Lester Ruth Seminar Reflections

Dr. Lester Ruth“It was a privilege to be able to share two days with those who have lived and helped make the history of contemporary worship” (Lester Ruth, June 2017).

Dr. Lester Ruth is Research Professor of Christian Worship at Duke University and a former IWS faculty member. His two-day June 2017 seminar,  When the Music Fades (or Not): Exploring the Historical Origins and Development of Contemporary Worship, was based on his newest books, Worshiping with the Anaheim Vineyard: The Emergence of Contemporary Worship and Lovin’ On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship.

The seminar was enthusiastically received by the fifty attendees. Here are a few of their comments.

  • Dr. Ruth is an amazing presenter. His style is accessible and enjoyable. The content was especially valuable because of its relevance to higher Christian education.
  • Lester was knowledgeable and engaging. It is nice to receive cutting-edge research in the field of worship studies.
  • Excellent! Lester’s encyclopedic knowledge, ground breaking research, and engaging style of presentation have made for an awesome seminar.
  • Lester’s experience and study provided a mirror for reflection and deep exploration of the historical journey of so-called contemporary worship music and practice.

Lester Ruth wrote this response to his time back on the IWS campus for this seminar:

There is an indelible quality to the character of IWS. As it was in the beginning so has it remained: a remarkable combination of God-honoring worship, spirit-enriching fellowship, and mind-expanding learning. I treasure the opportunity to have taught there for 14 ½ years and I valued the chance to return for a recent worship seminar. It was a privilege to be able to share two days with those who have lived and helped make the history of contemporary worship, some in national roles and some in faithful service in churches little known outside of God’s awareness of the same.

Here is a video clip [3:37] from one of the sessions in which Dr. Ruth concludes that Charismatics and Pentecostals naturally merged theology and methodology impacting contemporary worship in every denomination.

You may access addition media (audio and video files, links to materials) here: Lester Ruth Seminar Media.

View additional photos from the seminar event: Lester Ruth Seminar Photo Gallery.

About the author

Alumni Director, Practicum Professor, and DWS graduate.