Georgia Lodewyk — Staff Writer
This past year at Dordt University, Dr. Jeremy Perigo has been busy writing papers, responses, and answering questions all while working as the university Director of Campus Ministries and Worship Arts. In December of last year, the work paid off.
Perigo earned himself a slot as one of seventeen individuals chosen to receive the Teacher-Scholars grant. This grant has been established as part of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship’s Vital Worship Grants Program. Each funded project holds a unique emphasis, from arts and trauma healing to Byzantine iconography. The CICW hopes these projects will “deepen people’s understanding of worship and strengthen practices of public worship and faith formation.” Perigo’s grant provides him with the opportunity to research a topic near to his mind and heart.
“My central passion is to help our Dordt worship arts students connect with the leading thinkers in the area of worship, theology and music,” Perigo said, “It will allow me to help be the translator of material to students.”
This research grant will allow Perigo to research books written by various professors and scholars of theology, worship arts, and music, and translate them in a way that allows students to engage and learn from the text. Perigo also hopes to create discussion podcasts with global scholars with students in mind as the audience. Perigo’s podcasts will also be free and available to the public through social media outlets including YouTube.
“We’re all worshippers,” Perigo said, “This is a way to think about that from a theological angle and a Christian angle.”
Perigo hopes his podcasts and discussions will fuse the topics of theology, music, and worship together in a way that gets all worshippers to study beyond the music on the sheets of paper or the words on the screen.
“There’s lots of podcasts on how to be a better worship leader,” Perigo said, “There’s a lot on how to study the Bible, but there is not a lot that brings those themes together, and that’s what I’m excited about.”
The Vital Worship Arts grant program, headquartered on the campus of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has awarded 900 grants since the year 2000 to churches, universities, and organizations. Funding from this grant will provide Perigo with media equipment for podcasts and videos, books from scholars and professors, and the ability to focus on his research for the 2021-2022 school year.
“We are grateful for each of these Teacher-Scholars and the promise of their work for strengthening congregational life,” said John Witvliet, director of the CICW, about the 2021 grant recipients.