Church Music Major (A)

The Music Department contributes to the spiritual, artistic, cultural, academic and co-curricular life aspects to campus life at the University. In doing so, the faculty is committed to blending talent and fellowship to the highest degrees of professional artistry in praise of the Lord's name. We additionally hope to impact our surrounding community while fulfilling our mission. 

A Church Music major provides students with an option to serve the Church as church musicians. Graduates may be solemnly called to positions in congregations or recognized service organizations of the church, and may be eligible to be placed on The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod roster with the designation “Minister of Religion Commissioned – Director of Parish Music.” Application to the Church Music major involves steps in addition to application to the university.  To be placed on the roster, students must receive a call from a congregation.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Goal #1. Students will exhibit competent performing skills on their major instrument.
  • Goal #2. Students will exhibit strong theoretical/historical knowledge, demonstrated in performance (recital) and communication (writing/speaking) skills.
  • Goal #3. Students will demonstrate competence in vocal, keyboard, and conducting performance skills at a professional level. 
  • Goal #4. Students will exhibit professional speaking, writing, and social skills appropriate to their major area. 
  • Goal #5. Students will demonstrate understanding of practical and aesthetic considerations (choosing music, teaching techniques, evaluation procedures, critical listening) appropriate to successful achievement in their chosen musical field.


Core Requirements 45
Major Requirements62
Total Hours120

Major Requirements 

Required Courses
Theory & History Sequence
MUS 240Music Theory I3
MUS 246Aural Theory I1
MUS 241Music Theory II3
MUS 247Aural Theory II1
MUS 242Music Theory III3
MUS 248Aural Theory III1
MUS 271Music History I3
MUS 272Music History II3
MUS 344Song Writing & Arranging3
Technique Studies
MUS 080Concert/Recital Attendance 10
MUS 204Keyboard Skills 22
MUS 250Beginning Conducting3
MUS 351Advanced Conducting3
Ensemble 30
Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Chapel Choir
String Ensemble/Chamber Orchestra
Women's Chorale
Men's Chorus
Professional Sequence
MUS 430Applying Worship Arts Leadersh3
MUS 461Music in Worship3
REL 440Lutheran Worship: Theology and Practice3
20th Century Elective (both tracks, choose one)3
Music Theory IV
Music History III
Church Music Emphasis (Choose either Traditional or Contemporary Concentration)21
Traditional Concentration
Traditional Chapel Ensemble
Worship Arts Ensemble
Parish Music Practicum/Internship
Applied Lessons - (Organ/Piano/Voice)
Secondary Applied Area (2 semesters)
Contemporary Concentration
Worship Arts Ensemble
Traditional Chapel Ensemble
Worship Arts Practicum
Applied Lessons (Guitar/Piano/Voice)
Secondary Applied Area (2 semesters)
Total Hours62

Students must enroll in MUS 080 every semester while in residence as a music major, with the exceptions of students in their student teaching semester or internships. 


Instructor permission required; students with previous piano experience may test out of prerequisites (MUS 203, MUS 206)


Students must participate in the ensemble of their principal instrument and take private instruction in their principal instrument for each semester on campus. 

To become LCMS certified, the following courses are required and may be taken in place of the electives required above.

LCMS Certification - Required Courses
REL 201Old Testament3
REL 203New Testament3
REL 204Biblical Theology3
REL 333A Survey of Christian Thought3
REL 404Lutheran Confessions3
EDU 408Teaching Christian Faith2
EDU 445Office of Christian Teacher2
Total Hours19


To gain degree-seeking status as a music major, a student must:

  1. Successfully pass the following:
    • Qualifying audition with performance of two contrasting works on his/her principal instrument (to be completed at the end of two semesters of study);
    • For vocalists, aural examination of sight-reading, and tonal memory ability. For instrumentalists, sight reading and scales.
  2. Prepare a portfolio for musical activities (solo and ensemble) and examples of music course work. This portfolio is to be:
    • Presented at the time of the audition;
    • Returned to the student for additions to be made throughout the student's undergraduate career.
  3. Transfer students will have their transcripts evaluated by the music faculty for determination of credited coursework and hours.
  4. The deadline for auditioning is the end of the second semester from the time of declaration. There are three possible outcomes for an audition:
    1. Active - This grants formal acceptance into upper division status.
    2. Provisional - A repeat of the audition is requested by the Faculty at the end of the next semester to show more progress.
    3. Fail - The student is not accepted as a music major.