Southwestern Seminary’s School of Church Music has launched a new Bachelor of Music in Composition, available now, for undergraduate students to receive training in the skills and techniques of musical composition. The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the accrediting association for higher education in music, approved the 126-hour degree, which will allow students to take general studies courses in Scarborough College, core music courses, and six semesters devoted to the study of composition. (To view a complete catalogue description for the degree, see here.) 

The degree will be another opportunity for students to receive a foundation in humanities and theology and a comprehensive foundation in music theory and analysis from the School of Church Music’s faculty, whose goal is to train students to grow as musical artists and to minister to the local church. “Our mission at the School of Church Music is to equip our students to shape the music culture of the church, to help them find their voices as a composer, create engaging alternatives in areas of style, influence positively the current musical climate of the church, and urge them to do so with skill and enthusiasm,” says Leo Day, dean of the School of Church Music.

Wherever God calls students to use their talents, the degree will prepare students with the necessary training and equip them with the essential skills. “As we seek to achieve great things for God musically at Southwestern, we know that our degrees must provide professional and proper tools for our students,” Day says. “The addition of the new Bachelor of Music in Composition degree aids us with a great plan that, in early college-level studies, will give our music students training to flourish in any genre.”

Students who study in the program will learn and refine composition skills and techniques, be prepared to compose and arrange music, and prepare to continue to study at the master’s level. Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition Christopher Teichler says the degree’s courses will provide the necessary foundation to inform their unique compositional voice.

“The Bachelor of Music in Composition will equip students to compose new musical expressions in order to teach, encourage and challenge the body of Christ to grow in discipleship,” Teichler says. “Additionally, composition students will be encouraged to use their music as a testimony of who God is, His work in creation and His desire for all to come to Him. We want our composition students to see their music as more than simply notes on a page, but as artistic expressions of worship for the church, for proclaiming the Gospel, for defending the faith and ministering to others.”

Other degrees available in the School of Church Music include: 

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Worship Studies
  • Master of Music in Church Music
  • Master of Arts in Worship
  • Master of Arts in Church Music
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Church Music
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Church Music

For more information about the School of Church Music, its programs and faculty, see here. Those interested in applying for the B.M. in Composition can complete an online application here.