Bachelor of Arts inChurch Music

Majoring in Church Music involves studying the history, theory, writing and performance of religious music. In addition to musical training, you’ll gain experience leading various styles of worship, such as the services with traditional hymns, praise band-led services, Taizé contemplative acoustic services, ancient chant services, multimedia worship services and global music in worship. You’ll gain knowledge and skills that are important for any music ministry area as you take 48 to 52 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Church Music Curriculum Overview

While the Church Music major enjoys all of the features
of the Music program in general, the Church Music major has the following more specific features:
(a) there are organ, choral, piano, guitar, instrumental, composition, and generalist tracks, thus equipping students to lead both traditional liturgies and contemporary worship formats.
(b) each track shares the core musicianship (music theory/analysis/writing/ear-training/keyboard harmony) and music history courses. Private lessons and ensembles applicable to each track are also part of the core.
(c) each track has specialized courses, culminating in a senior project/recital in the track.
(d) the program culminates in a two-credit internship in a church (done while the student is attending school) in a metro area church.
(e) students may add Director of Parish Music Certification by completing the Confessional Lutheranism minor, completing a portfolio, and passing the entrance and exit interviews. This leads to rostered church worker status as a Commissioned Minister in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

With several tracks available, the Director of Parish Music certification at Concordia allows students to pursue music ministry in the area that best suits their interests and talents.

Prerequisites
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MUS - 101 Basic Musicianship 2
MUS - 111 Class Piano I 2
MUS - 112 Class Piano II 2
MUS - 115 Beginning Guitar I 1

Basic Musicianship is designed for the student with little background in music. This course will present concepts needed for an understanding of the basic fundamentals of music theory. Students will also have an introduction to ear training and the keyboard. (Offered every spring. No prerequisite. This course can serve as a prerequisite for MUS201 and ED446. Studio course.)

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This is the first of two courses in a beginning piano instruction sequence. Through group class instruction students are given a practical knowledge of the keyboard and an understanding of the tonal-rhythmic structure of music. Keyboard skills requisite for handling classroom music situations or for personal enjoyment of music are developed. (Offered every fall and spring. No prerequisite. Players with previous keyboard experience may be exempt by examination. Can serve as a prerequisite to MUS201 and ED446. Studio course.)

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This is the second of two courses in a beginning piano instruction sequence. Through group class instruction students are given a practical knowledge of the keyboard and an understanding of the tonal-rhythmic structure of music. Keyboard skills requisite for handling classroom music situations or for personal enjoyment of music are developed. (Offered every fall and spring. No prerequisite. Players with previous keyboard experience may be exempt by examination. Can serve as a prerequisite to MUS201 and ED446. Studio course.)

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This course is designed for those with no knowledge of the instrument. Areas covered include tuning the guitar, strumming techniques, chords-two keys, and transposing. Open to all students. (Offered every fall and spring. No prerequisite. Players with previous guitar experience may be exempt by examination and move on to private guitar if desired or needed for program. Studio course.)

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Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MUS - 201 Musicianship I 4
MUS - 202 Musicianship II 4
MUS - 261 Beginning Conducting 2
MUS - 301 Musicianship III 4
MUS - 302 Musicianship IV 4
MUS - 321 Music History I 3
MUS - 322 Music History II 3
MUS - 323 Music History III 3
MUS - 439 Parish Music Admin Field Exp 2
MUS - 713 Jubilate Choir 1
THL - 460 Worship for Lutherans 3

This course begins with a brief review of music fundamentals (scales, keys, intervals and triads) and continues with four-part harmonic writing, and basic analysis. Exercises in keyboard harmony, sight singing, and dictation are included in the course.(Offered every fall. Prerequisite: MUS101 or equivalent as determined by music placement test.)

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Students continue to learn four-part harmonic writing, including the use of inversions and seventh chords. Exercises in analysis incorporate the study of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and form. Dictation, sight singing, and keyboard harmony are continued. (Offered every spring. Prerequisite: MUS201 or equivalent.)

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The goal of this introductory course is to begin to develop a clear and expressive conducting technique. Students will conduct in class frequently, videotaping their work and receiving immediate feedback and suggestions for improvement. Students will learn to conduct regular beat patterns, preparatory gestures, cues, cutoffs, deadbeats, fermatas, asymmetrical patterns, and subdivided gestures. Students will learn to make thoughtful decisions in varying their conducting pattern to show changes in dynamics, tempo, and articulation. Activities to strengthen the inner ear while conducting will also be included. Requirement: for Church Music and Music Education majors. (Offered every odd fall. Prerequisites: music reading ability, MUS201 and/or consent of instructor. Studio course.)

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Students learn to write in the contrapuntal style of the 18th century. Chromatic harmonies and a study of classical period forms are also included in the course. Dictation, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony are continued. (Offered every fall. Prerequisite: MUS202 or equivalent.)

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Students explore the new directions composers have taken in the 20th century and compose their own pieces in various contemporary styles. Keyboard harmony, dictation, and sight-singing are continued. (Offered every spring. Prerequisite: MUS301.)

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This course explores the Ancient, medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque periods of Western music. (Offered every third semester in sequence with the other two Music History Courses). Prerequisites: MUS120 or MUS121, MUS201.)

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This course explores the 18th and 19th centuries of Western music. (Offered every third semester in sequence with the other two Music History Courses). Prerequisites: MUS120 or MUS121, MUS201. MUS321 is preferred, but not required.)

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This course explores Western Music from the late 19th century to the present. (Offered every third semester in sequence with the other two Music History Courses). Prerequisites MUS 120 or 121 and 201. MUS 321 and 322 preferred but not required.

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This course offers experiences in parish music under the supervision of a cooperating parish musician. Activities include directing choirs, leading and accompanying congregational singing, performing attendant music, working with instrumentalists and cantors, planning worship, and composing practical service music. (Offered on demand. Prerequisite: approval of Music Department.)

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This choir regularly provides music for chapel worship. Special projects include the Fine Arts Christmas Concert and choral worship services throughout the year. While full-year membership is desired, students may audition to enter the choir at semester breaks. Jubilate is an excellent ensemble for students who wish to sing but are involved in other touring ensembles or will be off-campus part of the year as student teachers or interns. (Offered every fall and spring. Prerequisite: choral audition for placement by instructor.)

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Exploring early church experience and Reformation teaching, the student uncovers the meaning of worship. Critical evaluation of contemporary practice and recent developments in worship make the student better able to provide leadership in congregational worship life.

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Bachelor of Arts degrees at Concordia University, St. Paul consists of a major of typically 32 to 44 credits or two minors, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 128 credits.

Meet Your Professors

Rev. Dr. David Lumpp Th.D. Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Professor of Theology and Ministry

Dr. Lumpp's areas of professional expertise are primarily in systematic and historical theology.

Dr. Rhoda Schuler Term Faculty in Religion

Dr. Schuler’s research passions are liturgical theology and ritual studies, which she views as more than academic disciplines.

Dr. Mark Schuler Department of Theology and Ministry Chairperson, Professor of Theology

Schuler passes on his passion for Biblical Greek and the New Testament to Concordia students in the classroom.

Dr. David Mennicke Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, Music Department Chair

Dr. Mennicke's teaching expertise covers choral conducting, voice training, music education, church music, musical theatre, and music arranging.

Career Potential

You’ll also have real opportunities to learn beyond the classroom by participating in instrumental groups (such as the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, String Ensemble, Handbell Ensemble, Musical Theatre Pit Orchestra, Christmas Concert Orchestra and Chapel Band) and vocal groups (such as the Christus Chorus, Jubilate, Opera Workshop, Shades of Harmony Gospel Choir and Vocal Jazz Ensemble). Because we design our church music program to be responsive to the exact needs of the marketplace, it will be a relevant major if you’re considering a career as a church music director/teacher, composer/arranger, organist, music ensemble director or worship planner/coordinator.

  • Church Music Director
  • Classroom Music Teacher
  • Composer/Arranger
  • Music Ensemble Director
  • Organist
  • Private Music Lesson Teacher
  • Worship Planner/Coordinator

Related Programs
Discover Similar Programs at CSP

Bachelor of Arts in Music

Credit Hours: 44

Specialty Studies in Director of Parish Music

Credit Hours:

Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries

Credit Hours: 42

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