Doctor of Worship Studies (D.W.S.)

Doctor of Worship Studies (D.W.S.)

(Non-Music Degree)


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 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. 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:

  1. 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:
    1. Master of Divinity in Worship Studies
    2. Master of Arts in Worship Studies
    3. Master of Arts in Music and Worship
    4. Master of Arts in Worship Leadership
    5. Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology
    6. Master of Arts in Church Music
    7. Master of Music in Church Music
    8. Master of Church Music
    9. Master of Music
    10. Master of Arts in Music
    11. Master of Worship Studies
    12. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Related Degrees
  2. A graduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).
  3. Applicants must submit a 1000-to-1500-word Statement of Purpose that answers the following questions:
    1. How has your previous education and/or work experience prepared you for doctoral studies at Liberty University?
    2. What is your goal with regard to pursuing doctoral education at Liberty University?
    3. Please describe the character and values you possess that will help you succeed in your desired field.
  4. 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).

Transfer Credit

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 21 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 Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 835 Theology of Christian Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 840 Current Trends and Transitions in Christian Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 845 Philosophy of Music and Christian Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 846 Growth, Development, and Spiritual Formation (3 c.h.), WRSP 851 Planning and Leading Christian Worship (3 c.h.), WRSP 888 Thesis Project Proposal & Research I (4 c.h.), WRSP 889 Thesis Project Proposal & Research II (3,5 c.h.), and WRSP 890 Thesis Project Defense (3 c.h.).

  • Worship Pastor
  • Professor of Worship Studies
  • Music and Worship Instructor
  • Worship Consultant and Coach
  • Worship Counselor and Advisor
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