God has woven the beautiful gift of music into the fabric of humanity—it’s part of being made in His image. For Christians, music takes on even more importance since it is one of the ways we communicate the beauty of God’s majesty and holiness as we worship Him and exhort one another.
At BJU you will go beyond an excellent education in the musical arts. You’ll grow in your knowledge of the God Who made you—the One Who created music for His glory. And more than that, you’ll deepen your relationship with Him and learn to imitate the God Who rejoices over His people with singing.
BJU’s music and church ministries program readies you for a lifetime of ministry through music. Designed for musicians with a passion for ministry in a local church, this flexible program combines ministry preparation with excellent musical training. A broad spectrum of electives in Bible, counseling, cross-cultural studies and other disciplines enables you to focus your degree and your future.
You’ll study the biblical basis for music and practical methods for using your skill for the benefit of others. You’ll take courses in theory, conducting and music technology alongside theology courses and put those skills to work in a local church’s music program, local music outreaches and global mission teams.
An internship provides the chance to grow through hands-on ministry opportunities. This for-credit internship enables you to put the skills you have learned in the classroom to the test in real-life ministry situations. You’ll be ready to serve others no matter where God calls you.
You’ll also benefit from private instruction from godly faculty who will help you further develop your skills with the principal of your choice.
- Double bass
At BJU you’ll learn more than how to be a musician. Liberal arts courses such as speech and English will equip you for clear communication in your ministry and in your relationships. History and philosophy courses will help you see big-picture truths through the lens of a biblical worldview. Additional Bible courses will aid your growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus as you learn to apply what you know of God to your worship.
Our program is designed to allow you to focus on a variety of ministry-related interests. You can tailor your program to include studies on youth ministry, women’s ministry, worship, Christian counseling, pastoral ministry or other types of ministries.
If you want to study in a music program, you’ll need to audition so your music background and current skill level can be evaluated. The audition will help the music faculty assess your potential as a music student and will give them a good idea of how to equip you to reach that potential.
Greg Habegger, ’95
As a church music major at BJU, I received the best of both worlds. I obtained the musical training required to hone my skills, but my teachers taught me about the various ministry aspects necessary to serve the Lord as a pastor in my local church.
The privilege of impacting people’s walk with God through music was repeatedly modeled to me by the faculty. I remember my years at BJU with fondness and am thankful for how my teachers equipped me to serve the Lord.
The music and church ministries program at BJU opens the door to many career possibilities.
- Music director
- Music pastor
- Youth and children’s choir director
Our graduates have been accepted into leading graduate schools including:
- Hartt School of Music
- University of South Carolina
- Westminster Choir College (Ryder University)
- Boston University
- Cincinnati College-Conservatory
- Eastman School of Music
- Florida State University
- Indiana University
- Peabody Conservatory
- Rice University
- The University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Our graduates excel in a wide range of settings and have held positions such as:
- Choral editor, Shawnee Press (Hal Leonard) Music Publishers
- Staff musician, The Wilds
- Music pastors throughout the United States
- Christian schoolteachers throughout the United States
- Missionaries in China, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines
- Christian university/Bible college faculty members throughout the United States
BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on CareerCentral, our online placement service. In addition, over 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs. The Career Services office also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.
Membership in the University’s bands, orchestras or choirs will provide you with unparalleled opportunities for further development of your musicianship under the direction of our accomplished faculty conductors. You will also be challenged to achieve your best in your chosen principal through private lessons, with the option to give a senior recital. You may choose voice, keyboard (piano or organ), guitar or one of the standard orchestral instruments as a principal.
Annual Fall Church Music Seminar
Each fall you’ll attend this two-day annual seminar, where special speakers will bring you relevant topics about the church music field. In the past, speakers have highlighted subjects such as church history, hymnody and the biblical basis of music.
The Gustafson Fine Arts Center Music Library
You’ll have access to many different resources in the Music Library. Among them are:
- 15,000 bound scores
- 5,500 chamber and choral music pieces
- 7,200 biographies and books on music
- 7,100 LP recordings
- 8,220 musical CDs
- 850 musical DVDs
In addition, you’ll have access to online music resources such as Music Index Online, IPA Source, and JSTOR Music Collection.
At BJU, you’ll experience excellent music in a variety of performances—as a performer and as a member of the audience. You’ll grow through personal performances, through junior and senior recitals, large and small ensemble recitals, the Concerto and Aria Competition, Annual Music Contests and Student Recital Hours.
Additionally, you’ll learn from top artists in the Concert, Opera and Drama Series, such as the King’s Singers, Canadian Brass or Prague Symphony Orchestra. You can even perform under professional guest conductors in productions like BJU’s operas.
Experience ministering alongside others with local and global outreaches. Each week BJU students participate in more than 100 ministries. Music teams travel during the summer to Europe and other locations around the globe. These ministries will challenge you to grow in your music skills, either as an instrumentalist or in leading music.
The American Hymnody Collection
This historic collection traces the development of hymnody in America from colonial days to the present. The collection consists of hymnals used in the United States, some of which were published in other countries and brought by immigrants to be used in congregational singing.
Started in 1995, the collection preserves an important part of the history of Christianity and serves as a valuable resource for university students and faculty. The collection contains nearly a thousand volumes that originate from as early as 1739. Many of the volumes come from the 19th century, and the collection includes hymnals up through the 21st century.
Division of Music
Your professors have earned degrees from a variety of top universities, and many have won dozens of awards and honors for composition, performance and conducting. They will equip you with the expertise needed to excel in your career, and more importantly, they’ll challenge you to make biblically based decisions and to be grace-filled in all you do.
Courses & Objectives
Sample Course Outline
- Composition & Rhetoric
- Creation to New Creation: Exploring the Bible for Life
- Theory I
- Practical Musicianship I
- Large Ensemble Elective
- Applied Instrument
- BJU Core
Each student will:
- Develop the ability to lead various aspethat synthesize music and the elements of Christian worship.
- Articulate an understanding of the history of congregational song in gathered Christian worship and its relationship to contemporary practice.
- Perform the satisfactory musical technique as a voice, keyboard (piano or organ), guitar or orchestral instrument principal.