Wesleyan Sacred Music Institute

The Wesleyan Sacred Music Institute at Virginia Wesleyan University was founded in 1982 by Dr. David Clayton, Emeritus Professor of Music at Virginia Wesleyan. The Institute’s mission is to inspire, to enlighten, and to prepare students as it provides leadership in the language of faith expressed through music and the arts.

The Institute offers opportunities for all students to broaden their awareness of the music and ritual that have been part of humankind’s various faith expressions for thousands of years. In addition, it offers theoretical and applied instruction as preparation for careers in church music ministry, and as continuing education for those already active in the profession. Courses within the Institute’s operation include 'Sacred Music History,' 'Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs,' and 'Directing Church Choirs.'

Some of the Institute’s initiatives include the annual Sound and Symbol Lecture Series, a Fall Hymn Festival, and the Sacred Music Summer Conference which attracts an annual average of 200 persons from throughout the nation to campus each July. The Institute offers an online Church Music Certificate program which is nationally recognized and has been acknowledged by the College Board for its excellence in training church musicians in a liberal arts setting. The Wesleyan Sacred Music Institute is located in theSusan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.

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