Church Music Certificate Program

Church Music Certificate - On-Line or In-Class

2013 Certificate Alumni Reunion at the Sacred Music Summer Conference

Three courses, two seminars, one summer conference!

VWU's Church Music Certificate offers practical and theoretical knowledge for church music ministry career preparation, and has been recognized by the College Board for its excellence in programming. Prior experience in some aspect of church music, a strong desire to serve the Church, plus basic musicianship and keyboard skills are beneficial.

Three semester-length courses, which may be taken for college credit or as continuing education units, provide a theoretical basis of study. These include:

  • Sacred Music History
  • Directing Church Choirs
  • Hymnology and Choral Literature (or "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs")

(Students register for MUS310 to earn academic credit.)

Additional Courses (optional)

  • Organ History and Design
  • Children's Choirs

In addition, during the course of study, students complete a 15-hour program of observation with a variety of area professional church musicians.

Sound & Symbol: Theology & the Arts

The various ways cultures and traditions make use of music in worship is offered through these hour-long seminars which are offered each semester. Students are required to attend two per semester for each year they are involved in the Certificate program.

Sacred Music Summer Conference

Each July the University presents a week-long conference led by accomplished professionals in the fields of conducting, organ, handbells, children's choirs, etc. The week includes workshops, concerts, and special worship services.


Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are offered for non-degree-seeking participants taking the classes for enrichment. Fees are $375 per semester-length course; no fee for Symposium sessions; and $355 for the Worship & Arts Summer Conference (not including housing or meals) plus an additional $195 if you take the "Directing Church Choirs" course during the conference week.

Tuition for students enrolled in VWU's regular academic program is at the standard credit rate. (There is no additional academic tuition charge, or CEU charge for participation in the Sacred Music Summer Conference, and housing is also available.)

To register, or for more details, email or call the CSM at 757-455-3376.