Music will be returning to Grace College with the new Worship Arts degree, set to launch fall of 2016. Housed in the newly expanded Visual, Performing, and Media Arts Department and funded through the Dr. Dane and Mary Louise Miller Music Endowment at Grace College, the Bachelor’s degree major in Worship Arts aims to graduate students fully prepared for church worship ministry.
Differing from Grace’s previous music program, which prepared students for teacher education and performance, via classical training, the upcoming model prepares students to serve in the multi-faceted role of a worship environment by combining music and worship with an individualized creative focus. Musical concentrations in keyboard, guitar, percussion, and voice will coincide with courses in theology and spiritual formation and a select emphasis area of music technology, visual art/design, theatre, or contemporary music.
Course requirements include live performances, production, and applied learning experiences that add to the richness of the program, as well as private lessons available in collaboration with community musicians. Three additional minors in music arts, music technology, and worship arts will give cross-discipline majors a chance to immerse themselves in these practical fields of study as well.
New classes, such as the History of Christian Worship, will supplement the already-rich curriculum and provide practical applications for ministry. Students in the program will also have the opportunity to serve in chapel services and other on-campus ministries, gaining valuable field experience for their chosen major in the process
“Grace already offers strong visual arts and ministry programs,” said Kim Reiff, chair of the Visual, Performing, and Media Arts department and designer of the new program. “The new worship arts major seeks to provide students opportunities to integrate music with the creative arts and apply these artistic expressions as forms of worship.”
“This new major is going to educate students through the multifaceted role of the worship arts environment,” explained Dr. John Lillis, executive vice president of academic affairs at Grace. “With a music component and a worship component, the major will also have opportunities available in technology, visual arts, theater, and film. It will be beneficial to the community and campus alike to have musical outlets available. The resources we have are quite exciting.”
In addition, Grace College is finalizing partnerships with Wagon Wheel and Symphony of the Lakes to provide further avenues to support the greater Warsaw area and provide for the community’s growing desire for performance arts. The new Worship Arts major combined with these collaborative efforts will underscore the school’s commitment to the music arts both on campus and in the local community.
Dr. Bill Katip, President of Grace College, is especially thankful for the gracious gift from Dane and Mary Louise Miller several years ago and is thrilled that it will once again directly support music at Grace College.