Judson University Faculty Information; Mark Torgerson - Professor of Worship Arts

Faculty profile

Torgerson, profile, 2008Mark A. Torgerson
Associate Professor
E-mail, click here
Phone: 847-628-1068
Department: Worship Arts
Office: Lindner Tower, third floor, #323
At Judson Since: 2002
curriculum vitae

Academic degrees
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1996
M.A., University of Notre Dame, 1993
M.Div., North Park Theological Seminary, 1988
B.S., California State University, Fresno, 1982

Dr. Torgerson teaches in the areas of theology, worship and architecture. He has explored and enjoyed Christian worship events on four continents, yielding an appreciation for the diversity of expressions that emerge from many cultures. Professor Torgerson has a particular interest in the intersection between the visual arts and worship. He has recently published the book An Architecture of Immanence in which contemporary design for churches in Europe and the United States is examined. Professor Torgerson is also a painter, using primarily acrylic on canvas. About one half of his painting is oriented toward artifacts designed for worship events. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church, having served churches in Wisconsin and Connecticut. Honors include: Invited participant in the Seminars in Christian Scholarship program, Calvin College; Dissertation Teaching Fellow, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame; Dissertation Fellow, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame; Honors Program, North Park Theological Seminary.

Courses Taught
History and Theology of Christian Worship, Designing Worship, Worship and the Arts, Introduction to Old Testament, Architecture for Christian Worship, and others

Interests and Expertise
Christian worship; church architecture; visual arts in the church

An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry Today. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007.

“Ecumenism, Worship Renewal, and Reforming Spaces for Christian Worship.” In In Spirit and Truth: Essays on Theology, Spirituality, and Embodiment in Honor of C. John Weborg, eds. Philip J. Anderson and Michelle A. Clifton-Soderstrom, 154-179. Chicago: Covenant Publications, 2006.

Review of A Broken Beauty ed. by Theodore L. Prescott, Worship, Volume 80, Number 4 (July 2006): 373-375.

Review of From Meetinghouse to Megachurch: A Material and Cultural History by Anne C. Loveland and Otis B. Wheeler, Worship, Volume 79, Number 1 (January 2005): 82-84.

Professional presentations
Upcoming, keynote speaker for "The Body: Worship and the Arts," Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 09-12 July 2008.

Upcoming, "The Fullness of Christ: Exploring Jesus through the Arts," Family Bible Camp, Camp Findley, New York, 20-26 July 2008.

“Exploring Media in Worship,” Worship and the Arts Workshop, Court Street United Methodist Church, Rockford, Illinois, 03 November 2007.

“Seeing and Believing: Exploring Religion through the Arts,” Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area, Pedagogy Symposium, Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois, 06 October 2007.

“Immanence in Church Design: Its Rise, Potential and Limitations,” Speaker Series in Liturgical Design, Office for Divine Worship, Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 09 March 2007.

“Contemporary Church Design: Past, Present and Future Considerations,” Worship Space and the Visual Arts Conference, Unity Christian Reformed Church, Prinsburg, Minnesota, 17 February 2007.

“Embracing our Inheritance: Appreciating and Maximizing our Worship and Ministry Environments,” Calvin Symposium on Worship and the Arts, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 26-27 January 2007.

Professional societies
American Academy of Religion
Christians in the Visual Arts
North American Academy of Liturgy
Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies

Current projects
Research into the theological foundation for pursuing environmentally-friendly church design.
Research into the visual arts and architecture of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
Research into contemporary European and American painting exhibiting biblical or theological references.

Recommended links*
Alternative Worship. www.alternativeworship.org [a good starting point for exploring the alternative worship and emerging church movements]
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, www.calvin.edu/worship [an excellent array of resources to explore and renew worship in the church]
Christians in Theatre Arts, www.cita.org [a primary organization and website for those involved in theatre]
Christians in the Visual Arts, www.civa.org [a primary organization and website for those involved in the visual arts of all kinds]
Georgetown Center for Liturgy, www.envisionchurch.org [a substantial website for seeking renewal in worship in light of the Roman Catholic tradition]
Image, www.imagejournal.org [an important journal for artists of faith to share their work and reflections; also includes links for conferences and workshops]
Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, www.liturgy.nd.edu [a primary site for worship resources seeking renewal within Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions; has particularly helpful bibliographies]
The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, www.iwsfla.org [a study program in worship studies at the graduate level; Professor Torgerson maintains their on-line bibliography]
The Sacred Dance Guild, www.sacreddanceguild.org [a primary organization and website for those involved in dance]
Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, www.sarts.org [a primary site for those exploring theology through the arts; includes a link to their excellent journal]
Theology through the Arts, www.theolarts.org [a primary site for exploring theology and the arts on many levels; many links to additional organizations and resources]

*The above listed websites do not necessarily reflect the views of Judson University.

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