The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies forms servant leaders in Christian worship renewal and education through graduate academic praxis, grounded in biblical, historical, theological, formational, cultural, and missiological reflection in community.
IWS graduates will be academically and spiritually formed servant leaders who participate intentionally in the story of the Triune God, fostering renewal in the local and global church by shaping life and ministry according to the fullness of that story.
IWS serves God’s action in history to express his lordship over all creation through worship situated in the Divine Narrative.
The Church of Jesus Christ is catholic, meaning “universal,” or literally, “according to the whole.” Through the Church God gathers the world to himself—embracing but transcending nationalities, ethnicities and cultures. The global Church is called out from the oppressive regimes of the powers of darkness and declared to be, universally, “What belongs to the Lord.” In light of this theological position, the Institute for Worship Studies (IWS) is committed to reflect the full racial, ethnic, sex, socio-economic, denominational and age diversity of the Church universal at all levels—students, faculty, administrative staff and board. All activities and perspectives of diversity, equity/equality and inclusion (DEI) are circumscribed by the mission of IWS as an educational community committed to the traditional orthodox Christian faith and practice.
Every attempt has been made to align our educational goals with our mission statement. These goals reflect the commitment of IWS to an organic understanding of a story-formed approach to the Christian faith. We are committed not only to the unity of all knowledge of God’s story in history but also to all ministry as applied theology. We do not sever ministry from God’s story, but situate it in God’s story through reflection in the biblical, historical, theological, formational, cultural and missiological disciplines. We seek therefore to form all ministry by the Divine Narrative, not the cultural narrative.