College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Church Music Major (BA Traditional)

The Church Music major develops students into well-rounded church musicians, preparing them for careers as music professionals in a Christian worship setting.  It enjoys all of the opportunities in Concordia's Music program, but also provides these additional features:

  1. there are organ, choral, piano, guitar, instrumental, composition, and self-designed tracks, thus equipping students to lead both traditional liturgies and contemporary worship formats.
  2. each track shares the core musicianship (music theory/analysis/writing/ear-training/keyboard harmony) and music history courses. Private lessons and ensembles applicable to each track are also part of the core.
  3. each track has specialized courses, culminating in a senior project/recital in the track.
  4. the program culminates in recital performance in the student's chosen track(s) and an internship in a metro area church.
  5. students may add Director of Parish Music Certification by completing the Lutheran Theology minor, compiling a portfolio, and passing entrance and exit interviews with the Department of Theology and Ministry. This leads to rostered church worker status as a Commissioned Minister in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

With several tracks available, the Church Music Major at Concordia allows students to pursue music ministry in the area that best suits their interests and talents.

General Education Requirements

All degree seeking undergraduate students must complete the general education requirements.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree consists of a major of typically 32 to 44 credits or two minors, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 120 credits.


The successful church music major will enter the program with music-reading ability and previous music performance experience and study. The level of each student’s abilities and experience will be initially assessed through a music placement survey, auditions for ensembles and placement evaluations by private lesson instructors. Based on this assessment, the student may be required to take one or more of the following courses:

Remedial courses assigned as needed by assessment
Basic Musicianship (course placement assessed by music theory placement exam) (2)
Class Piano I (assignment based on assessment by keyboard faculty) (2)
Class Piano II (assignment based on assessment by keyboard faculty) (2)
Class Piano III (1)
Beginning Guitar I (placement assessed only for students in guitar track) (1)
Total Credits0

Course Requirements

Prerequisites from General Education
Listening to Life: Western Classical Music (2)
Listening to Life: Global & Popular Music (2)
MUS 201Musicianship I4
MUS 202Musicianship II4
MUS 261Beginning Conducting2
MUS 301Musicianship III4
MUS 302Musicianship IV4
MUS 321Music History I3
MUS 322Music History II3
MUS 323Music History III3
MUS 402The Business of Music2
MUS 439Parish Music Field Experience2
MUS 713Jubilate (2 semesters required)0-2
MUS 714Christus Chorus (MUS713 or MUS714 (Jubilate or Christus Chorus)0-2
Select up to 4 credits to total a minimum of 48 for the major 10-4
Select one of the following: 212-17
Choral Track (12-17)
Instrumental Track – Guitar (13-17)
Instrumental Track – Organ (12-16)
Instrumental Track – Piano (13-17)
Instrumental Track – Wind, String, Bell, or Percussion (17)
Theory/Composition Track (12)
Total Credits47-54

Director of Parish Music (DPM) Certification

Lutheran Theology Minor21

Additional Requirements

Students must attend eight recitals or concerts per year and document such in their Music Portfolio to be submitted for review each year by November 1 to the Chair of the Music Department. A minimum of a 2.75 GPA is required in all music coursework, as well as a minimum of 2.5 GPA in each area of performance, history/literature, and theory/composition. Students must also complete a performance assessment for the music faculty in February of their sophomore year (or in their first year for transfer students). The Keyboard Proficiency Assessment must be passed prior to internship. Finally, students should take the Senior Music Outcomes exam when Musicianship/Music History courses are completed.