Do you have a love for music and a passion for ministry? SBU's church music degree will prepare you for service in music ministry by teaching you the foundations of church music concepts and skills with emphasis on performance.
You will benefit from courses in both music and Christian ministry, including a required internship. Choose a concentration in either instrumental, keyboard or vocal music. You also can choose to complete a performer's certificate, which demonstrates superior music performance ability.
The Church Music degree is offered through SBU's Geneva Casebolt College of Music, Arts and Letters.
SBU's church music degree naturally integrates academic discipline with Christian faith through the unique combination of music theory and performance courses with Christian ministry coursework. As you pursue your church music degree, you are preparing for full-time or bivocational ministry and SBU faculty are committed to preparing them to be both academically equipped and spiritually prepared.
Faculty in SBU's department of music are all professing Christians while also highly acclaimed musicians in their own rights. Courses are intentionally taught through a Christian perspective and the personal faith of the faculty is naturally integrated in how they teach and interact with students.
Most church music graduates are employed in either full-time or bivocational music ministry. Examples include:
SBU Church Music majors have the opportunity to complete internships in various area churches and ministries while enrolled at SBU. These internships will enhance your degree and give you important experience as worship leaders, church choir directors, music ministers, and more.
Several SBU students recently have completed semester-long internships at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Several church music graduates have gone on to pursue further education in music and/or ministry, and have studied at institutions such as:
I attribute to SBU both my understanding of music and my professional attitude toward excellence in music. SBU prepared me well to serve my church professionally as I received a top-notch musical and theological education.
Join SBU's Zeta Zeta chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, a national music honor society. It is the only music organization recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies. Each year, a select few of the top junior and senior music majors are voted upon by music faculty to join this distinguished national organization.
Student presidents of Chorale, Concert Choir, Wind Symphony, University Band, Chamber Orchestra, Church Music Conference, and National Association for Music Education, along with a representative of keyboard students and one at-large member comprise the Student Advisory Council. This group serves the department of music by assisting in planning social events, identifying problem areas, and setting goals for the future. By serving on this council, you will help represent other music students to faculty and administration, and grow in leadership opportunities.
More than 15 music performance ensembles provide you many opportunities for developing
your music performance skills. Ensemble options include various vocal ensembles, bands,
orchestra and more.
Audition for one or more of these groups as you put your learning into action!
Join SBU's student chapter of the national Baptist Church Music conference. Membership is open to all students with an interest in worship leadership regardless of major. By joining this organization you will have the opportunity to attend the annual conference each spring and benefit from fellowship and informational meetings each semester.
SBU's collegiate chapter of NafME introduces music education students to the world of professional music educators. In addition to regular on-campus meetings, you also will have the opportunity to attend the Missouri Music Educators Association in-service conference each January.
Marc Baker, Percussion
Esther Clifton, Cello
Eric Jackson, French Horn
Melissa Roberts, Piano, Theory
Regina Bruner, Clarinet
Michelle Draper, Flute
Andy Johnston, Chamber Orchestra
John Trew, Guitar
Timothy Burgher, Church Music
Carol Harrison, Violina, Viola
Andrew Lewis, Higher Ground
Tim Wootton, Trumpet
The majority of SBU music students are selected to receive financial assistance through a music performance scholarship in one or more areas (keyboard, vocal and instrumental). Awards are renewable annually. Requirements for receiving scholarships are listed with each scholarship:
Choral and Instrumental Scholarships — Participate in an assigned role in SBU ensembles
Keyboard Scholarships — Perform assigned accompanying duties for soloists and/or ensembles in the department
All scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.5 minimum grade point average in all college course work.
Sample four-year plans vary according to your chosen primary applied area of study: Voice, Keyboard or Instrumental (Non-Keyboard). Course order may vary depending on which semester you enter and when certain courses are offered. See advisor for details. The plans are available for download here: