School of Music


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)


Douglas Crawley


Bivocational, Bi-vocational, Worship, Leadership, Baptist, Church


Christianity | Liturgy and Worship | Religion


The purpose of this paper is to explore the prevalence of part-time, bivocational, semi-retired and volunteer worship leaders within mid-size Southern Baptist church and the need for further training and education through a denominationally-driven mentor program. The known decline in attendance and financial giving that most Southern Baptist churches have experienced has affected the moneys available to fill staffing needs and thereby require a reassessment of staff positions; the percentage of the budget allocated for staffing and continuing education. Most of these part-time worship leaders are already educated in another field and cannot allot the resources for a return to a theological or worship leadership education. The research question for this paper is two-part. First, what is the scope of responsibilities for part-time worship leaders within the mid-size Southern Baptist church? Second, what are the educational background commonalities of the part-time worship leader in the mid-size Southern Baptist church, and in what ways can church leadership facilitate professional development for part-time worship leaders within the mid-size Southern Baptist church? A number of surveys were distributed as part of the process of writing this paper addressing education, training, denominational support, hours spent on worship leadership, and general feelings about roles within the church and family. This research was conducted with a dual historical/qualitative approach. Through the results of this study, the denomination can learn how to better support these men and women who may not be fully theologically educated but are just as dedicated to weekly service to the Lord.