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University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

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This dissertation proposes an educational model for use by praise and worship leaders and those who endeavor to guide them in becoming skillful musicians and spiritually mature leaders of contemporary praise and worship. Primarily aimed toward the singer as praise and worship leader, the model centers on dimensions of instruction that help singers to know the meaning and purposes of worship and principles of leading worship, the nature of spirituality and vocal leadership in worship, and context-specific applications of vocal leadership in worship.

The model is interdisciplinary in orientation and builds on foundational biblical, theological, historical, and ethical ideas and principles contained in normative literature; socio-psychological material found in empirical literature, and practice of ministry guides appearing in operational literature. The final diagram of a holistic instructional model results from the development, implementation and evaluation of a course at Beulah Heights Bible College, from interviews with selected Atlanta area praise and worship leaders representing six denominations, and from reflections on the roles of the praise and worship leader as observed in the praise and worship ministry of Babbie Mason.

The diagrammatic representation of the educational model identifies the important relational worship environment about which the praise and worship leader must be aware. The model is inclusive of prophetic, priestly, and revivalist roles of praise and worship leaders and specific activities of guiding and mediating a congregation's experience of and closer relationship with God. It also includes the ethicist role with the specific activity of perpetuating biblical principles, values, and images of justice, inclusivity, and non-violence; the role of the change agent with the specific activity of drawing attention to a vision and activity toward societal transformation; the role of pastoral agent who brings the healing qualities of music to bear on a congregation; the role of the clear communicator of the messages of God; the role of administrator; the role of the worshipper who is familiar with the nature of worship; and the cultural leader who is familiar with the culture of the setting and ensures that the music and style of worship is relevant to the worshippers. And finally, the diagrammatic representation highlights important qualities which the praise and worship leader must develop and exhibit in the conduct of worship including pastoral sensitivities to the congregation's cognitive, affective, psychomotor, and kinesthetic needs, involvement in the spiritual disciplines, and cultural understanding and receptivity.

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