Module Narrative

Module Title: Christian Music, Drama & Popular Culture

Module Code: YOU600
Level: 6
Credit Points: 20 Credits
Compulsory or Optional: Optional (Youthwork Pathway)
Pre-requisites/co-requisites: None
Excluded combinations or modules: Youthwork Pathway only
Mode of attendance: Mixed


This module will probe the affiliation between Contemporary Christian Music and Popular culture and its fast-changing global contexts. This is an inclusive discourse that has become increasingly essential for modern Pentecostal churches as they integrate and re-evaluate the dynamic nature of music in liturgical worship and the over arching influence of the popular culture style on the music of the church. It will also investigate the Christian Music Journey through the lens of history from Early Chants to Reformation Songs; from Psalm Singing to Hymnody, and from the period of impressionism to the 21st century contemporary development. It will also investigate the emergence of drama as a dynamic expression of modern worship.

Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the relationship between contemporary Christian music, drama and popular culture.
2. discuss the diversity of opinion and perceptions surrounding the integration of popular music culture style and drama into contemporary Christian music.
3. analyse the historical chronology of Christian Music from Early Chants to Reformation Songs; from Psalm Singing to Hymnody and from the period of impressionism to the 21st century contemporary development.
4. Critically analyse the known weaknesses of contemporary music and drama with particular reference to quality, theological integrity, cultural integration and affiliation, role of intellect

Contemporary Christian music: some basics; a revealing journey through history, from Early Chants to Reformation songs, from Psalm singing to hymnody, tradition and traditional Christian music; popular songs of substance; modern structure of creativity and intellectual approach; review of the critique of contemporary Christian music, new genre, new style.
Drama: historical emergence, relevance and influence in contemporary worship and the importance of skits and sketches in the development of the use of drama in worship
Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

This course will be taught through the art of facilitation aimed at drawing out insights from students in response to stimulating readings, lectures and videos. Students will listen to a variety of music genres, view dramas on film and youtube and examine key texts.

In additional to attending classes, students should be prepared to spend about another six hours per week on activities related to this course. These activities include reading the required and recommended articles of relevance to this course and preparing for assignments.

Tutorial time enables Tutors to give formative feedback on draft essays, guidance to students on developing their presentations and constructive feedback on summative work. Independent study to supplement these activities is an essential element of the programme, including reading and producing the module assignments.

Assessment Scheme
• Presentation (formative assessment)

• Group discussion and 1500 word reflective report (summative assessment)
• Book or Chapter Review of a current book or reader in Contemporary Christian Music or use of drama in worship. 2500 words

Assessment Weighting
Discussion and Report 50%
Book Review 50%

Woods, R. H. Jr (2013) Evangelical Christians and Popular Culture: Pop Goes the Gospel. Denver, Colorado: Praeger

Chang, P. & Lim, D. (2009) Renegotiating the Sacred-Secular Binary: IX Saves and Contemporary Christian Music. Maitland: Xulon Press.
Maries, A. (2001).Church Music in the Mission of the Church. Mildenhall: Suffolk
Smiley, K. L. (2005) Devoted Through Drama: Monologues, Plays, and Skits for Christian Youth Groups Goose Creek SC:Holy Fire Publishing
Baker, P. (1979) Contemporary Christian Music: Where It Came From, What It Is, Where It’s Going. Westchester: Crossway Books.
Bennet, A. (2000) Popular music and youth culture. New York: Palgrave.
Byrnside, R., Hamm, C. & Nettl, B. (1975) Contemporary music and music cultures. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Carrette, J. & King, R. (2005) Selling Spirituality. New York: Routledge.
Chapman, R. and Cimen, J. (2009) Culture Wars: An Encyclopaedia of Issues, Viewpoints and Voices. New York: Routledge

Clark, T. R and Clanton, D. W. (2012) Understanding Religion and Popular Culture: Theories, Themes, Products and Practices. New York: Routledge

Cosby B. H. (2012) Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: R & R Publishing Company
Detweller, C. and Taylor, B, (2009) Matrix Of Meanings, A: Finding God in Pop Culture. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic

Myers K. (2012) All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes (With a New Introduction / Redesign): Christians and Popular Culture (Turning Point Christian Worldview Series). California: Crossway,
Turnau, T. (2012) Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: R& R Publishing Company

Online Application
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