FACULTY: The Sacred Actions Of Christian Worship

The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies is seeking a part-time professor to teach an intensive doctoral-level course in sacred actions and ministries of Christian worship and the church (applied sacramental theology). This course seeks to explore the sacred acts of worship, particularly baptism and Holy Communion, from biblical and historical perspectives. This course also addresses the relationship of these two actions to Christian formation and pastoral care.

This course is taught and meets on campus in Jacksonville, FL, twice a year, the first to second Wednesday after January 1 (and rarely, but possibly, beginning Jan 1) and the second to third Wednesday in June (IWS is considering moving these dates to the last week in June, 2021). This is a hybrid course which includes an online component in conjunction with the one-week intensive class time. All doctoral courses at IWS are team-taught.

In keeping with its holistic theology of education, IWS considers a wide range of criteria in the selection of its teaching faculty. Among these are: academic degrees; teaching experience and performance; commitment to academic, professional and spiritual formation; experience in ministry; commitment to assist students in reflection; ongoing learning and scholarly productivity; collegiality; knowledge of technology; and theological congruence with IWS. The relative weight placed on these criteria may vary with the subjects to be taught. For teaching in the Doctor of Worship Studies program IWS seeks candidates with a completed terminal degree (as defined in the field of the degree) in a field related to the course matter, though candidates who have nearly completed a terminal degree may be considered.

For this specific course IWS is seeking someone with: 

  • Educational background in an appropriate field, including but not limited to: PhD in biblical studies, historical theology, liturgical theology, systematic theology, or a D.Min. in the appropriate area of study. Ordination a plus but not required.
  • Experience in worship leadership including, but is not limited to, leading or planning corporate worship.
  • Experience in teaching at the graduate level and teaching the course material.
  • Experience with and appreciation for a wide variety of corporate worship settings.
  • The ability to understand and communicate ideas for practical application of course content in diverse student contexts.
  • Knowledge of biblical and historical foundations of sacramental theology from the perspective of more than one Christian tradition.
  • Experience in teaching the course matter.
  • Commitment to hands-on practical pedagogical methods.
  • The ability to team-teach and the willingness to coordinate course development and implementation as well as grading standards and rubrics with the other course professor.
  • Additionally, classroom presentations and readings selected by the instructor should give special attention to those perspectives that contribute to worship renewal today in line with the general outlook of the Institute for Worship Studies and its founder, Robert E. Webber.

This particular course (DWS 704) is designed to cover material in Volumes VI & VII of Robert E. Webber (ed.), Complete Library of Christian Worship.

  • Volume VI, The Sacred Actions of Christian Worship, covers a wide range of subjects that fall under the heading of “Sacred Actions.” Given the constraints of time, we have historically narrowed class time consideration to two “Sacred Actions”: Baptism & Eucharist. Reggie Kidd teaches this portion of the course.
  • Volume VII, The Ministries of Christian Worship, falls to the second faculty member. This volume covers a considerably wide range of matters as well. Some of these matters are cultural context, diversity, spiritual formation (catechesis, healing, education, prayer); and mission (hospitality, evangelism, social justice). Again, given the constraints of time, we have historically focused on the “so what” of Baptism (spiritual formation) and on the “so what” of Eucharist (pastoral care) as mission—how, in the church’s worship, Christ carries out the Father’s mission of love to form and care for his people in the power of the Spirit, thus manifesting God’s making all things new and anticipating “new heavens and new earth.”
  • Currently, IWS is seeking development in this second portion of the course in exploring the ministries of Christian Worship as they relate to inculturation and diversity, and/or worship and mission.

The instructor is responsible for:

  • working with the other course professor to develop the course syllabus and related materials for the class, develop grading rubrics, grade student assignments, develop and lead a baptismal renewal service and healing eucharist service during the intensives;
  • teaching half of each of the one-week intensives;
  • mentoring student projects from initial idea through implementation of project, including writing phases; coordinating and supervising teaching assistants;
  • developing the course syllabus and related materials for the class; developing and grading student assignments; and participating in all general faculty responsibilities (attendance at evening practicums during the intensives, occasional committee work, and plenary faculty meetings, etc.).

Application Process

To apply, candidates should send a cover letter that includes important background information, a general philosophy of education and teaching, and an explanation of their desire to teach at IWS, along with a vita. Nominators should secure approval from a candidate before sending a letter of nomination that includes the candidate’s contact information.

Please send nominations or a cover letter and vita to Jack Van Marion, Chair, at jvanmarion@iws.edu. The Faculty Search Committee will begin rank ordering the candidates September 1, 2019.


DWS 704 Job Description 2019