Anamnesis: The IWS Community Newsletter

From the Editor

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

Fast Seven

For my intro to this edition, I have chosen seven “short but sweet” bits of news and inspiration intended to inform and inspire you.

As always, Anamnesis is replete with hyperlinks that will take you further and deeper.  Be sure to click for more!

The Lord be with you!


Alumni: Always a Part of the IWS Community

The Alumni Council desires to connect with and encourage each of our alumni around the world, coming alongside Carol Hart who faithfully contacts alumni throughout the year. Members of the Council will soon begin an initiative to contact each of our alumni through a brief email expressing that they were prayed for by name that day.

The members of the Alumni Council 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); Eddie Lockamy M.W.S. (Aleph 2004), D.W.S. (Lambda 2009); Kent Walters, D.W.S. (Alpha 2002). See photo at the right from June 2019 (minus Erik and Jessica).


June 2019 Chapel Series: Soul Care

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


Thesis Collection—2019 Update

IWS ThesisIWS 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.


Constance Cherry on Congregational Song

Dr. Constance CherryConstance Cherry delivered the Northcutt Lecture at The Center for Christian Music Studies, Baylor University School of Music in April 2019. Each year, the Northcutt Lecture Series features a nationally or internationally known church music scholar. The title of Dr. Cherry’s lecture was “Vetting a Canon of Congregational Song: Keeping it Honest, Making it Whole.”

Follow the link to view the video of this lecture.


IWS Bibliography on Worship Studies

Have you seen the latest edition of the Bibliography on Worship Studies? Each entry is annotaded by our bibliographer, Dr. Mark Torgerson, making this a most valuable and practical resource. Recent additions are listed in a separate section after the Table of Contents. Follow the link to download the June 2019 Edition.


Jeremy BegbieAnnouncing!

January 6-7, 2020 Seminar
with Dr. Jeremy Begbie

Hearing Afresh:
The Christian Resonances of Music in Worship and Culture


President’s Column

Worship and Mission/Evangelism

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

Worship is not for the unbeliever, but for the believer.

Dr. James HartWorship exists for the Church, and the Church exists for the world. Is worship, therefore, evangelistic? Is it for the unbeliever? This past November I was invited to do a day and a half lecture series at a Baptist seminary in Dallas. On the first day of my lectures, I stated, “Worship is not for the unbeliever, but for the believer.” In the next morning’s Q&A, one of the senior professors pushed back on that comment. He mentioned that in his Baptist tradition, that perspective goes against one of their primary sensibilities, the importance of the altar call for conversion after the sermon. He said, “The high point of our services is to see people come forward to receive Jesus. You can’t do that if unbelievers aren’t present.” That’s a good question. Here is a rough equivalence of my response. “I stand by my statement that worship is for the believer, not the unbeliever. However, the Apostle Paul made it clear in his letters that there would be unbelievers present. Given that the early church was innately sacramental and celebrated the Eucharist weekly, and that Eucharist is only for believers, what did they do?”

[CONTINUE READING . . . ]

[Click here for the audio version of this article presented by Jim Hart in the June 2019 Presidential Address. You will also find streaming audio of Robert Webber’s addresses on the topic as well as additional resources.]


Robert Webber Column

How to Read an Academic Book

By Robert E. Webber, Th.D., IWS Founder

First published on the IWS website in January 2005, this short, classic article by Bob Webber is a must read for IWS students.

IWS Founder, Dr. Robert E. WebberDO NOT read an academic book word for word, page for page, chapter for chapter.

DO read a book like you would look at a picture, study its frames, and finally examine its details.

Here’s how:

1. Get the big picture in sight. Read the back cover, the Contents page, the Introduction, the Conclusion. Spend some time just thinking about what you have read.

  • Where is the author coming from? Background, schooling, current position? What may be the author’s bias?
  • What is the point of the book? Summarize it in a sentence or two.
  • How will the author develop the point? Find this in the outline and the Introduction.
  • What does the author want you to do or think? Find this in the Conclusion.

2. Frame the book. That is, find out the author’s sources and look for ways to connect your own understandings and experiences with the overall picture the author is painting.

  • Scan the footnotes. Who does the author quote? Are you familiar with any of the authors quoted? Do these authors give you a clue to where the author of this book will take you?
  • Read the general index. As you come across topics or names that are familiar, look them up in the text to see what the author says about the material you are already familiar with.
  • Read the scripture index. How does the author interpret passages with which you are familiar? Does this author stretch you? Agree with you? Differ with you?
  1. Continue to look at the frame of the book, looking now for the structure of the presentation.
  • Look again at the Contents page. Is there a discernable developmental structure from beginning to end?
  • Now scan the Introduction and Conclusion of each chapter thinking about the goal of each chapter.
  • Now scan the entire book reading only the headings and subheadings stopping to read where curiosity leads you.
  1. You are now ready to analyze the book in detail.
  • Will this book take me beyond my present knowledge? If the answer is “No,” then you have read enough.
  • Will this book contribute to my knowledge? If the answer is “yes,” then read on.
  • Is this book an incredible tool that will reshape my ministry? If the answer is “yes,” then outline the book or the parts that contribute to your knowledge and memorize what is of particular use.
  1. By outlining and memorizing the content of a book that will reshape your understanding and ministry, you have created a framework for building a house of knowledge (excuse the introduction of another metaphor). The next book you read on the same subject will bring a room together and perhaps even furnish it. Then again, another book may force you to move the furniture out and bring the new in, or, perhaps, rebuild the house, and on it goes.

Faculty Feature

Welcome New M.W.S. Faculty

Melody Kuphal, D.W.S. 2017, and Carl Park, Ph.D., were on campus for the June 2019 launch of the new online MWS courses in biblical studies and graduate research. Carl will teach Biblical Survey and Interpreting Scripture. Melody will teach Graduate Research and Writing. See the description of these new online courses here.

Melody is the Director of Music Ministries at Hosanna! Lutheran Church in Dr. Carl ParkSt. Charles, IL, and adjunct professor in the worship arts department at Judson Unviersity in Elgin, IL.

Carl pastors Great Commission Community Church, Arlington, VA. He has been a worship leader and a pastor to worship leaders, and he has served on the staffs of Christian and Missionary Alliance, Presbyterian, Vineyard, and non-denominational churches.


Webber Institute Books


Gordon T. Smith Seminar Reflections

“IWS is an extraordinary teaching-learning community” (Gordon T. Smith, June 2019).

We were blessed to welcome Dr. Gordon Smith for his second worship seminar at IWS. In January, 2013, he presented a seminar on Worship and Sacramental Spirituality. Now, six years later, his June seminar, Liturgy and Worship for a Secular Age: Why It Is Imperative That We Be Evangelical, Sacramental and Pentecostal, was equally insightful and compelling. Those who came to the event responded with gratitude and enthusiasm. Here are a few of their comments.

  • Dr. Smith’s content was academic but accessible. He was gracious and challenging. The seminar included a weight of scholarship and the breeze of the Spirit.
  • The speaker was very inspiring, passionate and articulate. The content was essential and helpful—aligning with what God has been teaching me this past year.
  • Dr. Smith was great—very thought-provoking, even pushing the “hot buttons” in our divided culture in a way that was non-threatening and open for discussion.

Here is Gordon Smith’s response after his time at IWS for the seminar:

Recently I once more had the opportunity and privilege to give leadership to one of the worship seminars for the IWS. Again, I was struck by two things. First, the quality of community—more specifically a community that is very much shaped by their shared experience of the Christian liturgy. Second, a vibrant and generative conversation—thoughtful women and men from across the Christian spectrum who are keen to provide grace filled leadership for the life and worship of the church. I came away from this experience deeply encouraged and glad to have once more had opportunity to be part of this extraordinary teaching-learning community.

View additional photos from the seminar event: Gordon Smith Seminar Photo Gallery.


Commencement, June 2019

Marking the 20th anniversary of IWS, we celebrate the class of 2019!

2019 Graduating Class41 graduates were honored at our 18th Commencement Service on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida—20 DWS, 19 MWS and 2 AGCWS. IWS has conferred 622 degrees to 598 graduates. 24 persons have earned both MWS and DWS degrees.

During the service, Dr. Darrell A. Harris was conferred the status of Dean Emeritus of the Chapel, and Dr. Nancy Nethercott was commissioned as our new Chaplain. Dr. Gordon T. Smith delivered the Commencement sermon. The sermon video and audio are available here.

See the Commencement bulletin. The Commencement service is available for streaming at the IWS YouTube Channel.

Click on the photos below to see the full-size version of these scenes from the June 2019 Commencement service. For additional photos of Commencement service and the graduates, follow this link: 2019 Graduates Photo Gallery.

Have you ever dreamed what it would be like for Robert Webber to preach your commencement sermon? He did just that for the first graduating class–the Alphas. Here is his short but profound challenge to the graduates in June 2002.


January 2020 Seminar:
Music in Worship and Culture
with Dr. Jeremy Begbie

Our January 6-7, 2020 Worship Seminar will be taught by Dr. Jeremy Begbie, the Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Professor in Theology at Duke Divinity School, Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and the Founding Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. The seminar title is Hearing Afresh: The Christian Resonances of Music in Worship and Culture.

Here’s a brief overview:

The power of music to change hearts and minds is legendary. In these seminars, Dr. Begbie explores what it is about music that makes it so powerful a medium of habituating people to the dynamics of Christian faith, in worship and beyond. In the process, we will discover how we can experience more deeply, and think through more clearly, four key themes: hope, freedom, lament, and resurrection. In particular, the consequences for how we plan and practice music in worship will be drawn out.

Save the dates!

Jeremy Begbie Seminar: January 6-7, 2020. Early registration will open soon.

Our speaker for the June 15-16, 2020 seminar will be Dr. Emmett G. Price III, Professor of Worship, Church and Culture, Dean of the Chapel, and Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, MA. Dr. Price is a member of the IWS Board of Trustees.


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