ACU to offer new Worship Ministry degree in Fall 2007

Posted April 23, 2007

Worship LeaderAbilene Christian University's Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry, in collaboration with the ACU Department of Music will offer a new Bachelor of Arts degree in Worship Ministry beginning fall 2007.

The degree is designed to give students a foundation in both ministry and music to prepare them for careers as worship ministry leaders. Students in the program will take classes in the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry and the Department of Music. The students will also be required to take two classes on the history and philosophy of church music at Hardin-Simmons University.

In the past, students interested in this type of degree could only obtain it through an interdisciplinary degree. The worship ministry degree allows students to take the appropriate courses that emphasize the type of work they will be doing after graduation.

"Worship should form people into the image of Christ," said Dr. Glenn Pemberton, associate professor and chair of the Department of Bible Missions and Ministry. "We need to equip students for this critical task and for the full range of ministry responsibilities."

In ministry, students will be instructed in both the theological and practical sides of ministry, taking classes in ministry, theology, biblical text and biblical languages. The degree will also feature an internship and a capstone course in worship ministry.

In music, students will receive instruction in music theory and practice, music history and applied music study. They will also be required to take private voice lessons and participate in a performance ensemble.

"This degree will provide a specific curriculum tailored to the theological and musical needs of a congregation," said Dr. Greg Straughn, assistant professor in the Department of Music. "ACU has long been a leader in ministry programs for the Restoration movement; it is time that we have a part in shaping the formation and education of those with a heart for congregational worship. This degree is an important step in that direction."

ACU will be one of 10 accredited Christian colleges and universities in Texas to offer a program in worship ministry.

"We need to be thinking theologically, historically, more deeply and broadly than the latest worship trends," said Dr. Stephen Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry. "That's what I hope this degree aims to do. I would hope that in a time of rapid transition and change, we're being very intentional about equipping people for worship leading."

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