Anamnesis 40: August 2018

Anamnesis: The IWS Community Newsletter

From the Editor

By Kent Walters, D.W.S., Director of Alumni Activities and Editor of Anamnesis

Resources, inspiration, information

The intent of this edition of Anamnesis is that you will be resourced, inspired and informed. To discover these riches be sure to click on the links, because this edition serves, in part, as a table of contents that points to much more.

Here are some random “starters” to begin this edition.

Jim Hart on the road

Jim and Carol Hart enjoyed gatherings with IWS alumni, students and friends in the Midwest this summer. Here are a few memories.

IWS Alumni Council

In June 2017, we launched a team of advisors to help facilitate the vision of IWS through the Alumni Association. We meet annually on campus during the June session. The members are Jim Altizer, D.W.S. (Mu 2008); Erik Buxton, D.W.S. (Omega 2014); Jessica Coleman, D.W.S. (Delta2 2016); Teresa Gardner, M.W.S. (Daleth 2008), D.W.S. (Tau 2011),  and Kent Walters, D.W.S. (2002).

Current priorities include connecting alumni with students (mentoring), connecting alumni by location and affintiy, encouraging the publication of thesis material and other resources written by alumni (see Webber Institute Books article below), and increasing contact with alumni through phone interviews. You will hear more about these initiatives in the coming months. If you have questions or input, feel free to contact any member of the Council.

June 2018 Chapel Series: The IWS Mission

Chapel talks were presented by Darrell Harris, Vice President for Spiritual Life/Dean of the Chapel, and our Associate Chaplains, Walter Brown and Nancy Nethercott. Follow the link to streaming videos and audio-only versions of the talks.

Thesis Collection—2018 Update

IWS theses are now available in digital format to IWS students, staff, and faculty through the library catalog. If you have forgotten your login credentials, you may contact the Library staff. A current listing of IWS theses is available in two forms:

Is the thesis abstract missing from your thesis listing in the above collections? Copy and send it to me. I’ll add it to the lists to help those who do research via our theses.

International Students: The Rich Diversity of the IWS Community

We celebrate the beautiful mix of culture, perspectives, music and stories experienced on campus each session. Currently, 31% of IWS students hold a non-U.S. passport. Students often comment on the blessings our diversity brings to the academic/spiritual journey at IWS. It’s part of who we are—an international community. We have an international students dinner gathering each session, thanks to Associate Chaplain Nancy Nethercott, D.W.S. (Iota 2006). The June 2018 gathering is pictured at the left.

Dr. Glenn PackiamAnnouncing!

January 7-8, 2019 Seminar
with Dr. Glenn Packiam

Worship and Eschatology:
A Study of Hope in Contemporary Worship Songs and Services

President’s Column

Re-Enchanting Worship:
Beauty, Heavenly Participation, and Worship Renewal

By James R. Hart, D.W.S.

Dr. James HartHow does earthly worship participate in the beauty of heavenly things, and what does this have to do with worship renewal?

In my presidential address in January 2018, I explored the role of objective beauty in worship. In the June 2018 address I expanded on that, riffing a bit on the subjectivity of beauty in light of the topic being addressed by our guest seminar speaker, Dr. Hans Boersma (Enchanted Worship), and starting a conversation on the “so what” of all of this.

[READ MORE . . . ]

Faculty Column

Commit Yourself to Truth—Jesus!

By Gerald L. Borchert, Ph.D., IWS Emeritus Professor

Our world is in a turmoil concerning truth!

Dr. Gerald BorchertAs Bob Webber would often give advice to the IWS family and Kent Walters continues to send excerpts of Bob’s writings each week, I am sending this message to the community because of a deep concern I have related to events that are occurring. Please consider this message as a personal bit of advice from an octogenarian IWS member who is concerned about our witness and patterns of living.

As I was departing from Alberta, Canada to study for the ministry in the United States, my pastor gave me a solid bit of advice that has stayed with me. “Remember as you seek God’s will, Jerry, TRUTH wears no labels. It is neither liberal nor conservative. Truth is Truth. Commit yourself to truth!” I would add to that advice that “Truth is best embodied in Jesus, the Christ.”

[READ MORE . . . ]

Alumni Feature

Worship Renewal in Higher Education

We continually give thanks to God for our alumni who are serving faithfully around the world in varied ministries. In this article, we focus on those seeking to bring worship renewal in the classrooms of higher education. They are an important aspect of Bob Webber’s vision to teach those who teach.

Based on our current records, some 20% of IWS graduates are teaching in higher education. Additional grads teach K-12. Of course, our records are only as accurate as the updates we receive from alumni, so, in reality, this percentage is probably even higher. (Have you updated your personal profile lately?) While vital teaching/discipleship occurs regularly in the church, it is intensified through the accountability, rigor and “torch passing” that takes place in an academic setting.

Click below to read the inspiring reports and stories of worship renewal from IWS graduates who are teaching in higher education. Thanks be to God!

[READ MORE . . . ]

New Books from the IWS Community

Writing can open doors to countless opportunities.

Here are a few stories that serve as examples of the exponential outreach of IWS around the world through the recent publications of our alumni and faculty.

How about you? Are you compelled to write? Learn how you can get published!

[READ MORE . . . ]

Writing Is a Calling: I Had to Write

By Robert Myers, D.W.S. (Theta 2007), General Editor of WIB
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Galesburg, IL

I believe that writing a book is a calling. At least it was for me. . . . With all of the reflection that was happening in my mind and spirit as I taught worship and ministry classes, the germ of a book idea began to form in my mind. . . . I realized that I had perspective that was unique to me. The convergence of my passion for church history with my knowledge and experience in worship ministry shaped my calling to write Strategic Portraits: People and Movements that Shaped Evangelical Worship.  I felt that I had something to say. I had to write. To not do so, I felt, would be to shirk a burden that God had laid upon me.

[READ MORE . . . ]

Webber Institute Books: Helping You Get Published

By Robert Myers, D.W.S. (Theta 2007), General Editor of WIB

Worship authors wanted!

Webber Institute Books (WIB) is actively seeking authors from the IWS community to submit book proposals that are relevant to the core values and mission of the institute to stimulate and enhance worship renewal in the Church.  To date, WIB has published four books: The Storytelling Church: Adventures in Reclaiming the Role of Story in Worship, by Jeff Barker (2011), The Mystery of Worship: What Happens When Christians Worship by Robert J. George (2014), The Gavel: From Verdict to Victory by Jim Dodge (2016), and Strategic Portraits: People and Movements that Shaped Evangelical Worship by Robert Myers (2018). These books are available through all the main commercial book sellers and are available in Kindle.

If you feel a calling to write, we want to hear from you!  Contact Bob Myers, the General Editor, or download the information sheet on the Webber Institute Books webpage for details on how to submit your book proposal.

Webber Institute Books

Hans Boersma Seminar Reflections

Rarely have I met a gathering of musicians and worship leaders more eager to come to grips with the implications of the church’s theological heritage (Hans Boersma, June 2018).

Dr. Hans Boersma taught a richly informative seminar in June 2018, Enchanted Worship: Sacramental Ontology and Christian Liturgy. Those who came to the well-attended event responded with gratitude and enthusiasm. Here are a few of their comments.

  • I was deeply impressed by Dr. Boersma’s Christlikeness as he presented these concepts and addressed the views of those who differ. The Christocentric nature of his instruction and his obvious high view of ecclesiology have been inspiring.
  • The seminar provided timeless material with broad application regardless of one’s denomination or role in ministry.
  • Dr. Boersma laid out a fantastic feast. I will be eating from this table for many years. Thanks for bringing him here!
Numerous seminar resources are available. Seminar audio and video files as well as Dr. Boersma’s Commencement Sermon and his session with the IWS faculty on his book Heavenly Participation.

Follow this link: Hans Boersma Seminar Media.

Here is a sample video clip.


Hans Boersma expressed high praise for IWS after the seminar:

IWS is exactly what Bob Webber would have hoped for—a school that is grounded in tradition, serious about theological engagement, and passionate about worshiping the triune God. At IWS, ancient-future evangelicals learn to put the riches of the Christian tradition to work in their own churches. Rarely have I met a gathering of musicians and worship leaders more eager to come to grips with the implications of the church’s theological heritage. This is a place where fellowship, worship, and teaching merge into a harmonious offering of praise and thanksgiving.

View additional photos from the seminar event: Hans Boersma Seminar Photo Gallery.

Commencement, June 2018

IWS celebrates the class of 2018!

40 graduates were honored at our 17th Commencement Service on Sunday, June 17, 2018, at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida—25 DWS, 9 MWS and 6 AGCWS. IWS has conferred 581 degrees to 559 graduates. 22 persons have earned both MWS and DWS degrees.

An honorary degree—Doctor of Divinity Honors Causa—was conferred upon Dr. Hans Boersma who is the J. I. Packer Professor of Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, BC. This is the third honorary doctoral awarded by IWS. Read more details here. Dr. Boersma delivered the Commencement sermon, “Worship Takes Time.”

See the Commencement bulletin. A DVD of the entire Commencement service is available. Contact the IWS office.

Click on the photos below to see the full-size version. For additional photos of Commencement and the graduates, follow this link: 2018 Graduates Photo Gallery.

January 2019 Seminar: Worship and Eschatology
with Dr. Glenn Packiam

Our January 7-8, 2019 Worship Seminar will be taught by Dr. Glenn Packiam, founding leader and songwriter for the Desperation Band, now associate senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, and the lead pastor of New Life Downtown, a congregation of New Life Church. The seminar title is Worship and Eschatology: A Study of Hope in Contemporary Worship Songs and Services

Here’s a brief overview:

Worship has become ubiquitous within contemporary Christianity, yet only recently has its history been documented and its roots traced. While contemporary worship songs and services have often been the subject of scrutiny and critique, songs and services have rarely been studied in tandem with one another. Studies demonstrate that the text of a ritual is different from the performance of a ritual. A sustained analysis of contemporary worship songs and services along a singular theological theme is needed. This seminar will examine the eschatological quality of contemporary worship by exploring how Christian hope is encoded and experienced in worship songs and services.

Save the dates! January 7-8, 2019. Early registration will open soon.


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About the author

Alumni Director, Practicum Professor, and DWS graduate.