Worship and Preaching Skills

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1


Students are introduced to the theology of public worship and the importance of the relationship between worship and doctrine.  Attention is given to the value of different liturgical traditions and styles and the value of symbols and sacraments.  The question of freedom and liturgy is discussed and help given in leading different styles of worship.  There is opportunity to prepare for and critically analyse aspects of public worship.  The unit introduces a range of preaching models so that students may begin to identify their own preferred approaches.  A holistic approach to the personal formation of the preacher is outlined, integrating knowledge, skills and character.  Study of set passages of Scripture introduces students to the process of identifying the focus, function and form of the text.  Recognition of these features provides a basis for a practical introduction to the process of sermon construction and effective communication skills.


To examine and reflect on the practice of leading public worship and Christian preaching, to increase understanding of the nature of communication and public leadership and to begin to develop appropriate approaches and skills for these tasks.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·         Distinguish the critical elements in effective communication

·         Demonstrate an understanding of the symbiotic relationship between doctrine and worship

Intellectual skills

·         Identify, explain and critically engage with significant issues raised by contemporary Christian public worship

·         Explain the nature and purpose of preaching and its relevance in today’s world

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·         Prepare and lead public worship with confidence and practical skill

·         Plan, prepare and deliver a sermon effectively with appropriate use of illustrative materials

·         Reflect critically on their own and others’ preaching and leading worship

·         Present information in class with clarity and confidence


Assessment task


Weighting within unit


·         Class presentation of service outline


5 minutes






·         A recording of leading worship*


·         A recording of a sermon*


·         A reflection on the practice of leading worship or preaching


500 words (nominal)

500 words (nominal)

1500 words







* Students are required to pass these elements. So long as this element has been passed, they will be eligible for compensation if the overall unit mark is within the compensation zone (30-39%), and the compensatable credit allowance as set out in the Degree Regulations has not been exceeded.

Alternative summative assessment for students who do not preach and lead worship:

·      An essay



2500 words







Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


1.    Introduction: Worship and Doctrine – The importance of passing on the tradition through worship

2.    Gathering Together: ‘What on earth are we doing?’

3.    Liturgy and Liberty (including the power of music) – the importance of liturgy

4.    Symbol and Ceremony – using symbols in worship

5.    Practical: Allowing Worship to Work; the role of the worship leader; planning and leading

6.    Preaching: Introduction to the Basic Principles

7.    Focus and Function in the Sermon – finding the main point of text and sermon

8.    The Art of Preparation; the Form of the Sermon (Preparing different types of sermons)

9.    Approaching Context (personal, church, social) – engaging with one’s own context

10.  Making it Live – effective use of language and means of communication

11.  Practical Session and Summary

Teaching method

Interactive lectures

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015

Indicative reading

Bewes, Richard, Speaking in Public Effectively (Tain: Christian Focus, 1998)

Brown, D., Transformational Preaching: Theory and Practice (College Station, Texas: Virtualbookworm.com, 2003)

Carson, D.A. (ed.), Worship: Adoration and Action (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1993)

Cherry, M., Constance, The Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010)

Day, David, A Preaching Workbook (London: Lynx, 1998)

Ellis, Christopher, Gathering: A Theology and Spiritulity of Worship in Free Church Tradition (London: SCM Press, 2004)

Ellis Christopher, J., Approaching God: A Guide for Worship Leaders and Worshippers (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2009)

Leach J., Living Liturgy (Eastbourne: Kingsway, 1997)

Parry, Robin, Worshipping Trinity (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2005)

Peterson, D., Engaging with God (Leicester: Apollos, 1992)

Quicke, Michael, 360 Degree Preaching: Hearing, Speaking and Living the Word (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003)

Wolterstorff, Nicholas, The God We Worship: and exploration of liturgical theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015)

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Worship and Preaching Skills

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 164





Hours of Learning:



Rev. Dotha N. Blackwood

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