August 15, 2006
Seeking to build on a storied history, Oklahoma Baptist University will introduce a bachelor of musical arts degree program with a concentration in worship arts this fall.
“OBU is combining our long tradition of providing churches with quality music leaders with the contemporary worship concepts which churches need,” said Dr. James Vernon, chair of the division of music.
The worship arts concentration was developed with the direction of Dr. Lee Hinson, associate professor of church music and coordinator of church music studies. He said the academic requirements of the bachelor of musical arts degree will work well with the worship concentration.
“The BMA degree has room for a minor built into the program,” said Hinson. “The worship arts concentration would be an excellent option for the student with interests in two areas of study, such as worship and Bible.”
Hinson said students pursuing the worship arts requirements would “immerse” themselves in OBU’s core church music curriculum.
“When you get to know some of the most qualified people in the field of music ministry, many times you find that they went to OBU,” said Hinson. “To ensure that this level of influence continues, we are working on some fresh initiatives in the study of worship arts.”
OBU also is altering its bachelor of music degree in church music. Course requirements in instrumental music and handbells will be more consistent for students, allowing them to gain exposure and experience in those areas.
Hinson, who is entering his second year on the OBU faculty, said he also is seeking to strengthen leadership training and development within the context of worship leadership.
“We want to be certain what we do in the classroom maintains a strong connection to what is happening in the churches,” he said. “Our goal is that OBU’s church music graduates will gain a solid musical foundation, coupled with superior people skills, so that they may be flexible and effective in these changing days of music ministry.”
Vernon said the program changes reflect a long-standing commitment by the university.
“It is another example of how OBU has always attempted to remain relevant in the contemporary world and yet maintain standards of excellence,” he said. “We look forward to being able to send young people into music ministry with as many options as possible.”