School of Music


Master of Arts in Music and Worship (MA)


Jerry Newman


worship, music, Southern Baptist, SBC, music ministry, worship ministry, worship leader, worship team, worship leader training, worship ministry training, Southern Baptist music history, church music department, Great Commission, evangelism, discipleship, gospel-centric, Lifeway worship, Southern Baptist seminaries, Southern Baptist associations


Liturgy and Worship | Music


Worship ministries maintain prominent roles in Southern Baptist (SB) churches. Despite ample available literature for today’s church educational methods and congregational discipleship, little study has focused on ways SB music ministries can bolster the spiritual health of congregants. SBs currently experience the consequences of recent scandals alongside dwindling attendance numbers. To address this multifaceted, spiritually rooted issue, this historical qualitative study proposes to discover characteristics and methods of music and worship ministries (WM) and leadership qualities that can best promote spiritual growth within SB churches to strengthen the denomination’s health. To undertake this, the study will explore SB history and polity as it relates to WM. It will also examine closely related scholarly literature surrounding elements that can shape effective, disciple-making WMs like worship, discipleship, theological education, and denominational resources. Findings from these processes may indicate the need for increased leadership training, improved engagement between local Baptist associations and their local churches, the utilization of strategic methods in selecting worship materials, and the reworking of music ministry program offerings via denominational entities. Practical implications from this study will implicate means toward refinement, benefit local church leaders and congregants, and aid the long-term recovery, accountability, and health of SBs as a positive spiritual force for God’s kingdom.