African American Worship Studies

The Master of Arts in African American worship studies combines ministry training with thoughtful and practical ways to serve the Black church. This pioneering program equips students to serve in a variety of worship-related ministry roles through its focus on spiritual formation, discipleship, ministry application, team building, personal disciplines, theology and leadership principles.

Trevecca’s Master of Arts in African American worship studies equips worship leaders with insight and tools to encourage, engage and edify the African American church, combining effective worship ministry training with practical ways to serve.

Program Benefits

  • Complete your degree in 18 months fully online.
  • Continue to work and focus on your other priorities while earning your degree, taking one course at a time with all materials delivered to you.
  • Utilize a built-in support system and complete your degree alongside others who are working toward similar goals through Trevecca’s cohort model.
  • Become equipped to excel in a variety of worship-related ministry roles through the program’s strong theological background.
  • Learn from a dynamic mix of faculty and leading African American educators, pastors, musicians, composers, theologians and artists who possess distinguished degrees and valuable real-world experience.

What to Expect

The Master of Arts in African American worship studies curriculum spans worship, theology, biblical studies, the history of African American worship and modern worship dynamics. Through robust theological training, you’ll learn how to foster a culture where healthy worship is understood and regularly practiced. Other focal points include time management; the pastor/worship pastor relationship; current issues confronting Black churches; God’s kingdom and human imagination in African American worship; and articulating and implementing worship philosophies and ministry strategies.

As part of the curriculum, you’ll also develop an e-portfolio that showcases your cumulative and best academic work from the program. The e-portfolio is designed to position you competitively by giving potential employers a solid understanding of your education, experience and abilities.

Why Choose Trevecca?

Founded in 1901 and as a leader in online education for more than two decades, Trevecca has been recognized nationally and locally for providing students with the highest level of academic quality and rigor. We offer a holistic education focused on the intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual health of all the students in our diverse student body.

This degree is offered through Trevecca’s Center for African American Worship Studies, led by Dr. Stephen Newby, an accomplished composer, worship leader and musician with more than 20 years of experience.

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.

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Financial Aid & Costs

Financial Aid & Costs

Nearly every student at Trevecca receives some form of assistance in paying for college. Learn all about the affordability of a TNU education and options for receiving aid.

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Here’s a look at the approximate tuition rates you could expect for this program at Trevecca, including the cost per credit hour and the total tuition expense for the full degree program. Please note that rates and fees are subject to change.

Here’s a look at the approximate tuition rates you could expect for this program at Trevecca, including the cost per credit hour and the total tuition expense for the full degree program. Please note that rates and fees are subject to change.

Cost/Credit Hour

$463

Hours

36

Tuition Cost*

$16,668

*$100 tech. fee assessed per course. Books are not included.

Admission Requirements

Trevecca Nazarene University assesses the Graduate Worship applicants on the basis of evidence submitted via application documentation. Applications will be processed upon receipt of all required materials. To be admitted into one of the Graduate Worship programs, an applicant must meet these requirements:

  1. Submit an online application.
  2. Have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. All hours from regionally accredited institutions will be considered in calculating the cumulative GPA. Applicants must submit one official transcript from the college or university where the bachelor's degree was conferred. Transcripts should be sent by mail or fax to the Admissions, Trevecca Nazarene University, 333 Murfreesboro Road, Nashville, TN 37210.

The purpose of this program is to equip worship practitioners already serving as musicians in African American churches in the areas of spiritual formation, discipleship, ministry application, team building, personal disciplines, theology and leadership principles. We seek to prepare students to engage in the following ways upon graduation:

  • Articulate a worship philosophy and ministry strategy for the African American worship community based of biblical, theological foundations of worship.
  • Synthesize principles of critical contextualization applicable to current issues confronting worship leaders in the African American tradition.
  • Develop literature and research methodologies applicable to worship professionals in the African American worship tradition.
  • Evaluate ministry needs.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a balanced worship ministry.

As part of the curriculum, students will develop a cumulative e-portfolio that can be used in future ministry opportunities such as applying for a new position or teaching. The portfolio will include sample work from each course. It is designed to give prospective employers a greater understanding of the student’s abilities as it will showcase the individual’s collective best academic work in worship.

Career Opportunities

With a Master of Arts in African American worship studies, you’ll be equipped to serve in multiple ministerial, directing, or teaching roles like these.

  • Worship pastor
  • Administrative or associate pastor
  • Children’s or student ministry director
  • Multimedia church pastor
  • Student worship pastor
  • Orchestra director
  • High school music director
  • Parachurch worship ministry director or staff member
  • College instructor/professor (undergraduate level)

Many students choose to bridge to the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program and earn their doctoral degree in education after completing this program.

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Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.


Worship Ministry Dynamics and Relationships
MWL 5000
An examination of the symmetry and relationship needed between the preaching pastor and the worship leader. Worship is viewed as a re-enactment of the Biblical story. Special emphasis will be given to a process of creating story-plotted worship. Also considered are resources for worship, a theology of creativity, and the weekly pattern of preparation.
Worship in the Old and New Testaments
MWL 5010
An exploration of the understanding and practices of worship in the Old and New Testaments. Includes study of the Tabernacle and temple as models for worship, worship by the prophets, Jesus and early Christians, worship in heaven and Trinitarian worship.
History of Worship in the Christian Church
MWL 5020
A study of worship in the early Christian church up to the present day with special attention given to the constants and transformations in Christian worship.
Theology of Christian Worship
MWL 5030
A study of the Biblical Theology of Worship and its relationship to the doctrines of redemption, priesthood of believers, Old and New Testament covenants, and eschatology. Attention is given to the student developing a practical worship theology, philosophy and methodology as applied to Christian graces, prayer, scripture, evangelism, and discipleship.
Spiritual Formation of the Worship Leader
MWL 5201
A study in heritage, theology, and practices of Christian spiritual formation as means of grace and applied to the ministry of worship leading.
Church Leadership and Contemporary Issues in Worship
MWL 6080
An examination of basic principles and models of leadership and administration specifically within the Christian Church. Special attention will be given to vision and guidance in navigating the local church including team building skills, the use of technology, and contemporary trends and issues related to worship.
The Theology of African American Worship
MWL 6031
This course will examine a theology of African American Worship through the lens of three facets of African American Christian life—orthodoxy, orthopathy, and orthopraxy. Furthermore, the course will explore how the historical relationships between a theology of ‘music and worship’ in the Black Church, theologies unique to the African American Community, Ecclesiology and African American worship gatherings work together, bringing God’s Kingdom to earth.
Spiritual Formation for the African American
MWL 6032
This course will address topics related to spiritual formation, including: The Biblical foundations of worship leading; integrity and accountability; leadership and authority; relationships and Christian graces; discipleship and stewardship; balance in ministry; and refreshing the soul.
Contemporary Trends in African American Worship
MWL 6033
This course will serve as an overview and synthesis of the basic building blocks of what it means to weave together faith, belief and behavior into African American Christian worship and mission.
History of African American Worship
MWL 6034
This course examines the history of African American worship: Africa and its people; The Middle Passage Period; Part I 1750-1890 (Heritage, Colonization, Slavery and the quest for freedom – How God brought this people to this place in History); Part II 1890-1990 A New Age; and, Part III 1990-2025 – The Way Forward/A New Millennium
Ministerial Leadership and Building Teams in African American Worship
MWL 6035
This course explores the basic building blocks of what it means to lead well in ministerial contexts. Students will explore practical, research-based strategies for learning and growing personal and professional leadership capacities while serving in ministry.
God's Kingdom and Human Imagination in African American Worship
MWL 6036
This course examines several diverse issues including: cultural issues and worship; social norms and values; inter-generational relationships; reconciliation and multicultural issues; gender specific roles and the family; Church, worship and community; and Gospel Music as a business.