Master's Degree in Worship Studies: Program Information

Worship studies master's degree programs give students develop their leadership skills as well as their theoretical understanding of worship traditions, using a prior knowledge of scripture and Christian ethics. These programs last 2.5 years.

Essential Information

Many schools offer master's degree programs in worship studies. Often, these schools are affiliated with a particular denomination. While most are traditional on-campus programs, some programs are available through online study that allows students to access class materials and lectures at any time, within a certain timeframe. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in music, worship, ministry or a related field.

Some programs give students the opportunity to choose an area of specialization such as leadership or worship music. In all programs, students get a foundational knowledge of the history and purpose of worship, the Bible's teachings on worship, types of worship and problems in worship. Students must complete a final project or research paper.

Students may also choose courses that reflect their career goals such as applied music, church planting and the role of a worship leader. Many of these programs are flexible and allow students to choose electives from other academic areas such as music technology or Christian leadership.

Master's Degrees in Worship Studies

Master's degrees in worship studies include Master of Arts and Master of Worship Studies. In these programs, students learn to apply their knowledge of scripture, theology and cultural analysis to minister to congregations. Students might also acquire knowledge of worship foundations, principles and traditions. Capstone experiences could include engaging in research within a ministry setting. Students can complete a program in about 2.5 years. In addition to core studies, students might choose to take courses within a specific track, such as preaching or worship leading. Elective coursework may include music technology or Christian leadership. Coursework completed throughout a master's degree program in worship studies could include the following topics:

  • Biblical theology of worship
  • History of Christian worship
  • Spirituality in a postmodern world
  • Ministry issues
  • Worship leading
  • Pastoring a community

Popular Career Options

Upon program completion, students can seek leadership roles in the field of worship ministry, working as music ministers or worship leaders. Other career opportunities might include:

  • Ministry program director
  • Associate pastor
  • Missionary
  • Lay person
  • Worship teacher

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2015 the median annual salary for clergy was $44,250. From 2014-2024, clergy are expected to see 6% employment growth rate.

Continuing Education Info

A master's degree program in worship studies can prepare a student for postgraduate education. Students interested in advancing their education might consider a doctoral program in ministry or worship studies. Doctoral programs include training in sacred actions, Eastern churches and worship styles.

If students hold a bachelor's degree in music, worship, ministry or another related field, they will qualify for master's degree programs in worship studies. Over the source of these programs, students will learn about the foundations of worship and prepare for a future career facilitating worship within communities.

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