a remarkable year of achievement, even exceeding the record setting gains of last year. Thank you! Here are a few year-end facts which we can celebrate together:

  • IWS saw the highest on-campus enrollment in its 13 year history.
  • Total enrollment and new student contacts and admissions remained high and continue to trend upward.
  • Alumni participation in giving to the Annual Fund and Scholarship Fund remained strong.
  • Overall dollars donated to IWS increased more than 11% over last year’s record-breaking figures.
  • June’s alumni seminar with Dr. Chris Hall saw the highest attendance of any alumni seminar to date.
  • The IWS intercessory prayer team and the staff have 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.

With sincere appreciation for the sustained dedication of the alumni, students, faculty, staff and board of the institute, the IWS community has continued to grow in impact, size and generosity.

We recently received this message from 2010 D.W.S. alum Dr. J. Michael Dennis, revealing a bit of the impact that our school is having:

It only took a moment after stepping on campus before God started to open up new vistas of delight. The rich intellectual development, personal growth, and the graciousness of the excellent faculty have made an eternal impression on me. Consequentially, those to whom I minister have been impacted and the renewal in worship continues to capture more hearts with the wonder of Jesus. Praise God for Dr. Webber’s vision in worship education and for the lasting impact of the Institute for Worship Studies for the sake of the Kingdom of our great God and King.

Thanks be to God.  As Henri J. M. Nouwen wrote, “The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”  The joy of God’s gift of abundant love is overwhelming. May we continue to revel in his goodness with the heartbeat of thankfulness for his abundance revealed in and through the IWS community.

The Lord be with you!

About the author

Dr. James R. Hart served as President of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies from 2007-2024. Dr. Hart was a member of the first IWS doctoral class, the Alpha class, and served as Dean of Students during his matriculation. After graduating from IWS, Dr. Webber appointed him as the Dean of Administration, and then Provost in 2006. In June of 2007, he was inaugurated as the second president of IWS. Dr. Hart holds a B.M. in Sacred Music from Oral Roberts University, an M.M. in Trumpet Performance from the University of Tulsa, and a D.W.S. from the Institute for Worship Studies. He was critical to the formation of IWS in Florida and has held administrative responsibilities since its inception in 1999. He is a professional trumpeter, choral director, and worship leader, and a published composer/arranger, songwriter, and author. He has been involved in worship leadership in various contexts around the globe for over 40 years and has taught in the areas of worship, theology, and music in various conferences, colleges, and seminaries. Dr. Hart and his wife, Carol, have three daughters and three grandchildren.