Faculty with terminal degree
Music is your passion. You are an advocate for the musical arts and a bold and faithful witness for Christ. Combine your heart for service and your love of music with a degree in church music from Concordia University, Nebraska!
A church music degree will hone your craft to help you navigate a multitude of music styles and modes of worship. Through this degree, you will learn to serve Jesus Christ through music, sharpen your skills as a musician and help others encounter God through the talents He has given you. At Concordia Nebraska, you’ll study with artist faculty who are inspiring performers and passionate teachers, perform in ensembles and have the opportunity to lead and participate in chapel and praise services. Your church music curriculum will include classes in religion and private study of piano, organ and voice, as well as conducting and composing music.
A degree in church music from Concordia University, Nebraska prepares you to lead and direct music in both traditional and contemporary worship settings. The degree also leads to rostered status in The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod as a director of parish music for individuals who are members of an LCMS congregation. The church music program at Concordia can also prepare you with the aptitude and proficiency necessary for pursuing music ministry beyond church and school settings, as a performer, composer or publisher of sacred music.
If you feel the tug of ministry and want to use your musical talent to glorify God, then a degree in church music from Concordia Nebraska may be the right choice for you.
The church music degree program at Concordia University, Nebraska prepares students to lead and direct a comprehensive music ministry in a variety of parish settings. Emphasis is placed upon leading the song of the congregation through the organ, the piano, the choirs and the instrumentalists. The church music program seeks to help students glorify and share the word of God through music.
Dr. Jeffrey Blersch, professor of music, loves helping students find and develop their inner musicians. Learn more about Dr. Blersch in this Faculty 5 video.
Learn More about Concordia Nebraska’s Music Department.
Concordia NebraskaChurch Music: Learning Objectives
Students will learn about the vocation of church musician from the ground up, including the philosophy of church music; the role of a church musician working with children, youth and adults; ensemble directing and available resources and professional organizations.
In more advanced courses, students will study hymns of western Christianity, the intersection between literature, design and music history and theological, textual, musical and cultural issues in the Christian Liturgy.
Practical, hands-on courses will help students learn to teach church music, use their instrument or voice to perform, lead and write church music, and create a comprehensive church music program.
Students will complete a service project in church music, designing, carrying out and assessing projects for a local church under the direction of a faculty supervisor.
Concordia NebraskaChurch Music: Program Goals
Students in the church music program will be able to perform, create, analyze and understand music in its historical, cultural and religious context.
Students will be able to lead music in a church or worship setting.
Students will demonstrate an understanding of form, dynamics and style.
Students will be able to engage members of a congregation to share and hear the word of God through music and worship in order to create a vibrant life of faith.
Church Music Faculty
As experts in church music, our faculty and instructors bring years of experience to the classroom.
Concordia NebraskaChurch Music: FAQs
If you’re interested in a degree in church music, the most popular career choice is serving in a church, nonprofit organization or parochial school as a worship musician or choir director. You might be responsible for performing for church services or praise, planning music, scheduling rehearsals and practices and helping singers in your choir hone their music skills.
Similarly, you may choose use your church music degree to work as a music teacher in a church or private school. You would introduce your students to new music, help them learn sight reading and singing skills and lead them in performances.
However, there are other career opportunities available with a degree in church music that may not be so immediately obvious. For instance, you might find your vocation as a Christian recording artist or music producer. You may also choose to compose church music. Or perhaps you have a heart for mission work; many Christian musicians are involved in church planting or spreading the Gospel through their music. Music ministry often resonates with people on a level that a typical sermon may not.
Whatever your calling, your church music degree from Concordia University, Nebraska can help you find the most fulfilling way to use your God-given musical talent to glorify His name.
Students at Concordia can perform in ensembles, regardless of major. There are also opportunities for individuals and groups to perform in the community. In the past, student-led praise bands have given concerts at the Red Path Gallery of Art, the band shell, the Evangelical Free Church and Seward’s Harvest Hall.
Concordia’s large vocal and instrumental ensembles regularly perform in St. John’s sanctuary and Weller auditorium. Our smaller ensembles and soloists regularly perform in the music building's Recital Hall, a beautiful space that contains a Casavant pipe organ and a 7-ft. Steinway grand piano.
Many of our music ensembles also go on tour around the world, performing and spreading the Gospel through music.
Concordia University, Nebraska offers private practice rooms, teaching studios, classrooms and large rehearsal spaces for student use, whether they are music majors or not, to hone their craft. There are pianos for use in most rooms, nine practice pipe organs and five study rooms with SmartMusic accompanying software. Concordia has also embarked on a journey to join a prestigious list of approximately 200 All-Steinway Institutions around the world, and only the second in the state of Nebraska. We're committed to providing our music students with excellent pianos, a vital part of their education as they grow and develop as musicians.
There are also many larger music rehearsal spaces throughout the music building. The choir room, band room and handbell room in particular are well suited for large ensembles.
Each year, in addition to other financial aid such as academic scholarships, grants and loans, Concordia University, Nebraska awards talent-based scholarships in voice, piano, organ, brass, woodwinds, percussion, strings and guitar.
A limited number of full-tuition scholarships are awarded every year to students intending to major in music and who demonstrate outstanding musical skill and potential. There are also a limited number of talent-based scholarships, in variable amounts, awarded every year to students who intend to participate in music. These scholarships are available to music majors as well as non-music majors.
Learn more about the music scholarships available as well as the audition process.
Concordia Nebraska Church Music: Career Outcomes
If you love to perform and record music, then you may choose to use your church music degree to pursue a career as a recording artist. You would record worship or Christian songs, either of your own creation or that someone else has written for you. You would likely also perform in live shows. A church music program can help you develop your God-given musical talent into a career.
Choir directors compose music and lead performances of vocal and instrumental music, depending on your church or school. As a choir director, you would use your church music degree to select music, conduct rehearsals and encourage your choir to be the best they can be. You may also have administrative tasks, such as scheduling performances, maintaining a calendar, recruiting new members and scheduling practice times. Some choir directors also teach music education classes for their organization.
Composers write and direct original music. They may also lead an ensemble in a recording session or live performance. With a degree in church music, you would be in a perfect position to create new songs for worship, either hymns or contemporary church music or songs that glorify God. The songs you write might be instrumental, vocal or both. Composers of church music often collaborate as well, to create masterpieces of music that last for a long time.
Concordia NebraskaChurch Music: Related Programs
Christian Education Leadership
The Christian education leadership major from Concordia University, Nebraska can help you serve Christ’s church through education as a Director of Christian Education (DCE), youth or camp ministry leader, Christian teacher or as a national or international missionary by equipping you to bring Christian values and leadership to God’s people in a church or school.
As a music major at Concordia University, Nebraska, you will participate in ensembles, either choral or instrumental or both, as part of the requirements for your major. Since ensemble participation doesn’t necessarily factor into your official course load, you may find that you have more opportunities within your schedule to take additional electives that interest you to help round out your career options.
A degree in music education from Concordia University, Nebraska prepares you to teach vocal and instrumental music to students K-12 in Lutheran, Christian, private or public schools. Some music teachers instruct students in a certain instrument, while others teach general music classes.
1 Recent graduates attending graduate school or employed within six months of graduation.
2 Career salary and wages sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.