Who we are

We are the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies (“IWS” and “iws.edu”).

What personal data we collect and why we collect it


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Contact forms

We use contact forms to allow visitors to send messages to staff members. For security and authentication purposes we may attach other metadata to your submission, including an IP address.


If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select "Remember Me", your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites


We use Google Analytics to better understand how our website is found and used. IWS does not have access to the data of any individual through this service, and the metrics can only be analyzed in the aggregate. For more information on Google Analytics, visit https://www.google.com/analytics/. To opt out of Google Analytics for iws.edu, click here (JavaScript required).

For security purposes, IWS logs the public IP address of incoming connections. This data is not shared with any third parties, nor combined with any other data. Access logs are not retained for more than 62 days.

IWS may from time to time participate in Google’s Remarketing advertising features. When this feature is used, Google and/or IWS may place a cookie on a computer that has visited iws.edu; Google may use this feature to show you an ad for IWS while browsing another website. It may also allow us to link your visit with an email address you have already provided to IWS and authorized for communication from us. To opt out of the Remarketing feature, you may visit http://www.google.com/settings/ads and https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/.

Personal Information Voluntarily Provided

IWS receives personal information from users who engage with our online admissions system (part of the Populi software package) or donation system via iws.edu. This information is transmitted to Populi by encrypted means. Populi keeps the data we provide them in a secure manner. This data is not kept on IWS’ servers.

Payments made through the online payment system require users to submit sensitive personal information. IWS does not store this information on its servers, but passes the necessary data through to a third-party payment provider.

IWS may collect other personal information from users by presenting various forms on our website. By voluntarily providing such information, users agree that IWS may use their information for the stated purpose and related business activities.

Who we share your data with

IWS does not share your data with any other services or providers, except as necessary to utilize certain third-arty tools used to conduct our recruiting, fundraising, and educational operations. Such their-party providers are carefully screened, and no such vendor is utilized unless they have guaranteed the security and confidentiality of any data we provide them.

Such vendors include, but are not limited to, Populi (https://www.populi.co) for our college management system and MailChimp for bulk email.

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes (e.g. educational records).

Where we send your data

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

For information on the ways voluntarily-provided data may be transmitted to third parties in specific cases, see above. IWS does not intentionally merge information we collect with third party databases, nor does IWS pay to acquire information about our users from external sources.

California Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

Because we value your privacy we have taken the necessary precautions to be in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act. We therefore will not distribute your personal information to outside parties without your consent.

As part of the California Online Privacy Protection Act, all users of our site may make any changes to their information at anytime by logging into the Populi or WordPress systems and editing their profile.

Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not knowingly collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our websites privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page, and/or update the Privacy Policy modification date below.

This policy was last modified on July 18, 2018.