Master of Sacred Music (M.S.M.)

MTS Concentration in Church Music and Worship

Rationale: The purpose of this degree would be to offer basic theological, liturgical and church music education to persons who have already completed graduate work in some area of music and are seeking a vocation in church music in the parish (perhaps as an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist context) or are preparing for graduate study at the doctoral level in church music.

Prerequisite: MM, MME or equivalent degree. (Those with a B.M., B.M.E., or equivalent degree need to pursue the M.S.M. because of the basic graduate courses that are offered in Meadows School of the Arts.)

Curriculum Outline:

24 hours in Basic Ministerial Studies (allowing for some variations according to denominational background, professional goals, and previous coursework). Generally, the following courses would be taken:

  • Six term hours: Studies in Old Testament: OT 6301/6302
  • Six term hours: Studies in New Testament: NT 6301/6302
  • Six term hours: Studies in Christian Heritage: HX 6305/6506
  • Three term hours: Introduction to Christian Worship: WO 6313
  • Three term hours: Interpretation of the Christian Message I: ST 6301

24 hours in Church Music and Worship

  1. Three term hours of CM 8330 Congregational Song History and Theology (Hymnology):
    A survey of the history, theology, and practice of congregational song Congregational song includes hymns of the classical Western tradition, recent developments in Western congregational practice, and songs of the world church. Special attention is given to analyzing current hymnals, understanding the theology of song texts, performing the various styles of music employed in Christian hymnody, and selecting congregational songs for worship and the seasons of the Christian year.

  2. Three term hours of CM 8331 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Church Music:
    A survey of theological and philosophical assumptions undergirding church music. This course examines primary historical hymnal writings, philosophical and theological writings, and theoretical treatises on the theology and practice of church music. Selected congregational songs and choral works are analyzed in light of their theological and musical assumptions.

  3. Three term hours of CM 8332 Music Genres of Western Christianity
    A study of the history and development of musical genres used throughout church music history. Genres include Western chant, early polyphony, mass, Requiem mass, Lutheran church cantata, passion, oratorio, Anglican anthem and service, and motet. The course connects the historical narrative if the church—from its early days to the present—with the major genres of church music.

  4. Six term hours: Worship Seminars
    (WO 6313 Introduction to Christian Worship is to be taken first under Basic Ministerial Studies). 
    Possible courses include:
  • WO 8313 The Church Year (three hours)
  • WO 8315 From Agape to Eucharist (three hours)
  • WO 8317 The Daily Prayer of Christians (three hours)
  • WO 8327 Contemporary Patterns of Christian Worship (three hours)
  • WO 8355 Preaching and Worship in Life’s Transitions (three hours)
    e. Six term hours: Advanced Courses in Music History, Music Theory, or Worship Arts Suggested courses
        include the following:
  • CM 8348 Theological Perspectives in Music (three hours)
  • CM 8321 Seminar in Worship Arts I (three hours)
    (Focus on Ritual Studies and Arts)
  • CM 8322 Seminar in Worship Arts II (three hours)
    (Focus on Liturgical Theology and Arts)
  • CM 8323 Seminar in Worship Arts III (three hours)
    (Focus on Aesthetics and Arts)
  • MUTH 6326 Seminar in Musical Analysis (three hours)
     f. Three term hours: CM 8300 Thesis in Sacred Music