Student: Michel R. Belzile, B.Sc.(McGill), M.Div. (McMaster)
Thesis Title: Principles of Congregational Worship Shared by Baptists through History and across Contemporary Baptist Worship Styles.
Degree: Doctor of Ministry (Worship and Preaching)
For: McMaster Journal of Theology and Ministry
Date: October 21, 1997
The twentieth century as been characterized by a series of worship renewal movements which have transformed the face of Baptist worship across North America and Europe. Denomination-specific worship patterns of past centuries are now being reshaped by non-denominational worship renewal movements -- such as the liturgical, charismatic and church growth movements -- thus resulting in a blending of worship styles and theologies of worship across denominational lines. Focusing on the Baptist worship experience, this project thesis will explore the historical development of six dominant worship traditions which have significantly influenced current Baptist worship styles within the churches of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec (BCOQ). These are: (1) John Smyths 16th Century General Baptist tradition, (2) the late 17th Century Puritan Baptist tradition, (3) the 19th Century Frontier Revivalist tradition, (4) the 20th Century Liturgical Renewal movement, (5) the 20th Century Praise and Worship movement, and (6) the 2Oth Century Church Growth movement. Furthermore, through the development and use of a worship survey (to be completed by the senior pastor of each BCOQ church), this project aims to discover and describe the dominant worship styles current being practiced among Canadian Baptist churches within the BCOQ. Finally, this project will venture to identify those principles of congregational worship which Baptists have shared in common through history as well as across current contemporary worship styles.