Malone University launches new Worship Arts major

File Under: Academic Excellence

A new Worship Arts major is available at Malone University in response to market demand from churches nationwide, available beginning Fall Semester 2024.

This program is designed for students who feel called to lead worship in a variety of church settings, both traditional and contemporary. It will provide a pathway to in-demand music ministry careers where church leaders also perform a variety of other job duties.

“The role of worship ministry within the body of Christ has been receiving an increasing level of attention in recent years,” said James Brownlee, Ph.D., associate provost. “Much like the rise of professional youth ministry in the late 20th century, the demand for well-trained worship leaders has become a dominant theme in the early 21st century. As we’ve conversed with our connections at EFC-ER churches, they’ve shared that worship pastors, like most other staff pastors, are expected to fulfill a variety of ministry roles, and need to be well-prepared for a variety of tasks, with skill-sets both in music and a holistic program of study in Bible, theology, and church leadership.  This major addresses those needs.”

Students who enroll in Malone’s Worship Arts program will explore course content like music theory and technology, choral conducting, receive instruction on piano, guitar, and voice.

"I'm very excited to add a Worship Arts concentration within the music department at Malone. For an intentionally Christian university such as Malone, having a program like this available to students who feel called by the Lord to serve vocationally within music ministries seems crucial," said Russ Gartner, director of choirs. "The beauty of this program will lay in its ability to equip students with skills and capacities to design and lead worship in a variety of musical styles. This holistic approach will provide both traditional and contemporary musical training to help prepare the next generation of church musicians who need to be versed in both classical and contemporary worship. Worship pastors, worship leaders, and musical directors are now being called upon to lead in multiple styles and worship orientations, and the next generation of music ministers need to be equipped with the musical, technological, and ministerial background to negotiate this changing landscape as seamlessly as possible.”

When combined with practical coursework in Bible & Theology, students who enroll in Worship Arts will be well-equipped to step into a variety of church settings where pastoral staff members wear many hats. These courses will include in hermeneutics, evangelism & discipleship, pastoral care, and cross-cultural ministries in the 21st century.

“Among the many life-giving ministries the church is called to offer to the world on behalf of Christ and his Kingdom, worship is one of the most essential,” said David Williams, D.Min. “According to the book of Revelation, it is also one of the very few ministries we will continue to offer before the throne of God for all eternity. I am thrilled that Malone has been blessed with the privilege of preparing God's people for the work of worship ministry, and I am honored to be part of the process.”

Internships will provide students with opportunities to serve alongside church leaders, non-profits, and overseas missions. To learn more, visit