Doctor of Worship Studies (D.W.S.)
The Doctor of Worship Studies is a 45-hour post-graduate, non-music, professional doctorate that places emphasis on practical application of worship studies to the ministry. It is primarily targeted to the career minister of music/worship pastor constituent and provides theological, philosophical and practical studies based on the demands of the 21st-century evangelical worship ministry. Built on a graduate degree in music, church music or worship, the DWS provides an option for advanced studies at the professional doctorate level for worship practitioners desiring to expand their skill set to reflect a rapidly changing worship culture. As with all graduate degrees in the School of Music, the end goal is to develop knowledge and expertise to function in a variety of music and worship cultures and contexts within the evangelical community.
Program Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to:
- Examine the pastoral and worship leader roles in evangelical worship.
- Synthesize the historical development and relationship of worship to the Christian Church.
- Evaluate contextual approaches for worship leading.
- Analyze trends in worship theology, philosophy and methodology.
- Investigate the pedagogical role of the worship leader in evangelical worship.
Program Specific Admission Requirements
In addition to the general admission procedures, applicants to the Doctor of Worship Studies must meet the following requirements:
- An earned master’s degree in music or its equivalent from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., SACS, TRACS, ABHE, etc.). Master degrees qualifying for entrance into the Doctor of Worship Studies degree may include:
- Master of Divinity in Worship Studies
- Master of Arts in Worship Studies
- Master of Arts in Music and Worship
- Master of Arts in Worship Leadership
- Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology
- Master of Arts in Church Music1
- Master of Music in Church Music1
- Master of Church Music1
- Master of Music1
- Master of Arts in Music1
- Master of Worship Studies1
- Master of Arts or Master of Science in Related Degrees1
- Contact information for two recommendations from a pastor and/or college or university professor may be requested as an additional requirement on a case-by-case basis.
- A graduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).
- Consideration will be given to those without a master level degree in music or worship [or equivalent] upon completion of an interview with and recommendation from the Program Director of the Doctor of Worship Studies degree.
- Professional vita showing three years of experience in full-time ministry
- Applicants must submit a 1000-to-1500-word Statement of Purpose that answers the following questions:
- How has your previous education and/or work experience prepared you for doctoral studies at Liberty University?
- What is your goal with regard to pursuing doctoral education at Liberty University?
- Please describe the character and values you possess that will help you succeed in your desired field.
- Interview and recommendation from the Doctor of Worship Studies Degree Program Director.
- TOEFL Scores for students who speak English as a second language (score of 600 paper –based test; 250 computer-based test, 80 internet-based test).
Applicants must finish the equivalent of 45 graduate hours of which at least 9 of these hours must successfully be completed with a minimum of a “B” grade in: WRSP 635 Building a Theology of Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 510 Biblical Foundations of Worship (3 c.h.), and WRSP 502 History and Philosophy of Worship (3 c.h.).
Transfer students will be required to submit transcripts for evaluation as per the normal process established by the University. Students may transfer a maximum of 12 hours of coursework from an accredited institution. In order to be eligible for transfer credit, course work must have a minimum grade of B-, and must have been completed within the past seven (7) years. Credits from a degree on the same academic level previously earned through Liberty University are considered transfer credits.
The following courses are not eligible for transfer credit: WRSP 810 Foundations of Christian Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 835 Theology, Philosophy and Methodology of Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 840 Transitions in Leadership, Music, Worship, and Culture (3 c.h.), WRSP 845 Pastoral Roles of the Worship Leader (3 c.h.), WRSP 846 Growth, Development, and Spiritual Formation (3 c.h.), WRSP 851 Community, Culture, and Relationship (3 c.h.), WRSP 889 Thesis Project Proposal & Research (3,5 c.h.), and WRSP 890 Thesis Project Defense (3 c.h.).