Institute Seminars

Seminars are limited to 25 registrants each and are scheduled concurrently on Monday, April 28, 2014 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. 

Participants are encouraged to be prepared to perform or show their work if invited by the leaders to do so, each according to the focus of the class. Participants may receive instruction in the topics listed; for those who already have training in the area, the class can also serve as a model for how to teach the topic.  Participation in Seminars requires an additional fee of $65 with full registration or $75 if not attending the Institute.




Maxwell Johnson, Professor of Liturgical Studies

Maxwell Johnson is Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame.  His research interests are in the origins and development of early Christian Liturgy and in the history and theology of the rites of Christian initiation.  His book, The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation, revised and expanded edition (Collegeville: Pueblo, 2007), is widely used in schools of theology and seminaries.

He is the author and/or editor of several books, including Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2005); as co-author with Paul F. Bradshaw, The Orgins of Feasts, Fasts, and Seasons (London: SPCK, 2011), and over 75 articles in scholarly and pastoral-theological publications.

Title:  "What's New in the Study of the Liturgical Year?"

Location:  Brown & Gold Room, Harre Union

The seminar will focus on contemporary liturgical scholarship on the origins, evolution, and meaning of Sunday, Pascha, Christmas, and the feasts of saints, especially in early Christianity but with contemporary implications.



Gertrud Mueller Nelson

Gertrud Mueller Nelson is an author, artist, speaker, and Montessori teacher (retired).  She is know especially for her book: "To Dance with God" and for her church clip art.

Title:  Liturgy and Life
Location:  Heritage Room, Harre Union

We mark the turning of the seasons in the church, through the year and in our lives.  Everyday life invites us to knit together the Great Liturgy with ceremonies and celebrations in the domestic church.  The process of wholeness is wrought through rites, prayer, music, folk lore and play.  It is the very human way we knit together Heaven and Earth.


Anne Krentz Organ

Anne Krentz Organ serves as the Director of Music Ministries at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, IL.  She holds degrees from Valparaiso University, the University of Illinois, and Concordia University at River Forest, IL.  Her choral, handbell, organ, and piano compositions are published by Abingdon Press, Augsburg Fortress, Choristers Guild, Concordia Publishing House, and MorningStar Music.  Anne currently serves as President of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.

Title:  Composing for the Lectionary

Location:  Valparaiso University Center for the Arts (VUCA), Room 1420

The Revised Common Lectionary provides ample opportunities for creativity.  Church musicians may find shorter texts, such as gospel acclamations and psalm refrains, to be a goldmine for composition.  Participants in this seminar will be invited to choose from a group of selected texts and will be given time to create a gospel acclamation or psalm refrain for use in their own community.



Jacob Slichter

Jacob Slichter is a professional drummer and writer.  He leads the percussion ensembles at Saint Lydia's Church and Not So Churchy, both of which are in Brooklyn, NY.

Title:  Drumming with Congregational Singing

Location: Valparaiso University Center for the Arts (VUCA), Duesenberg Recital Hall

This seminar will explore the use of hand drums and percussion in support of congregational singing.  How can percussion support and enhance the beauty of congregational singing without overwhelming it?  How can non-composers create well-balanced percussion arrangements that reinforce and enhance the essential character of what the congregation is singing?  This hands-on seminar will engage players of all levels, from beginners to seasoned players.  The underlying principles will sharpen the ears of clergy and lay leaders in any liturgical music-setting (including organists, choir directors, and ensemble instrumentalists) as they seek to build a more powerful experience of music-making in their congregation, one that fosters deep listening and collaboration.