World Arts Courses

Undergraduate Courses

WA2381-IN Arts for a Better Future (Intensive) (MayExt) (2 undergraduate credits)

In this undergrad course, students will learn to help a community recognize, value, and plan to use its own arts to meet local needs and goals. The course provides a compact overview of the Create Local Arts Together (CLAT) model of community engagement. The CLAT process consists of seven flexible steps grounded in ethnographic and appreciative inquiry approaches: meet a community and its arts; specify goals; select communication genre and content; analyze the genre; spark creativity; improve new works and creative systems; integrate and celebrate for continuity. Students will engage with the model through three pedagogical cycles. This course is also available at the graduate level by registering for WA5381.

See a short video here.

You may also view the Arts for a Better Future FAQ.

WA3380-IN Introduction to Ethnodoxology (Intensive) (May) (3 undergraduate credits)

This is a foundational course introducing key principles of ethnodoxology that will help students serve worshipping communities more effectively, whether overseas or in multi-ethnic North American contexts. Students will experience a corpus of songs and other artistic liturgical expressions from around the world, developing a vision for multicultural worship. In addition, students will explore appropriate ways to incorporate these artistic expressions into the worship life of their communities.

This course is also available at the graduate level by registering for WA5380.

Registration for a workshop version (no credit) is available in partnership with the International Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE) – see here.

WA3386-SL World Arts Practicum (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course entails acquiring the performance and artistic skills needed for cross-cultural participation in one of the artistic traditions of a community.  Emphasis is on developing an understanding of how to perform within the context of a chosen tradition, including researching this tradition and how it functions artistically and socially in its community.  The choice of ethnic ensemble or mentoring relationships will vary depending upon the artistic tradition chosen for study and availability of local mentors.

WA4322 Video Production and Editing (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course offers practical experience in video creation, production, directing, and editing. Focusing on workflow in preproduction, production, and post production, the course examines the stages of preparation and execution for each phase of a given project from inception to completion. Working on a real project, students will learn and practice advanced skills in preparation planning, field recording, editing, and uploading digital-media-based data. Students will learn the basics of audio/visual aesthetics and telling a story through video.

WA4382 Survey of World Arts (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course overviews various local artistic traditions from communities around the world, showing how these artistic expressions perform important cultural functions and serve as markers of identity. It explores how local artists are agents for both cultural preservation and cultural transformation. Experiencing diverse arts helps the student understand the cultural values these arts express.

WA4387 Area Studies for World Arts (Spring/Summer) (3 undergraduate credits)

Through this course, students will develop preliminary skills for researching and analyzing artistic genres within their cultural context. Student research will focus on an ethnolinguistic group of the student’s choice, including diasporic groups.

Graduate Courses

WA5190 Thesis Writing (Spring/Fall) (1 graduate credit)

Techniques and skill development for researching and writing a thesis. Strongly recommended for all students writing a thesis at the master’s level in World Arts.

Note: This course is graded P/F. Completion of this course will count as equivalent to WA5191 Thesis, but will not trigger the requirement for continuing registration.

WA5339 Research Methods for World Arts (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

In this course, students will investigate, describe, and interact with the people and processes involved in a community’s creativity and performance. Course assignments include daily readings, class discussions, reflective and academic writing. Students will also be assigned an in-depth field research project with local arts practitioners, offering opportunities to improve skills in planning and performing research tasks, interviewing, participant-observation, note-taking, and audio- and video-recording. These field methods lead students to find answers to questions such as: What kinds of arts exist locally? What are some solutions to common difficulties in field and library-based research? How have scholars and practitioners conceptualized artistic expressions? In what ways do arts communicate within and beyond a community? How are new innovations in established traditions developed and integrated into a society?

WA5380-IN Theory and Practice of Ethnodoxology (Intensive) (May) (3 graduate credits)

This course explores the biblical, historical, and cultural principles of ethnodoxology for cross-cultural workers, community leaders, and worship facilitators, helping them to serve worshipping communities more effectively, whether overseas or in multi-ethnic North American contexts. Students are prepared to design the introduction of new artistic expressions into their own worshipping communities, undergirded by the use of relevant research methodologies and multicultural worship approaches.

This course is also available at the undergraduate level by registering for WA3380.

Registration for a workshop version (no credit) is available in partnership with the International Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE) – see here.

WA5381-IN Arts for a Better Future (Intensive) (MayExt) (3 graduate credits)

In this grad-level course, students will learn to help a community recognize, value, and plan to use its own arts to meet local needs and goals. The course provides a compact overview of the Create Local Arts Together (CLAT) model of community engagement. The CLAT process consists of seven flexible steps grounded in ethnographic and appreciative inquiry approaches: meet a community and its arts; specify goals; select communication genre and content; analyze the genre; spark creativity; improve new works and creative systems; integrate and celebrate for continuity. Students will engage with the model through three pedagogical cycles, culminating in applying it to a real-life context. This course is also available at the undergraduate level by registering for WA3381.

See a short video here.

You may also view the Arts for a Better Future FAQ.

WA5382 Applied Arts (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

This course prepares students to work with a local community to catalyze the creation of new vernacular Scripture-based and community-development messages in indigenous forms of artistic communication. Students learn to encourage sustainability and integrate these expressions into local community life by designing interactive, dialogue-based learning activities for arts-discovery and arts-creation workshops; mentoring local artists; promoting the dissemination of indigenous Christian works; and encouraging the positive self-identity that these forms may engender.

WA5382-SL Applied Arts (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

This course prepares students to work with a local community to catalyze the creation of new vernacular Scripture-based and community-development messages in indigenous forms of artistic communication. Students learn to encourage sustainability and integrate these expressions into local community life by designing interactive, dialogue-based learning activities for arts-discovery and arts-creation workshops; mentoring local artists; promoting the dissemination of indigenous Christian works; and encouraging the positive self-identity that these forms may engender.

WA5383-IN Arts and Trauma Healing (Intensive) (Spring/MayExt) (3 graduate credits)

DALLAS – (May-Extended, with 2-week INTENSIVE on campus in Dallas)
UK – (Spring, with a 2-week INTENSIVE onsite in the UK)

This course teaches a holistic, interactive approach to engaging Scripture in the healing process for people who suffer from the mental, emotional, and spiritual effects of trauma. It combines biblical truths with basic mental health principles expressed in ways that can be easily translated into other languages. Students learn to address both cognitive beliefs and emotions damaged by trauma, both in their own lives and in the lives of others. They learn to use participatory learning methods to train local church leaders in ways that help them to become effective care-givers. In particular, this course will emphasize the importance of performing and visual arts in trauma healing. Students will understand and be able to articulate and demonstrate the role, the value, and the effectiveness of using the arts in trauma healing from a historical and contemporary perspective. Students will be able to promote emotional and spiritual healing in traumatized communities through the use of local visual and performing arts existing in those communities.

Crafted as a “blended” course, a required two-week period of on-campus participatory classes is preceded and followed by online reading and writing assignments.

The course is offered during Spring with a two-week intensive in the UK or during May Extended with a two-week intensive on campus in Dallas.

For more detail, go to the Arts and Trauma Healing FAQ.

This course is offered in collaboration with American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute (THI) and the Trauma Healing Alliance. In addition to earning Dallas Int’l course credit, students who demonstrate readiness during the course will be certified by THI as “Apprentice Facilitators” in trauma healing.

WA5384 Expressive Form Analysis (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

This course trains students to perform initial structural analysis of musical, verbal, dramatic, dance, and visual features of an ethnolinguistic community’s artistic genres. Such analyses contribute vitally to local communities’ efforts to address their needs and aspirations. Instructional methodologies include participation in these arts.

WA5384-SL Expressive Form Analysis (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

This course trains students to perform initial structural analysis of musical, verbal, dramatic, dance, and visual features of an ethnolinguistic community’s artistic genres. Such analyses contribute vitally to local communities’ efforts to address their needs and aspirations. Instructional methodologies include participation in these arts.

WA5385 Song Transcription and Analysis (TBA) (3 graduate credits)

This course employs a variety of methodologies for the transcription and analysis of musical features of song (vocal music). It will develop the student’s capacity to recognize the salient musical features of a song in any world music tradition and describe those features graphically, textually, and orally.

WA5386 Directed Practicum in World Arts (Spring/Fall) (3 graduate credits)

This course entails acquiring the performance and artistic skills needed for cross-cultural participation in one of the artistic traditions of a community. Emphasis is on developing an understanding of how to perform within the context of a chosen tradition, including researching this tradition and how it functions artistically and socially in its community. The choice of ethnic ensemble or mentoring relationships will vary depending upon the artistic tradition chosen for study and availability of local mentors. The students will take initiative in choosing and engaging their mentor in consultation with the course head. This course may be retaken if the genre studied is completely different from a previous session.

WA5386-SL Directed Practicum in World Arts (Spring/Fall) (3 graduate credits)

This course entails acquiring the performance and artistic skills needed for cross-cultural participation in one of the artistic traditions of a community. Emphasis is on developing an understanding of how to perform within the context of a chosen tradition, including researching this tradition and how it functions artistically and socially in its community. The choice of ethnic ensemble or mentoring relationships will vary depending upon the artistic tradition chosen for study and availability of local mentors. The students will take initiative in choosing and engaging their mentor in consultation with the course head. This course may be retaken if the genre studied is completely different from a previous session.

WA5389-OL Advanced Form Analysis (Spring) (3 graduate credits)

After completing this course, students will be able to apply research methodologies (including participation, observation, ethnographic and/or feedback interview, and other methods) to develop a working knowledge of a particular artistic tradition; use a notational system (if appropriate) to analyze the stylistic distinctives of this tradition; create an annotated research and analysis bibliography for a chosen art form; and describe an artistic tradition in terms of its formal and symbolic elements, history, and social functions.


WA6339-SL Advanced Theory for World Arts (Spring) (3 graduate credits)

Students will confront a selection of theories that are important to current research and fieldwork in the arts and humanities. The course readings will include primary sources and current engagements with relevant theories. Students will engage with these readings, seek out related resources in their own areas of specialty, and demonstrate synthesis of these ideas with their area of focus.

WA6370-IN Multidisciplinary Perspectives on World Arts (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

This course looks at World Arts through five lenses: scriptural foundations guiding arts engagement; cultural analysis for valuing the complexity of artistic expression in multi-cultural and diaspora settings; historical perspectives demonstrating how artistic traditions have responded to power, politics, resources, and agency; missiological reflection on communication models employed by faith communities exhibiting creative embrace of the arts; and liturgical implications of this study for integrating arts in the church’s worship.

WA6380-IN Advanced Theory of Ethnodoxology (Intensive) (MayExt) (3 graduate credits)

This course explores the biblical, historical, theological, and cultural principles of ethnodoxology for cross-cultural workers, community leaders, worship facilitators, and academic leaders. Students are prepared to analyze current ethnodoxological trends and perform original research, thereby expanding the boundaries of this emerging discipline.

WA6381-IN Cross-cultural Education Methods (Intensive) (MayExt) (3 graduate credits)

Training people in the principles of world arts, whether in primarily monocultural or cross-cultural contexts, requires an understanding of effective teaching methods. In this course, students will explore the theories, methodologies, and philosophies of effective community arts engagement models. They will learn how to apply ethnographic research methods to demonstrate how teaching and learning can be adapted for particular social contexts.

WA6395 World Arts & Religious Expression (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

Religious faith is expressed through language and artistic communication. In this course, students will survey a range of ways that the world’s religious traditions make use of artistic communication genres to express their beliefs. Having looked at the use of music, visual art, drama, dance, and other arts domains as applied by various religious traditions, students will then investigate the use of the arts in the religious life of their chosen research communities.

WA6387 Area Studies for World Arts (Fall) (3 graduate credits)

The focus of this class is the artistic genres in evidence within the student’s chosen research communities. Students will be mentored through a process of discovery, organization, and analysis, emerging with a more comprehensive picture of the artistic activities and their formal characteristics within a community or region. This process will result in the formulation or refining of a dissertation research question.

WA6389-OL Advanced Artistic Form Analysis (Spring) (3 graduate credits)

This course will guide the student through rigorous investigation of an artistic tradition, exploring the distinctive features of the tradition through ethnographic and form analysis. By engaging in analytical methods appropriate to the chosen art form, students will produce an ethnographically grounded analysis of a corpus of works from that artistic tradition, expanding the currently available knowledge about that tradition.

WA6390-SL Research & Communication for World Arts (Spring) (3 graduate credits)

Scholarship demands clear planning and structure for research projects, along with effective writing and communication skills. Students in this class will hone their abilities in designing good research topics, questions, and data-gathering strategies. They will also learn to write with greater precision and clarity, making an in-depth study of style and usage in English through selected readings and rigorous practice and coaching. Through this study, students will gain skills in communicating with a wide range of audiences, furthering the contribution their research makes.

WA6391 Dissertation (Spring/Fall) (3 graduate credits)

By permission of your dissertation committee; graded P/F; may be repeated.