Master of Church Music


The Department of Music at Concordia University recognizes music as a gift of God and means through which all people can participate more fully in the world around them. The department provides all Concordia students a variety of opportunities to study and perform music, enabling their lifelong growth and involvement in the arts, while enriching the larger community. At the graduate level the goal of the department of music is to provide a broad-based musical education with an emphasis on church music and/or general music studies.

Program Objectives

The Master of Church Music degree is designed to provide an opportunity for students with an undergraduate degree in music to continue their musical education by implementing an integration of curricular studies and applied music in organ or voice oriented to the practical and professional requirements of the church musician. It is intended for persons desiring to lead church music in the local parish and in the larger church.

Learning Objectives/Competencies

This program will provide opportunities for the student to:

  • Broaden experience with and understanding of music in the church.
  • Engage in scholarly research in the church’s musical heritage.
  • Adapt new forms of musical expression to the requirements of the parish.
  • Extend one’s capacities in musical creativity and performance.
  • Enhance one’s ability to enrich the worship life of the parish through music.

Entrance Requirements

  • Completion of at least 30 hours of music courses at the undergraduate level including
    nine hours of music theory, six hours in music history and three hours of conducting.
  • Pass entrance exams in theory, history and aural skills.
  • Demonstrate performance ability by audition in organ or voice.
  • Demonstrate basic piano skills equivalent to MUSA-2600.
  • Experience in church music leadership or demonstrated potential.
  • Students with undergraduate deficiencies may, depending upon their background, satisfy the entrance requirements by taking undergraduate level work, review courses, or by self-study and examination. A grade of “B” or better in a review course may be used to satisfy in part the undergraduate deficiencies or they may be satisfied during the course of studies.

(Deficiencies in theory, history or aural skills should be removed by re-examination before the close of the second semester/term of graduate study. Courses taken to satisfy deficiencies may not be counted toward the graduate degree).

Program Requirements

Successful completion of 33 semester hours of coursework including the Master’s Capstone Experience. The Master of Church Music program requires a recital on organ or voice and a church music practicum. (Note: at least 17 hours must be taken at the 6000 level.)

The Master of Church Music program may be completed in four consecutive terms (summer,
fall, spring, summer) or five consecutive four-week summer terms. Students must plan to be in residence for at least two consecutive summers.