Dr. Ron Rienstra

Professor of Preaching and Worship Arts, Director of Worship Life

AB University of Michigan
MDiv Princeton Theological Seminary
PhD Fuller Theological Seminary
“I often tell my students that worship is like sailing: we work hard at preaching and presiding, but we aren’t in control of what happens. The Spirit blows where it will; our joyful task as preachers and worship leaders is to let out as much sail as we possibly can. When we trim the sails well – when we preach with clarity and vividness, when we celebrate the sacraments with richness and vitality, when we enact the church’s liturgy with authenticity and faithfulness – then we cooperate in God’s transforming work, bringing our full presence into the presence of the Triune God who meets us on Sunday and shapes us for Christian living all week long.”
Dr. Ron Rienstra

Dr. Ron Rienstra

About Dr. Ron Rienstra

Since his ordination in the RCA in 1993, Dr. Ron Rienstra has lived and ministered at educational institutions in Iowa (Central College), Michigan (Calvin College), and California (Fuller Seminary), pursuing his primary interest: helping preachers, congregations, worship teams, and individuals learn to deepen and enliven their gatherings with God. All the while he remained active in local church life as an interim pastor, preacher, worship leader, and consultant. When he first arrived at WTS, Dr. Rienstra was instrumental in the renovation of Mulder Chapel in 2012 and the subsequent renaissance in the seminary’s worshipping life.

He is the author of Church at Church (Pickwick, 2017) and coauthor (with his wife, Debra) of Worship Words: Disciplining Language for Faithful Ministry (BakeAcademic, 2009). Together, they have three grown children, a multiplicity of living-room instruments, and a tame backyard they are slowly rewilding.

Areas of Expertise 

Dr. Rienstra’s dissertation focused on the liturgical ecclesiology of Swiss reformed theologian Jean-Jacques von Allmen. His other research interests include exploring postmodernism and its effect on worship and preaching, mapping the place of corporate worship in seminary education in North America, and developing a homiletical pedagogy based on the Suzuki music method. More recently, he and his wife have been leading a D.Min. cohort considering how the church might be a Refugia community in an era of climate crisis.


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Church at Church: Jean-Jacques von Allmen’s Liturgical Ecclesiology

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Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry

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Ten Service Plans for Contemporary Worship

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