The Institute Of Contemporary & Emerging Worship Studies

Working on the details of the Institute Of Contemporary & Emerging Worship Studies today, along with many other tidbits and nobs.

For now, this will get some of you who are interested starting to be aware of what is being built, and what the time frames for 06 are:

St. Stephen’s University, New Brunswick, Canada

For ICEWS PostCard PDF, click here.

Imagine: a local church worship leader who is a skilled musician, but also leads and writes out of a deepened prayer life, a knowledge of present, ancient and emerging ideas in the Church, a sensitivity to changing culture, a thoughtful pastoral heart, an awareness of theological ideas that have strengthened the Church for millennia.

What if someone created an intimate, roundtable learning conversation for today’s active worship leader, that drew on the riches of classical and Celtic Christianity, Ignatian prayer, spiritual theology, ancient spiritual formation literature, church and worship history, emerging and postmodern cultural reflection, community life reflection and advanced worship leadership training – all from experts in each field and offered in a beautiful and creatively inspiring environment?

Sound too good to be true? What if that same program offered university credentials, was led and developed by well-respected modern worship leaders, included a select group of international students, and involved media training (and in some cases, live or web cam) from contemporary worship influencers such as N.T. Wright, Matt Redman, Brian Doerksen, Don Williams, Brenton Brown, Tim Hughes, Derek Morphew, John Eldredge, Kathryn Scott, Peter Fitch, Mike Pilavachi, Peter Davids, Derek Morphew and others?

What if the costs were less than you would pay for specialized academic training at virtually any other university in North America or Europe?


The Institute Of Contemporary & Emerging Worship Studies (ICEWS) has just been born at St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada. ICEWS is designed to engage an international base of today’s worship leaders in a vibrant conversation on contemporary and emerging worship leadership, and at the same time offer a variety of university-level programs, led by a team of influential worship leaders and scholars, suited to lead worshipers in various stages of their leadership journey.

St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada, is now offering certificate, diploma and Master’s degree programs in Worship Leadership & Spiritual Formation, all designed to offer today’s contemporary worship leader an opportunity to advance their academic/practical study, widen their historical/theological perspective and hone their skills in effective worship leadership within 21st century culture.

Each level is uniquely designed to cater to the formation needs of various types of worship leaders, and the course work is designed to further the building of the present and emerging Church in worship, by reinvesting the present with the riches of the past, to call us forward into the future.

The Institute Offers:

Duration: Two Week Intensive, October 30 – November 10, 2006
Who: Experienced worship leaders (3-5 years in current part or full-time worship leadership, pastoral recommendation).

Hosted on the beautiful grounds of the Dominion Hill Leadership Centre in New Brunswick, Canada, our two-week intensive certificate program is uniquely designed to enrich experienced worship leaders presently leading in local churches with insights from classical and Celtic Christianity, Ignatian spirituality, historical theology and the postmodern reflection. Advanced skills in contemporary worship leadership and arranging will be explored, as well as arenas such as songwriting and leadership in the emerging Church. Reading and preparatory work will be part of the program, and the learning will be based on roundtable discussion (as opposed to a primarily lecture format).

Duration: One Year Program (2 terms), Begins September 2006
Who: Any worship leader desiring a taste of university study, with a concentration on worship leadership and spiritual formation.

Open to all applicants interested in gaining a year of deepening study in areas of worship and Christian spiritual formation. Topics such as leadership in contemporary and emerging worship, spiritual theology, biblical studies, Ignatian prayer, church history, Celtic spirituality, philosophy of science and religion, contemporary band arrangement and more will be offered, all on site at St. Stephen’s University. Students receiving this diploma are also eligible to continue on through the four-year program at SSU receiving significant credit for this year, if they desire.

Duration: Three Year Program (two week intensive modules, 2x per year), Final Supervised Thesis (book) writing in third year – 1 two-week intensive is a study term abroad. Begins August 2007.
Who: Experienced worship leaders with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

This Masters program would be open to all worship leaders meeting a set criteria of experience and endorsement, who have completed the necessary undergraduate requirements to begin their Master’s level coursework. This degree will also be accompanied by a study session abroad, broadening the student’s historical and cultural reflections on worship, creativity and leadership. Reading and preparatory work will be a part of the program, as well as ongoing writing and the development of a thesis work (a book).


The ICEWS is directed by worship leader Dan Wilt, adjunct professor of Contemporary & Emerging Worship Leadership at St. Stephen’s University. Contemporary scholars such as Dr. Peter Fitch (Learning To Suffer Well), as well as respected worship leader and writer Brian Doerksen (Come Now Is The Time To Worship) will be involved in shaping course material and participating at various levels.

Our training will take place at the beautiful Dominion Hill Leadership Centre in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and at St. Stephen’s University in St. Stephen, New Brunswick (

Call the Institute at 506.466.1554 for more information, email us at and visit our site at (note: email is active, but website is not for 2 weeks).

There is very limited enrollment, so contact us today!


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

Pre-Order below, and join my email list, to get author notes and updates about the book and events around it. 

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