The Undergraduate Certificate in Church Music is designed to develop and refine your skills as a church musician. No matter where your interest lies, Shenandoah’s certificate program will provide you the viable option to pursue it professionally.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s Church Music Institute is held for two weeks each summer as part of a three-year cycle of intensive study of the skills and knowledge required of a musician working in the church. Each summer focuses on a different aspect of music ministry: liturgical organ playing, conducting (adult, children’s and handbell choirs) and congregational song (hymns and liturgy).
We’ll equip you to be a well-rounded church musician with the knowledge and skills to direct music programs for various Christian denominations. We’ll enhance your abilities in performance and conducting, and give you an understanding of historical and contemporary practices in church music and liturgy. We’ll also explore non-musical aspects of music ministry: program building and administration, staff relations and other components of a successful program.
Because the coursework for this program is covered during the summer, the certificate is a perfect adjunct to other related degree programs: performance (organ, piano or voice), music education or conducting.
Learn More About This Program
Shenandoah Conservatory’s Church Music Institute is held for two weeks each summer as part of a three-year cycle of an intensive study of the skills and knowledge required of a musician working in the church.
Career & Salary Possibilities
The Church Music Undergraduate Certificate curriculum prepares you to become a working, professional, full-time church musician.
Lead traditional worship
You will know how to lead traditional worship as an organist, a music or choir director, studio teacher, or an accompanist.
Teach church music students of all ages and skill levels
We prepare you to work with and teach amateur choirs, no matter how much training they might or might not have. You will not only be able to help your students make music, but also think about and appreciate what and why they are playing.
Work with and train members of clergy
You will also be qualified to work professionally with members of clergy – who often have little or no training themselves – to help them develop their own skills in worship planning.
The Career Services Office provides a comprehensive range of services and resources to assist Shenandoah students in their career search. Services offered include resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and professional dining etiquette workshops.
Our program’s core classes are offered during the summer, which means you can complete your certificate in just three years. The hands-on, practical approach to the summer classes means you are not simply in a classroom setting. You will be interacting with and learning from nationally known leaders of the church music field, and our students often have employment opportunities at local churches, which only furthers the knowledge base you gain on your way to your Undergraduate Certificate in Church Music.
You Will Learn:
- Repertoire and planning for liturgical settings
- How to lead a rehearsal and the music component of a church service
- Music history, musical styles from all over the world, and music technology
- How to express and communicate ideas both orally and in writing
Learning support services are available to all students in every course at Shenandoah. Free peer tutoring with a student who has previously succeeded in the course is available for any course across the university. The Writing Center is available for every stage of the writing process from thesis development to proofreading and bibliography assistance. The Math Enrichment Center is available for math and science assistance. Professors and Academic Advisors across the university also have office hours and open door policies to ensure Shenandoah students succeed academically.
Performance Opportunities & Ensembles
Shenandoah Conservatory produces more than 400 performances each year. Enroll in a dynamic curriculum and start preparing for a meaningful career in the arts. You will practice your craft in front of audiences and develop a plan for your professional launch into the industry that focuses on your personal desires and aspirations.
Embrace extensive performance opportunities with top-tier facilities from theatres, concert halls and dance studios. Unite with fellow artists and join an alumni family that takes center stage from Broadway to the concert halls of Europe.
Shenandoah Conservatory is home to more than 20 instrumental, vocal, and dance ensembles that present numerous performances every year. These performances take place throughout Shenandoah University’s vibrant campus on its various stages, including a concert hall, recital hall, proscenium stage, black box studio, outdoor amphitheater and more, to venues and performance spaces in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and around the world. Ensembles constantly engage with Shenandoah’s dynamic faculty and an array of distinguished guest artists through residencies, workshops and unique performance opportunities.
Experience the world-renowned Shenandoah Conservatory. Study with master teachers – more than 100 professionals in music, theatre, dance and arts management.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s prestigious faculty is dynamic, creative, and passionately committed to the highest levels of artistic excellence. A deeply caring community, they mentor students with a wealth of professional expertise, balancing rigorous expectations with compassion and wisdom. At Shenandoah, you will study with, and perform for, award-winning composers, Metropolitan Opera singers, Grammy Award winning conductors and international competition winners. You will learn from leading scholars in music and premiere works created by accomplished dance artists and cutting-edge directors. Shenandoah Conservatory’s faculty embodies the highest levels of professional accomplishment and the deepest commitment to furthering the artistic growth and creative aspirations of students in every discipline.
Wayne L. Wold
Church Music Institute Director; Adjunct Associate Professor, OrganFull Biography
Application and Audition Information
Shenandoah University works on rolling admissions. Applications are reviewed individually and holistically.
Submit your application, review required admissions materials, and find our admissions standards.
Admission to Shenandoah Conservatory is highly competitive. Not only must students be academically admissible, they must also complete and pass the mandatory audition/portfolio review and interview process. Audition dates are limited and may fill and close well in advance of the audition date.