School of Church Music & Worship

Biblically faithful. Musically excellent. Ministry driven.

Comprehensive music education in a Christian context. Students receive a strong biblical foundation for the role of music in worship, a practical guide to ministry, and professional preparation in music.

  • Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
  • Seminary-grade theological education
  • Ministry-focused curriculum
  • Degrees available at the certificate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral level

Whether you’re just beginning your journey or have decades of experience, we will equip you to live your calling. Southwestern Seminary's School of Church Music and Worship offers more than ten unique degrees, all designed to provide theological and practical foundations for any field of ministry.

A unique feature of Southwestern’s music degrees is the combination of in-depth theological studies with training for musical excellence. Our graduates are not only thoroughly prepared in their chosen field, but they readily find places of service around the world.

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Our full-time music professors possess world-class credentials, a multitude of experiences, and a passion for using music for the glory of God. They, as well as our numerous artists-in-residence and adjuncts from the vibrant Dallas-Fort Worth music community, will challenge and inspire you.

Joseph R. Crider

Dean of the School of Church Music and Worship;
Professor of Church Music and Worship

Charles T. Lewis Jr.

Associate Dean of the School of Church Music and Worship;
Professor of Church Music and Worship

Ben Caston

Professor of Voice

Partnering Faculty

  • James R. Brown: Adjunct Instructor of Worship Technology
  • J. Blake Carpenter: Adjunct Professor of French
  • James Cheesman: Adjunct Professor of Worship
  • Will Douglas: Artist in Residence, Guitar
  • Hugo Encorrada: Adjunct Instructor in Piano
  • John Duncan: Senior Professor of Church Music and Worship
  • Austin Luke Hannah: Adjunct Instructor of Voice
  • Donna Hopson: Adjunct Instructor of Piano
  • Shuya Hsieh: Adjunct Instructor of Piano
  • William Hughes: Adjunct Instructor of Voice
  • Seon-Young Im: Adjunct Professor of Piano
  • Ricky Johnson: Artist in Residence, Director of Bands, Residence, Bands
  • J.P. Kwok: Adjunct Professor of Worship Technology
  • Taeyoung Lee: Adjunct Instructor in Drums
  • Abraham Lopez: Adjunct Instructor in Guitar
  • Katie Mersch: Adjunct Professor of Voice
  • Matthew Naizer: Adjunct Instructor of Guitar
  • Imre Patkai: Adjunct Professor of Piano
  • Matthew Perkinson: Adjunct Professor of Worship
  • Adeniyi Samuel: Adjunct Instructor of Voice
  • Jill Sprenger: Adjunct Professor of Piano
  • David Stingley: Adjunct Professor of Voice
  • David Toscano: Adjunct Instructor of Electric Guitar

Performance Opportunities

In addition to solo performing opportunities in recitals and master classes, the School of Church Music and Worship offers a variety of ensembles for students to gain experience in their performing areas and to acquaint themselves with a wide range of repertoire, from the masterpieces of oratorio literature to the latest in worship music for the church. Above all, the ensembles provide the opportunity for glorious moments of communal music making.

You can experience the performances of many of these ensembles through one of our many music videos:

New Students

Auditions, placement, examinations, and orientation

Every new music student will audition and take placement examinations prior to registering for the first semester. Normally, students are not excluded on the basis of these auditions and examinations, and appropriate leveling work will be assigned as needed.

Former students who have not been enrolled in music courses for more than five years will also audition and take placement examinations.

The School of Church Music and Worship provides an orientation period prior to the beginning of classes for the fall and spring semesters. All new music students at every degree level are required to participate during their first semester. Students entering during the summer session will attend orientation before the following fall semester.

Auditions for our ministry-based ensembles, graduate assistantships, and scholarships occur yearly in the spring and fall months.

Upcoming Audition Dates

  • October 11, 2024 (Texas Baptist College)
  • November 1, 2024 (Southwestern Seminary)
  • March 21, 2025 (Texas Baptist College)
  • April 11, 2025 (Southwestern Seminary)
  • Special Appointment
  • Virtual
  • Prepare & Register for Your Audition

Current Student Resources

Got Questions?

We’re here to answer them. Reach out to our Admissions Team and we’ll be in touch by phone, text, or email.