Lyrics and Theology

Words we sing are extraordinarily powerful.  They become our confession.  Music reinforces and empowers those words.  They stick in our head, which means they become our meditation.  Many authors have had things to say about the lyrics of songs sung in church, but the arguments are particularly partisan and heated in our present day.  Contemporary congregational songs, with their popular musical influences are a hot topic.  Are their lyrics inferior to traditional hymns?  How should we approach their analysis and assessment?  What would Jesus sing?

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: WOR220
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Daniel Thornton


The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Lyrics and Theology

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content

Curriculum Objective

This subject explores Christian song lyrics.  It particularly focuses on contemporary congregational songs, their theological frameworks and compositional techniques.  The discussion begins by focussing on songs in Scripture, and establishes theological intent and poetic interpretation.  Finally, the student will apply their knowledge to the writing of original lyrics


  1. Apply relevant Theological frameworks to the practice of lyric writing;
  2. Explain the purpose and effect of songs within Scripture;
  3. Compare the historical and contemporary language of lyrics with that of Scripture;
  4. Create lyrics consistent with your Theological and Doctrinal convictions;
  5. Examine the power of a song to influence people’s belief and behaviour;
  6. Apply lyrical structures and tools to the practice of lyric writing.

Subject Content

  1. Songs in Scripture
  2. Lyrics as an influencer of doctrine
  3. Historical lyrical content of worship
  4. Contemporary Pentecostal language in lyrics
  5. Theological frameworks for lyric writing
  6. Lyrical structures and tools

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to Face (onsite)
  • Distance/E-learning (online)
  • Intensive (One week: 7 hours per day for 5 days = 35 class hours + approx 85 hours out of class time for research, writing, exam preparation and execution, ancillary activities associated with completion of assigned tasks)

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis University College.

Assessment Methods

  • Forum Postings (25%)
  • Oral Presentation (25%)
  • Major Lyric Composition (50%)

Prescribed Text

  • Primary readings provided