Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module THMN42130: Changing Worship

Department: Theology and Ministry

THMN42130: Changing Worship

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • None (Whilst there are no formal pre-requisites, a study of liturgy and/or church history to BA level would be advantageous.)


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to examine liturgical reform and development since 1850, focusing on the Church of England, the Methodist Church in Britain and the Roman Catholic Church so as to equip students to undertake further research in modern liturgical history and contemporary worship and to engage in their own creative liturgical composition.


  • 1. The Liturgical Movement and its impact on Churches in Britain
  • 2. Liturgical scholarship and its impact on liturgical revision
  • 3. Liturgical Revision in the Church of England: the 1928/9 ‘Deposited Book’; ASB; Common Worship (including revision leading up to these)
  • 4. The Methodist Service Book and the Methodist Worship Book in the context of changing patterns of Methodist worship
  • 5. Vatican II liturgical reforms and developments in the Roman Catholic Church since then
  • 6. Liturgical developments outside official revision and their impact on official revision, including All Age Worship, Charismatic Renewal; Taize and Iona, Alternative Worship, Fresh Expressions, Feminist Theology,
  • 7. The setting of worship, including architecture, use of symbolism and appointment of worship space.
  • 8. The renewal of the Christian Year.
  • 9. Developments in the role of music in worship.
  • The course will include study of selected texts, both actual liturgies and documents about liturgy (e.g. the Vatican II Declaration on liturgy); reflection on students’ and tutors’ own experiences of worship.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, the student
  • will have formed a detailed knowledge and understanding of the changing patterns of worship in three Christian traditions in the last 150 years
  • will be able to locate these changes in a broader conceptual understanding of changes in church and society
Subject-specific Skills:
  • will be able to identify and evaluate areas of ecumenical convergence in liturgical theology and liturgical revision
  • will be able to comment critically on liturgical texts and other related documents, locating them within a broader theological framework
  • will be able, using appropriate research methodology, to assess the interplay between textual revision and ‘popular’ developments in worship
  • will be able, using appropriate research methodology, to assess and respond to reactions, both positive and negative, to liturgical revision in the churches studied
Key Skills:
  • should be able to engage in creative, theologically well-informed, research-aware and effectively communicated liturgical revision in their own denomination and ecumenically.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • enter text as appropriate for the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures Up to 20 Weekly over Terms 1 and 2 90 minutes 30
Seminars Form part of lectures
Practicals (composition and analysis of texts) Form part of lectures

Summative Assessment

Component: Project Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Construction of liturgy piece or act of worship 100%
Component: Commentary Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Theological commentary on Project 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assignments: leadership of seminar with feedback from course tutors and book review of 2,500 words with written feedback. Written feedback on summative assessment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University