Worship Leadership

Worship Leadership Programs

Choosing a Worship Leadership Program

Quick Facts

  • You can combine worship leadership with other areas of study.
  • These options recognize your unique gifts and callings.
  • The programs share a common core of professional courses.

What options are available?

  • BA in Worship Leadership
    • A Worship major with an elective block (allows students room to count transfer credits, or add any OCU minor, certificate, or AA program)
    • A Worship major with a larger emphasis in Music Theory, Songwriting, and Applied study
  • Dual Major options: A 30-hour Worship Leadership major plus one of these 30-hour majors:
    • Christian Ministries
    • Psychology 
    • Business 
  • AA in Worship Leadership
  • Minor in Worship Leadership
  • Worship Ministry Certificate

Why build these options?

Students who are already highly engaged in worship leadership, and who plan to pursue full-time worship leadership ministry should consider the larger major, with its emphasis in applied music and music theory.

Many worship leaders are bi-vocational, maintaining a career outside church, or serving a church in multiple roles. The dual majors are designed to meet that need. 

The Minor or Associate of Arts programs are available so the student who wants a primary degree in another field can add preparation in Worship Leadership. They can be earned by carrying an additional 2-3 credit hours each semester, or by adding summer classes. These programs fit well within the Interdisciplinary Studies programs, and can take advantage of the free electives required in some other programs.

The Worship Ministry Certificate is a 12-hour option is for students already engaged in ministry, who demonstrate strong music leadership skills, but wish to deepen their understanding of the worship leader’s calling. The students take the core professional courses from the Worship Leadership program, along with electives. Many students have a required course in their current program that will fulfill the elective block in this certificate.

Entrance Requirements

Is this program for me?

Our programs are open to intermediate and advanced musicians. Most students who enter will have previous experience in music ministry. All students will be challenged to become better leaders and musicians. Admission to the program means we believe you have, or are ready to develop these skills. To graduate, each student must demonstrate musical and leadership skills for worship ministry: leadership that is engaging, confident and enjoyable, so that others can follow in worship without distraction.


  • References
  • Essay
  • Music Theory Placement Exam
  • Audition


Please provide a brief letter of recommendation (at least 1-2 paragraphs) from someone who has seen your heart for ministry and can comment on your Christian testimony. You may have one person speak to your musical skills and another to your walk with Christ. Send these letters to wl@ohiochristian.edu or mal them to: 

Ohio Christian University
ATTN: Music Department
1476 Lancaster Pike
Circleville OH 43113


Write your testimony, describing your personal faith in Christ and why you believe you are called to ministry, or why you are exploring that calling. Send the essay to wl@ohiochristian.edu.

Music Theory Placement Exam

This written test over basic notation, scales, chords and rhythm, helps us decide if you need to take the Music Fundamentals course before Music Theory I. Contact us for a study guide. 


The audition helps ensure you are ready to succeed in this program and calling. To enter a worship program, students must demonstrate musical skill in at least one instrument or in singing.

Audition:  Voice Evaluation

Each auditioning student should be prepared to sing for us. You may accompany yourself, bring an accompanist, or sing with a sound track. We are interested in singers from a variety of backgrounds. Singing in a variety of styles is a plus.

If singing is not your best musical skill, please understand we are willing to help you grow in this area. Let us hear your audition and discuss your options with you. All worship students must have or be ready to develop this ability.

Audition:  Keyboard or Guitar Evaluation

If you have skills in keyboard or guitar, be prepared to play for us, whether you are advanced or not. Starting with limited preparation in your accompanying instrument will present a challenge, but it's a reachable goal, since the requirement focuses on functional skills. Depending on how quickly you progress, this could mean your program will take a little longer to complete.

Minimum Grade Requirement

Candidates for Worship Leadership programs must earn at least a “C” (2.0 per 1-hour of credit) in each Worship and Music professional course. Worship or Music courses with a grade of “C-” or below will not count toward a Worship degree, and must be repeated.


To earn a BA, AA or Minor in Worship Leadership, students must pass the established proficiencies in voice and an accompanying instrument (usually piano or guitar). Proficiency exam requirements are available from the Music Office, applied instructors, or the Coordinator for Worship Leadership Programs. In some cases this may require extra semesters of applied study to prepare for the proficiency.