Church musicians serve congregations faithfully throughout the United States and beyond. While continuing education events are numerous, few programs exist for church musicians that allow them to retune their vocation in the context of the changing demands of the music ministry. The Doctor of Pastoral Music (D.P.M.) is designed for experienced church musicians who have achieved a Master of Sacred Music degree or its equivalent and who are devoted to increasing their effectiveness in and broadening their vision of the pastoral dimensions of music ministry into the larger community. Classes are held in an intensive one-week format that allows students to maintain their positions in congregations or other church-related institutions.
The Doctor of Pastoral Music program offers:
- An experienced and diverse faculty from Perkins School of Theology and Meadows School of the Arts
- An ecumenical program that allows both pastors and musicians to interact and learn from each other
- Advanced study in liturgy, congregational song, worship leadership, performance skills, deeper theological understanding of church music, vocational renewal, incorporation of worship arts, current church music trends, music in the community and a variety of cultural contexts, and peer feedback on the practice of music ministry
- Supervised practicum experiences and a variety of thesis options that enhance the effectiveness of students in their current position with the congregation and in the community
- Individualized course assignments, practica, and thesis approaches that relate directly to the student’s ministry goals and setting
- 39-hour graduation requirement.
Purpose and Objectives
To fulfill this purpose, the D.P.M. degree has the following objectives:
- Students will be able to identify critical issues of vocation and leadership in pastoral ministry related to worship and church music and implement holistic strategies for improvement in relationships and performance.
- Students will be able to evaluate research that integrates various musical traditions with recent developments in liturgy, culture and worship, ritual studies, and hymnody.
- Students will be able to demonstrate refined skills in an applied area including, but not limited to, organ service playing, keyboards in worship, congregational song, choral conducting, guitar, percussion, and music technology in conjunction with their primary focus.
- Students will be able to apply these methodologies and performance skills in the context of their social location with strategies for outreach through music and the arts into the surrounding community.
Degree Course Requirements
VOCATION AND LEADERSHIP COURSES (9 hours)
CM 9380 Vocation, Leadership, and Community* (three term hours)
These two courses are taken together at the beginning of the program in the first two-week June term.
DPM CONCENTRATION COURSES (15 hours)
The required courses in the DPM Concentration are:
CM 9323 Applied Studies in Church Music (conducted in student’s parish) (three term hours)
CM 9373 Issues in Liturgical Theology and Practice (three term hours)
CM 9324 Issues in Pastoral Music (three term hours)
CM 9344 Music in Worship and Renewal (three term hours)
Each seminar emphasizes the integration of theological disciplines with the practice of ministry. Prerequisites for participation in any of these seminars are the successful completion of CM 9370 The Person and Role of a Leader in Ministry and CM 9380 Vocation, Leadership & Community.
Each seminar will consider a topic relevant to the practice of music ministry in the contemporary church and world with the goal of enhancing the student’s ability to reflect critically on ministry and develop the student’s initial ideas on the practicum and thesis. Only course grades of 80 or higher will qualify toward meeting the requirements for graduation.
ELECTIVE COURSE (3 hours)
DM 9350 Ecclesiology, Community and Models of Leadership (three term hours)
DM 9347 Contextual Analysis (three term hours)
CM 9390 Directed Studies in Pastoral Music (three term hours)
PROJECT, PRACTICUM, AND THESIS (12 term hours)
This course offers the students a case study approach where theological knowledge, tools for leadership, and strategic planning for community are employed for contextual analysis in order to implement desirable goals, manage organizational complexities, and provide a vision coherent with a Christian vision.
The project practicum has two options depending on the student’s context. 1) The Applied Pastoral Music Practicum is a supervised experience in pastoral music ministry in a student’s congregation and community setting. 2) The Research Pastoral Music Practicum allows qualified students to engage more deeply in research on an approved topic.
Building upon the Applied or Research Pastoral Music Practicum, the written project thesis is a contribution to the understanding and practice of pastoral music ministry through the completion of a doctoral-level thesis.
The Doctor of Pastoral Music Thesis Committee
Project Practicum and Thesis
- an original musical composition or other creative project designed for the student’s ministry location in a church, or other institution, and community;
- a theological document that deepens the student’s awareness of their congregation’s contextual and social situation and offers strategies for ministry in the community;
- a musicological analysis that includes reflection on the historical context, theological insights, social location analysis, and performative implications of a particular work within the student’s ministry situation;
- a curriculum design in church music and the arts for those whose ministry includes an educational setting;
- the evaluation of a program or aspects of a program initiated by the student that establishes a link between the student’s congregation and the community.