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Faculty approves new Bachelor of Arts in Worship degree program

Trinity CommunicationsNovember 07, 2018

Beginning in fall 2019, Trinity International University will offer an academic program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Worship.

The full faculty voted to approve the new program at a meeting Nov. 6. The curriculum is designed to equip students “to skillfully plan, prepare, and lead excellent worship services that are Christ-centered, biblically and theologically grounded, historically informed, and reflective of the cultural and generational diversity of the church body,” according to the program’s mission statement.

The degree program will draw from courses in music, Christian ministry, theology, ensemble work, and include an internship in a local church. Many of the required courses have been part of TIU’s history of developing musicians and ministry leaders, but others will be added to train a new generation of worship leaders.

Faculty who helped design the Bachelor of Arts in Worship said TIU offers some unique strengths and perspectives that will form a foundation of success.

“In partnership with our Christian Ministries department, there is a strong practical ministry dimension–with some courses that are already accepted for advanced placement in the Master of Divinity degree at TEDS,” assistant professor of music Charles D. King said. “Our distinctive campus diversity, along with our proximity to a world-class city highlights the genuine multi- and cross-cultural dimension of our studies.

“Whether serving a small rural congregation, or taking responsibilities in a multiple-staff worship ministry, graduates will be equipped to serve the church with skill, grace and vision,” King said.

TIU faculty members have been working toward the new program for several years, and within the last year have sought advice from alumni, church leaders and university educators.

“The flow and options of the courses offered is planned out impeccably well and my only wish is that I could go back through this program as a young 18 year-old,” said Jeff Warren, worship pastor at First Evangelical Free Church in Wichita, Kansas and a 1999 TIU graduate. “I can’t thank [TIU] enough for putting together such a well-grounded, biblically and historically rooted major that will help to equip the next generation of students to serve the local church.”

“The scope of this curriculum and the diversity of class offerings is quite comprehensive and impressive,” said Royce Eckhardt, editor of the Covenant Hymnal and a retired university professor. “I wish that more Christian institutions of higher learning would do likewise. I heartily commend Trinity for putting forward such a program.”

Executive director Eric Mathis at Samford University’s Center for Worship and the Arts stresses the importance of a multifaceted degree program that includes studies in music, theology, history, pastoral and administrative roles, as well as classes that integrate all these areas within the needs of a congregation.

“[TIU’s] degree combines those six elements from my perspective, and delineates them in helpful ways that also makes a pedagogical and philosophical statement from the university’s side,” Mathis said after reviewing TIU’s proposed curriculum. “Know that you all have my full support.”

Students can begin working toward the degree next fall. A 23-credit minor in Worship also launches at that time.

For more details about the Bachelor of Arts in Worship degree program, click here. For information about admission to TIU, please visit tiu.edu/admissions.

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