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Sacred Music

Since 1996 the Sacred Music Program of Lenoir-Rhyne University has trained students to serve in church vocations, and has prepared them for further graduate study in music and theology.  Graduates presently serve as full- or part-time church musicians in a variety of denominations across the country and have pursued graduate study at such institutions as Yale University, University of Nebraska, Emory University, Luther Seminary, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Duke Divinity School, and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.  Students may attain a major in sacred music or pursue the concentration or minor when majoring in another area.  Area musicians may sharpen their skills and understanding by earning a Sacred Music Certificate.  Entering freshmen who are considering ordained ministry and have musical ability are encouraged to pursue sacred music studies at Lenoir-Rhyne as a foundation for their future ministry.

Major in Sacred Music

The Major in Sacred Music is designed for those who wish to pursue careers as church musicians or to prepare for further graduate study. The major is open to persons with a variety of performance skills--keyboard (organ or piano), voice, or instrument-and welcomes students from every religious background.

Concentration in Sacred Music

The Concentration in Sacred Music is designed for 1) students majoring in areas other than music who wish to receive the basic training necessary to serve as practicing church musicians; and 2) music majors who wish to add expertise in church music to their portfolio.  Upon completion of all requirements, Concentration students receive the Certificate in Sacred Music.

Enrichment Minor in Sacred Music

The Enrichment Minor in Sacred Music is designed for (1) the general student who wishes to gain a reading knowledge of sacred music history and practice in order to intelligently reflect on current issues in church music; and, (2) the music major who seeks preparation as a church musician.  Theology and religious studies students are especially encouraged to consider the enrichment minor as a further extension of their biblical studies.

General Studies Concentration in Sacred Music and Ministry

The General Studies Concentration in Sacred Music and Ministry is designed for those persons who wish to complete the Bachelor of Arts degree through Evening University. This General Studies program emphasizes the acquisition of musical and relational skills necessary for ministry in parish settings. Courses are selected from the sacred music course sequence, and from offerings from Religion, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. For ELCA students, courses fulfill AIM Certification requirements.

Continuing Education Certificates in Sacred Music

Continuing Education Certificates are available to practicing church musicians who wish to deepen their skills and understanding in church music and worship. 

The Applied Continuing Education Certificate in Sacred Music (18-19 Credit Hours) is presented to those who complete six hours of required courses, eight hours of electives, and four hours of applied instruction, including a course in service playing.

The Enrichment Continuing Education Certificate in Sacred Music (12 Credit Hours) is presented to those who complete courses in worship, hymnody, history of sacred music, and critical issues in church music.

Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus

The Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus (LRYC) trains youth (grades 3-12) in the choral art and introduces them to a diversity of sacred music literature. The Chorus participates in events of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Music program in addition to sponsoring its own concert series. It also serves as a teaching ensemble for sacred music students.

Special Events

The Sacred Music Program sponsors hymn festivals, organ recitals, concerts, workshops, convocations, and clinics.  One of the highlights of each year is the Church Musician-in-Residence program which brings seasoned church musicians to campus to share their expertise and ministry with students as well as to lead in worship for the campus community.  Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.s) are available.


Sacred music students at Lenoir-Rhyne form a unique, caring community within the student body. Students are encouraged to seek their call from God to service in the church. Participation in weekly chapel and in chapel choir fosters a deep sense of prayer within the community. Though not espousing a particular worship style, the Sacred Music Program does celebrate the rich musical and liturgical traditions of the church, particularly, the Lutheran heritage upon which Lenoir-Rhyne University is founded.

Contact Dr. Weber at 828 328 7149 or by email for more information.


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