Worship Seminar

Monday, June 24 & Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Join IWS for this year’s worship seminar as we celebrate 25 years of global worship renewal!

Theology & Practice: IWS Faculty Perspectives on Transformative Worship

June 24-25, 2024

A two-day seminar for those involved in church worship and leadership who desire to think more deeply and purposefully about worship.

Registration fees for the first registrant of your group (includes lunch!)

  • Full Two-day Seminar: $100
  • Attend Monday Only: $50
  • Attend Tuesday Only: $50

Registration fees for the second registrant of your group (includes lunch!):

  • Full Two-day Seminar: $75
  • Attend Monday Only: $35
  • Attend Tuesday Only: $35

Additional add-on meals available:

  • Monday Breakfast: $15
  • Monday Dinner: $19
  • Tuesday Breakfast: $15
  • Tuesday Dinner: $15

Just like being in the classroom again at IWS — or a great opportunity to see firsthand what everyone is talking about: the life-changing, ruinous experience called IWS!

The seminar will include eight stimulating sessions over two days on topics of worship renewal taught by members of the IWS faculty and will take place live and in person during our summer on-campus intensive.

This event is open to the public but requires registration.

Seminar Hotel

Hilton Garden Inn
1201 Kings Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32207

The official IWS hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel is located in the San Marco neighborhood, 2.5 miles from campus. They offer a standard King bed or 2 Queen beds for a preferred nightly rate of $139, including the daily parking rate of $17. 

Book online here or call 1-866-486-4153 using the code RWW.

Make it a Spiritual Retreat

You are welcome to craft your own schedule to incorporate additional time on campus to attend chapel sessions, visit classes, read and research in the library, or spend time alone in quiet meditation. You may plan to come early and stay longer if you’d like.

Contact the IWS office. Let us know how we can help.

Session Schedule & Descriptions

Session Schedule

7:30 am Breakfast Breakfast
8:30 am Chapel Chapel
9:15 am Session 1
Music in the Biblical World
Dr. Andrew Hill
Session 5
The Sun and the Moons: Redemptive Solutions
for Church Staff Difficulties
Dr. Dan Sharp
10:30 am Break Break
10:45 am Session 2
Holy Fire: Ancient Wisdom for
Future Worship
Dr. Alan Rathe
Session 6
Worship that Honors Death
Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah
12:00 pm Lunch Lunch
1:15 pm Session 3
Recovering from Me-and-Jesus Spirituality
in Corporate Worship
Dr. Carl Park
Session 7
Recent Best Practices Across
Worshiping Contexts
Dr. Doug Curry
2:15 pm Break Break
2:30 pm Session 4
Why Art Is Important for
Worship and Life
Jeff Barker
Session 8
Contemporary Issues in
Copyright & Worship
Jennifer Nicholson
3:45 pm Free time Free time
5:30 pm Dinner Dinner
6:30 pm DWS Practicum:
Scripture Presentation
Healing Eucharist Service

Music in the Biblical World, Dr. Andrew Hill

This session is based on an article in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music in Christian Theology, Vol. 3, which offers an overview of the role of music in the Christian Scriptures including the role of King David in the development of Israelite music, the place of the Psalms in First and Second Temple and synagogue worship, the ministry of the Levites as musicians, the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Christian churches to ‘sing songs to one another,’ and the music described in the book of Revelation. The essay also explores the theological relationships between the imago Dei and music, and the importance of music in the practice of Christian worship.

Read Andy’s bio here.

Holy Fire: Ancient Wisdom for Future Worship, Dr. Alan Rathe

This seminar will explore some of the surprisingly robust spiritual theologies of the early church.  How did these springs feed the Great Tradition? What wisdom can we begin to glean for worship ministry in the twenty-first century?  These questions and others will guide us as we dip our toes into this important era that was so deeply formative for our faith.

Read Alan’s bio here.

Recovering from Me-and-Jesus Spirituality in Corporate Worship, Dr. Carl Park

A distinguishing mark of North American Christian faith and practice is individualism, even excessive and, in fact, sub-Christian individualism—”me-and-Jesus” spirituality. Such individualism pervades our doctrines: ecclesiology, anthropology, hamartiology, eschatology, pneumatology, and more. We especially live these out in worship. Can our corporate worship, instead, help form a more faithful Christian spirituality in us? In this session, we will consider how worship can help us recover from me-and-Jesus spirituality.

Read Carl’s bio here.

Why Art Is Important for Worship and Life, Jeff Barker

Jeff Barker calls this a “silent lecture” on the value of the arts. Participants will be invited into a meditative experience with many art forms that have profound potential for personal application. 

Read Jeff’s bio here.

The Sun and the Moons: Redemptive Solutions for Church Staff Difficulties, Dr. Dan Sharp

Dan explains that while serving in church ministry for forty-some years as a “moon,” he learned a lot about the “sun,” as well as staff relationships. He has served in a startup church, a university church, an urban church, and a suburban church, numbering a few hundred to over 4,000 and with a staff of a few to over eighty. The dynamics present in church staffs of any size are not always discerned. Relationships between the lead pastor and members of the staff (or board), while crucial, are not always smooth or even healthy. In this session, we will delve into some of the often unspoken reasons for staff challenges through case studies which should prove interesting, informative, and helpful.

Read Dan’s bio here.

Worship that Honors Death, Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah

“We live in a death-denying culture,” wrote Alexander Schmemann in For the Life of the World in 1963. More than fifty years later, we still deny death in our churches—churches that are filled with happy songs and seldom surrounded by cemeteries. But all of us will die. All of us will experience loved ones’ death. How can our worship honor death, those who have died, and those who have lost loved ones? This seminar will seek to answer this question through exploring the theology of death, historical examples that honor death, and contemporary creative application.

Read Amy’s bio here.

Recent Best Practices Across Worshiping Contexts, Dr. Doug Curry

Christian worship renewal takes shape in patterns set in specific worshiping contexts around the world. In the past ten years, the Church has experienced significant shifts due to a global pandemic, the influence of social media, and trends established by denominational movements. Drawing in part from lessons learned from IWS-related praxis around the world, we will examine recent examples of ancient-future best practices in Christian worship.

Read Doug’s bio here.

Contemporary Issues in Copyright & Worship, Jennifer Nicholson

Given the dramatic shift to live-stream and online worship in recent years, the unique concerns regarding permissions and copyright have expanded for worship planners and leaders. How do you know if the songs, liturgies, and images you have selected for use during a worship service comply with copyright standards? In this session, you will discover practical information that will help you ask the applicable questions and find answers for your immediate setting.

Read Jennifer’s bio here.