This year, I have several students that are graduating and considering pursuing worship ministry. Many of them are asking what they should do next - i.e. where they should go to school - Christian Colleges that offer worship/music degrees, secular colleges that offer music/performance degrees, specialized schools that equip worship leaders, etc. I'm trying to get some feedback from the worship community and see what preparation people have found helpful. I know there are a lot of valid paths that God uses to prepare people for His service. I would love to hear some personal recommendations from people that have actually attended different schools/events. I just want to be able to present the best options to my students that will prepare them for what God has next!
Here's my background. I attended a state school and got a degree in English with a Minor in Guitar while volunteering at a local church the whole time gaining valuable experience. I then attended seminary and earned a M.Div with a specialization in worship leading. I loved both my college and my seminary experiences - they were very different but prepared me in specific ways to minister in my current context.
I'm really thankful that I didn't get a full Music Degree - it would just be overkill for the amount of musical preparation that is needed to lead contemporary worship. I'm not knocking music education - just saying that I'm glad my seminary degree placed a higher emphasis on theological education. Of the two, I feel like theological education is a higher priority for the worship leader. Minoring in Music and taking additional music classes at seminary proved to be the right combination for me. Since seminary, I've grown to appreciate even more the theological and pastoral training that I gained. Those tools have proved truly useful in ministry.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I've also posted this question at the following forums so feel free to check what other people are saying at worshiptherock and the worship community.