Employment Opportunities

President, Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies

Job Description

The Institute for Worship Studies (IWS) is a North American institution of higher, Christian faith-based education that is exclusively designed for graduate studies in worship with a commitment to form servant-leaders in worship renewal. IWS is evangelical in nature and ecumenical in outlook, embracing and serving the whole church in its many expressions and variations of the Christian faith, particularly articulated by the consensus of the ancient Church and its guardians in the traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, the Protestant Reformation and the Evangelical awakenings and heritage. Both U.S. and internationally-based students who desire an education in the biblical, historical, theological, and cultural aspects of Christian worship will specifically and uniquely find that at IWS. Our community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and board members are assembled from diverse cultural, racial/ethnic, and denominational backgrounds.

Since 1999, IWS has continued on the path envisioned by its founder, Dr. Robert E. Webber, by teaching its courses with an ancient-future perspective. In five-month terms that include one-week intensives that take place in Jacksonville, Florida, every January and June, we learn in community: worshiping, studying, and eating together while enjoying honest and open relationships. During the other times of the year, we continue in community in an online setting. Approximately one-third of the student body holds non-American passports, representing six continents. Students from over 35 countries have matriculated through the IWS programs.

IWS offers the following programs fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS): Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS) and Master of Worship Studies (MWS). In addition, three non-accredited certificates are available. 

The President of IWS is appointed by and reports to the Board of Directors for accomplishing the mission of the institute, and is an ex officio member of the Board, with voice. The President performs multifaceted functions, including providing visionary leadership, assuring maximized revenue streams, appointing administrators, providing strategic direction and administrative oversight (by working closely with the Directors and other administrative personnel), and serving as the liaison with external constituencies. With these responsibilities comes the authority to implement all the actions and directives of the Board. Additionally, the President is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of IWS, including supervising staff such as the Finance Officer, Chaplain, Academic Dean, Administrative Assistant, and Directors of Enrollment Management and Recruitment. and serves as the liaison between IWS and the host church and local community. The Board may also prescribe additional duties and powers to the President from time to time. Accordingly, the President should have the academic credentials and professional expertise appropriate for these responsibilities.


The next president of IWS should value people first, and systems second: one who strongly motivates, who communicates exceptionally well with genuine spiritual understanding, who has the heart attitude of a pastor/shepherd, and who embraces being part of the IWS community. This includes presidential addresses and presence at on-campus intensives, commencement, and other high-visibility occasions. The president should understand and embrace the direction set for IWS by its founder. It is vital that she or he have excellent fund-raising skills in finding resources and grants, developing donor relationships, and overseeing a positive financial environment. The president should also be experienced and/or willing to develop enrollment pipelines and expand international student recruitment and international church outreach and partnership.


  • A deep, personal Christian faith demonstrated by character and behavior as outlined in the Bible, active participation in a local church, healthy family and collegial relationships, and willingness to be a spiritual role model and leader. 
  • Earned terminal degree (DWS, PhD, DMin, EdD) in worship or with significant connection to the discipline of worship in line with the philosophy of worship held by our founder and the Institute.
  • Full agreement with and active support for the IWS Statement of Faith, Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Core Values, and Statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
  • Senior leadership experience in a higher education setting is strongly preferred, and experience in a church or para-church organization (NGO) is welcome.

How To Apply

If interested, please send a cover letter that addresses strengths in the areas noted in this position description to Presidential.Search@iws.edu along with three letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, and official academic transcripts for graduate study. Applications will be accepted until September 1, 2024, or until the position is filled. Start date is January 1, 2025, unless negotiated otherwise. Candidates should expect to be asked to relocate or spend significant time during the year in Jacksonville, Florida, and to be present there before, during, and after each intensive session.