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Worship Arts

Do you like to lead others in worship and encourage them in their walk with Christ? If so, consider majoring in worship arts at Dordt University. You’ll learn how to humbly lead those around you to the foot of the cross. You’ll grow as a musician, a leader, and a communicator of God’s truth through worship. And you’ll better understand how God can use you for His kingdom purposes.

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Female student sits at keyboard and sings in recording studio

Program Overview

As a worship arts major, you will learn about history, liturgy, and worship in contemporary culture; you'll take classes in theology, business, and communication. You will participate in an ensemble, learn to lead a group, practice and prepare for worship, exhibit great stage presence, and use state-of-the-art equipment.

Our dedicated faculty doesn’t simply teach. Professors push Worship Arts students to improve musically and develop as leaders both on- and off-stage through one-on-one coaching. Students also study the role of technology in worship and engage with worship on a creative level. Throughout all of this, students are challenged to grow theologically, learning to better understand God’s word and proclaim His truth.

female student sings recording in the worship arts studio

What can I do with a major in worship arts from Dordt University?

While studying worship arts at Dordt, you’ll have opportunities to audition for campus worship ensembles, intern with local churches, and lead worship in various capacities. And when you graduate, you’ll be ready for a number of roles, from choir and music directing to serving as a music minister or worship arts director.

You can audition for one of several campus worship ensembles or gain required worship arts credits through approved internships in local churches. Churches worldwide are hiring professionals and using more lay members to lead and plan worship. They need people who have a biblical understanding of what worship is and who can execute those plans with musical excellence. Our worship arts minor will help you develop the tools to serve and to lead.

Dordt’s worship arts program features some of the finest equipment and facilities you will find. You’ll practice and learn on state-of-the-art gear. From our instruments to our recording studio to the B.J. Haan Auditorium, a fully-fitted performance venue, you will practice and perform using the best of the best.

Music Director

A Music Director manages all aspects of musical theatre or opera productions.

Worship Leader

A Worship Leader guides the hearts of a congregation to help prepare them for the sermon during a church service.

Songwriter

A Songwriter uses their knowledge of music to create musical compositions to be performed.

Worship Arts Major

You’ll learn to lead worship music and discern musical selections. You’ll develop your communication and leadership skills. You’ll better understand your own gifts for worship leadership. And you’ll learn the richness of both historical and contemporary worship.

Dordt's worship arts major will help you:

  • Develop a scriptural foundation for personal and communal worship.
  • Explore how worship has historically helped the community of faith grow in intimacy with God.
  • Learn the richness of both historical and contemporary worship forms.
  • Receive one-on-one coaching from experienced worship staff.
  • Become sensitive to cultural trends affecting worship.
  • Learn a broad range of worship songs and become discerning in choosing from among them.
  • Discern and develop your gifts for worship leadership.
  • Develop confidence through experience in worship leadership.
  • Communicate clearly to build community, lead effectively, and resolve conflicts within worship teams.
  • Learn new technology and skills.
  • Choose emphases within the major in areas such as: art, communication, digital media, English, music, theatre arts, or theology.

To learn more, you can also view the program strengths and learning outcomes for this program.

While studying worship arts at Dordt, you’ll have opportunities to audition for campus worship ensembles, intern with local churches, and lead worship in various capacities. And when you graduate, you’ll be ready for a number of roles, from choir and music directing to serving as a music minister or worship arts director.

Students looking to get a degree in worship arts will take a variety of courses from fields such as business administration, communication, theology, music and worship arts. Students are encouraged to complete an internship. Additionally, students will need to pick a concentration.

  • Leadership Studies: Involves the study of human behavior and how individuals influence that behavior. This course will reflect a diversity of perspectives on leadership and motivation. Students will examine different models, skills, and styles of leadership, review common traits of effective leaders, and evaluate, from a Christian perspective, the ethical and moral issues facing leaders.
  • Interpersonal Communication: The study of concepts, problems, and responsibilities in communication between two or more persons, focusing on conversation with consideration of many variables and contexts.
  • Biblical Studies Methods: This course introduces interpretive approaches and practices for reading the Bible using a Reformed hermeneutical method. Students will become familiar with major resources for biblical study, interpret a variety of Old Testament and New Testament texts, and discuss the manner in which the varied contexts (e.g., social, cultural, theological) of the biblical world and contemporary readers inform exegetical study. This is a foundational course in the theology program to develop skills in biblical studies and theological writing. Open to all students seeking to develop their reading, understanding, and application of Scripture.
  • Spiritual Formation: What does the Christian life of faith and discipleship look like? This course will explore the history and practice of the spiritual disciplines by studying the faith lives of important figures in the history of Christianity. The purpose of this exploration is to help students see how God is at work in the history of the church so they can begin to articulate their experience of God’s work in their own lives. This is a foundational course in the theology program. It is open to any student interested in learning more about spirituality and discipleship.
  • The Great Tradition: A study of the Great tradition of God’s people, that highlights the major creeds and confessions that the Church has written over the past two thousand years as it has responded to challenges and defined its understanding of the Christian faith with a view to faith today.
  • Gospel, Church, and Culture: Study of a Reformed approach to ministry in the context of the congregation and contemporary culture. The course includes the study of a Reformed philosophy of ministry, the nature of the church, cultural dynamics that affect both ministry and the church, and the character of leadership that takes all these factors into account.
  • Leadership and Discipleship: This course explores leadership from a Reformational perspective by focusing on such issues as discipleship, character formation, working with teams, conflict resolution, leading small groups, and communication. The purpose of this course is to help students cultivate the insight and discernment needed to develop a biblical approach to leadership in dialogue with the fields of communication, organizational theory, and Christian ethics.
  • Foundations of Worship: A study of the Scriptural foundation for worship and of the components of worship. There will be a brief study of historic patterns of worship, leading to the preparation of liturgies and the practice of worship-leading skills.
  • Worship in Contemporary Context: This course engages the theological and cultural issues that shape contemporary worship practices of the church. By exploring diverse worship practices students will develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between Christian worship and culture. The focus on this
    course is to help students cultivate discernment as they lead worship in a variety of cultural contexts.
  • Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs: An overview of the role of music in worship, worship music repertoire, and information and skills needed to plan music for worship.
  • Elements of Praxis in Worship: The focus on this course is to equip students with the practical insight needed to lead worship in a contemporary context. This includes learning how to use equipment, how to organize and lead a practice, cultivating a stage presence, how to develop excellent sound, and incorporating a diversity of instruments into worship.
  • Senior Seminar: This is the capstone course for Theology majors, but it is open to minors also. This course is to help those who have studied in theology consolidate their theological education to focus on contemporary issues in the church and develop the biblical message to address contemporary life in effective public address.
  • Worship Arts Ensemble Participant: A worship music ensemble involving weekly participation, reflection, and coaching.
  • Worship Arts Ensemble Leader: Develop knowledge, confidence, skill, and character as a worship leader and participant through leadership of a worship music ensemble.

See the course catalog for more information.

Worship Arts Minor

Do you like to lead others in worship and encourage them in their walk with Christ? If so, consider minoring in worship arts at Dordt University. You’ll learn how to humbly lead those around you to the foot of the cross. You’ll grow as a musician, a leader, and a communicator of God’s truth through worship. And you’ll better understand how God can use you for His kingdom purposes.

Learn More
male student plays the drums during praise and worship

Ready to take the next step?

Faculty

With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.

Worship Arts Room

As a Worship Arts Major, you'll have the opportunity to spend time in the Worship Arts Room located in the Campus Center. These facilities include a variety of instruments and a recording studio.

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Student Stories

Dordt students and alumni use their gifts to make a difference in the world. Check out their stories to see how Defender Nation lives out our mission to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.

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Catalyst for Change

Tom Oord

Dordt served as a catalyst for change in Tom's life after he was able to turn his work ethic around and thrive while pursuing his major, both applying himself more and excelling in his classes.

Tom Oord

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Nurturing the Heart

Anna Christians

Dordt gave Anna the confidence and humility that she needed to grow as an individual and realize that who you become is so much more important than what you do with your life.

Anna Christians

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