James R. Hart, President

Dear Readers:

Our founder, Bob Webber posited, “Worship is the key to the renewal of the church.”

The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies is the only school in North America dedicated to graduate education in worship. Our mission is to form leaders in worship renewal. Pastors, music ministers, worship leaders, and teachers from over 40 denominations have enrolled in our degree-granting programs that are academically sound and highly applicable. Each course is based on the conviction that authentic worship is rooted in the biblical narrative, draws from the rich treasures of Christian history, and is committed to glorifying God in the postmodern context. IWS combines the best of distance education with on-campus classes through which we focus on building an intentional learning community. The result is an applicable and stimulating graduate education.

The church in the beginning of the twenty-first century has demonstrated a significant need for servant leaders who are willing to be used by the Lord as catalysts for worship renewal in their local congregations, schools, and communities. Essential to these emerging leaders is the understanding that renewal happens most effectively in the framework of ongoing community formation. IWS has been uniquely established to develop such leaders and to help them connect their studies and their on-campus experiences to their own places of ministry. Our alumni, students, and faculty are truly impacting the church through invigorated worship practices and education rooted in solid Biblical, theological, and historical reflection.

At IWS, we feel that it is our responsibility to facilitate the creation of an academic community that enables our students to acquire a practical, applicable education of the highest quality. Consequently, we seek to serve the students, faculty, and staff by engendering a strong communal ethos. This process of community development is energized and reinforced through worshiping, studying, eating, fellowshipping, and ministering together during our on-campus sessions. During the year interaction is maintained via the website message boards, e-mails, and even phone calls and regional fellowship groups.

Through the employment of an overall philosophy of servant leadership, we want to help make the student’s educational experience as satisfying and pleasant as possible so that the maximum benefit may be received through study, practicums, and fellowship between students and faculty. Our priority is to provide our students with a communal context in which they may have an enriching, stimulating, practical, and impacting academic experience.

May the Lord richly bless your endeavors at IWS.

Dr. James R. Hart, President

Advent 2023, Week 1

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” — Psalm 13: 1 (ESV) “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in...
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A Thanksgiving Devotional

“Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stall, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will exult in...
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Remembering Dr. Vernon Charter

The Institute for Worship Studies is sad to announce the death of IWS alumnus, Dr. Vernon Charter, DWS ’11 (Rho). He was Professor Emeritus of Music and Worship at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, where he had served for 27 years. Born in China to missionary parents he earned degrees in historical musicology...
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