School of Music


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)


Mindy Damon


College Gospel Choir, Worship Leader, Gospel Music, Gospel Music Education, Leadership


Christianity | Leadership Studies | Liturgy and Worship | Religion


Because of the diversity of collegiate cultures, Christ is depicted in various ways on campus; hence this study focuses on the gospel choir leadership influence. The impacts of Christ-centered gospel choir leadership are demonstrated in this qualitative study, as well as how it will lead to academic and community leadership influence. This study investigates the impact of collegiate gospel choir leadership on campus and local community worship. College and university gospel choirs from Charleston, South Carolina, provide the context for this qualitative study. This vital research takes a phenomenological approach to the impacts of mentorship and development of a collegiate gospel choir’s worship experience as viewed by choir members and the Charleston community. Perspectives on the worship leader, mentorship, discipleship, and partnership aid with developing a holistic approach to the intentional worship equilibrium of the worship leader. Gospel music on a college campus continues to be a vehicle allowing students to demonstrate their heartfelt expression of love for Christ through the avenues of the gospel choir. When students gather for rehearsals, they do so not simply to prepare for performance but to represent Christ on campus and in their community. Leaders are therefore essential to ensure that each student has the tools necessary to provide a Christ-centered perspective on campus and in their community. As the culture of the United States becomes more diverse, building a successful balanced collegiate gospel choir program necessitates leadership that understands both the campus culture and the community, as well as how leadership will affect each student. Findings are based on data from interviews with gospel choir members from Charleston Southern University, College of Charleston, and The Citadel. The community component of this study is the congregation of Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, North Charleston, South Carolina.