A Worship Leader's Introduction to Voices Together
Taught by Katie Graber, PhD, and Anneli Loepp Thiessen, M.M.
Dates: Oct. 28 – Dec. 15, 2020
Early registration deadline: Sept. 30, 2020
Final registration deadline: Oct. 21, 2020
How does worship connect to everyday life? Could learning a new form of prayer allow your community to be more attentive to God’s voice? How does your worship engage the spirituality of children? Why does your order of worship include the elements that it does?
This short course, A Worship Leader's Introduction to Voices Together, explores the worship resources, styles and approaches that form the unique culture of a church community. Students will gain insight on how their worship can grow in vitality through an understanding of the function of items in the Voices Together hymnal (from gathering and praising through giving and sending).
Students will give and receive feedback on their own and their peers' worship order design and delivery of spoken elements. Activities and optional assignments will include creating worship services and series, exploring current themes and unfamiliar forms of prayer and experiencing new acts of worship.
Participants will explore the histories and contexts of worship elements, as well as the artistic styles and traditions represented. They will discover how the Voices Together committee compiled resources with the intention of breaking down barriers and dismantling oppression. Participants will critically evaluate how new resources can nurture and stretch their communities.
This course offers insights for new and experienced worship planners and leaders by focusing on using the pew edition and Worship Leader Edition of the new Voices Together hymnal. Request a syllabus.
This course is asynchronous which means there is no set meeting time for the course. Students are expected to complete coursework on their own and post to an online forum weekly. In addition, the course will have optional weekly Zoom meetings which will be scheduled by the instructors.
Textbooks: Voices Together Worship Leader edition; Voices Together Pew Edition. Because the printing of these resources is delayed due to COVID-19, you will need to purchase the e-book version of the Worship Leader Edition. The Pew Edition will be used once the print edition is available. You can order them at the voicestogetherhymnal.org/products/ordering-and-discounts/.
Katie Graber, PhD, is an ethnomusicologist who studies race and ethnicity in a variety of contexts including Mennonite music, American music and European opera. Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a PhD student who studies gender and music, contemporary worship music and Anabaptist song. They are co-directors of the Anabaptist Worship Network.
Anabaptist Worship Network
The goal of the Anabaptist Worship Network is to connect leaders, resource congregations, and transform communities by cultivating vital worship practices that embody Christ's call to radical hospitality. Serving Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite Church Canada, and other Anabaptist groups, the Anabaptist Worship Network offers education, leadership development, academic courses, and ongoing research related to worship. It aims to celebrate the broad diversity of Anabaptist worship by strengthening understandings of varying styles and practices.
Voices Together hymnal
Voices Together is a worship collection for individual and corporate use, made up of 775 songs and over 300 worship resources (including scripture passages, visual art, and additional words for worship). In addition to the Voices Together pew edition, the suite of publications includes a Worship Leader Edition and Accompaniment Edition that give contextual information and practical guidance for planning and leading worship. The collection includes songs and worship resources from the distant past to present day, emerging from traditions around the world.
How short courses work
Courses are offered online and last six weeks each. Short course students are expected to complete coursework on their own and post to an online forum weekly. These short courses also include optional, weekly, live video conversations which are typically recorded for class members who cannot attend.
Short courses explore topics like Anabaptist history, biblical study, spiritual and ethical issues, worship, and more. These non-credit courses involve readings from textbooks and online articles and include written forum discussion. You won't receive a grade, but readings and discussion are comparable to seminary-level work, and professors assume you have critical thinking skills and some previous academic study.
For more information about what to expect from the course visit the short course details page.
- Early registration: US $300 per course
- Regular registration: US $350 per course
- Anabaptist Short Course Bundle: US $995 total for four courses!
- Global South Scholarships are available.
Find out how short courses work, how you can get CEUs, and what requirements you'll need to participate in online short courses. Learn more.
*NOTE: Anabaptist Worship Network online short courses are not included in the Anabaptist Short Course Bundle. Learn more about the bundle.