three year program:
Music & Worship Arts

Course Overview

Diploma in Music & Worship Arts

Three-Year Program (90 Credits)
This 3-Year Diploma is employment oriented, teaching skills for service in the Christian music industry.

Courses revolve around:

  • Growing in love and knowledge of God
  • Expressing yourself through your gift of music
  • Creating music to draw people into wonder and worship

Learn, create, think and worship through music and songwriting.

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Music & Worship Arts: In Depth

Does great music move you? Do you want to grow in your ability to express your worship and share your story through the creative art form of music and songwriting?

This three-year Diploma in Music and Worship Arts program is employment-oriented and will lead to skilled service in the Christian music industry including song writing, performance arts and musical instruction.

Learn: This program will enable you to grow in your love and knowledge of God and the Scriptures. It is for those who are humble, teachable and open to the mystery of God and the diverse journeys we have with Jesus.

Create: The Creator God has designed each of us to be creative worshippers. As you surround yourself with others in our creative community, you will grow in your appreciation of the arts and your unique artistic side. Opportunities to specialize in songwriting, worship leading, and musicianship will be available.

Think: As worshippers we desire to think about the place of worship in both personal and community life so that we can move beyond the conflicts and misunderstanding that hinder God’s people from true worship.

Worship: Worship is first—always has been, always will be. It’s the way we were made. It’s the highest privilege and pleasure in the Kingdom of God, and is the response of our lives to the greatest commandment in Scripture. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Consider this program if you desire to grow in your love and knowledge of God and the scriptures. You don’t worship at the altar of certainty . . . which means you are humble, teachable and open, and you accept that there remains some mystery to God, and different perspectives in people’s diverse spiritual journeys with Jesus.

You have a natural gift and aptitude for music. Music is the way you most love to express yourself. Natural gifting is more important than formal training, though even the most gifted benefit from instruction. You desire that the music you create and play is based upon a solid biblical foundation.

You are ready to spend some time exploring the scriptures. You are a current or potential songwriter. You enjoy singing songs that others have written, but your greatest joy is writing your own and you want to grow in this area. Or perhaps, you have yet to attempt to write your own songs, but it remains one of your greatest hopes.

You want to create and play music that draws people into wonder and worship. Great worship music has helped you express your heart to God and you want to be part of creating that type of music. You desire to make music that could be enjoyed in the community beyond the context of a church worship service. You value all genres of good music and understand that all types of songs can be skillfully shared with the world in ways that enrich culture and the communities in which we live.

You want to make a positive difference in the world through what you create, and most importantly, meet some of world’s greatest needs through who you are, how you live, love and serve.

You are a creative introvert; someone who loves to think deeply and privately. You value depth more than appearances; silence more than noise. You even feel a stirring to lead, though that is always a bit of a stretch (most introverts are reluctant leaders), but if given the opportunity, you are willing to do so in ways that are a little different than extroverts.

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the content, processes, and practices of music and worship arts. 
  2. Able to apply principles and practices of worship to a growing personal life. 
  3. Increase personal performance skills. 
  4. Demonstrate an ability to be a productive member of a musical team. 


  1. Discover and develop your musical mother tongue, the musical style and lyrical approach that represent your unique musical expression and contribution. 
  2. Integrate Biblical truth with songwriting as you write original and scripture songs and compose creative music. 
  3. Write at least 5 original songs that are ready to record, representing your worldview, theology, and anthropology. 
  4. Record an EP (minimum 5 songs) learning how to arrange songs and the skills and craft of professional audio recording. 

Worship & Music Ministry

  1. Understand and practice the scope and interrelatedness of corporate worship ministry components.
  2. Understand worship ministry as seeking to enhance spiritual formation in the lives of congregants. 
  3. Able to plan, produce, lead, and evaluate corporate worship experiences.
  4. Compose a personal philosophy of corporate worship.


Worship Arts program students will have the opportunity to enjoy the following extra-curricular experiences.

Music Appreciation Night: Music appreciation nights occur two times per term and are dedicated to the viewing of, listening to and discussing of musical documentaries, videos and recordings hand-picked by Brian and visiting adjuncts and speakers. These laid-back evenings provide students a chance to learn and build relationships in a relaxed environment with their peers and teachers.

Concert opportunities with Brian: Throughout the school year, students will have a couple of opportunities to work with Brian in local concerts that he performs in the area. These opportunities provide key learning experiences for students by allowing them to participate in concert set-up and performance.

Field trips: Throughout the year, program students will be able to take part in two field trips that will expand their appreciation and knowledge of the arts, including theatre, dance and song.

Variety of visitors: The first year of the program saw a variety of visiting speakers and special guests including: Mark Buchanan (well-known pastor, speaker and author), Teresa Trask, Brian Thiessen and Calum Rees of the SHIYR Poets, Debbie Fortnum (singer/songwriter and speaker), and Joyce Rees (well-known speaker across Canada).

Songsmith Society: After students have taken Song Writing 1, they are welcome to join the program’s club that provides monthly challenges for songwriters that help them grow in their lyrical subjects and the sounds and rhythms they craft.

Worship teams: Prairie holds auditions at the beginning of each school year that allow students to try out for worship teams and other musical opportunities on- and off-campus including chapel, representative travel teams, Wednesday Night Worship and more.

Open Mic: A popular student-led event that usually occurs twice per semester, Open Mic nights offer opportunities for campus artists of all genres and talents to perform and share with faculty, staff and fellow students in a casual, comfortable setting.

Vinyl Vault: Complete with thousands of vinyl records and CDs, our collection provides Worship Arts students with countless musical resources and a space to take advantage of them in. Program students will be required to pick a partner during the school year with whom they will listen to two records in their entirety each term, documenting their musical experience together.

Program Requirements

Program in development - subject to change.
All courses are 3 credits unless indicated otherwise.

Bible & Theology (27 credits)

  • NT 112 Reading the Gospels & Acts
  • NT 221 Reading Paul's Letters
  • NT 251 Reading Hebrews to Revelation
  • OT 112 Reading the Torah
  • OT 148 Psalms
  • OT 221 Reading the Historical Books
  • OT 353 Reading the Prophets
  • ST 100 The Christian Life
  • TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology

Arts & Sciences (27 credits)

  • HF 111 Thinking & Writing
  • HF 151 How Music Works
  • MU 150 Group Vocal Lessons (1.5 credits)
  • MU 191, 192 Performing Ensembe (6 credits)
  • MU 155-257 Music Lessons (7.5 credits)
  • SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World
  • WA 123 Language of Music 1 (1 credit)
  • WA 124 Language of Music 2 (1 credit)
  • WA 127 Language of Music & Writing 2 (1 credit)

Worship Arts (15 credits)

  • DM 103 Introduction to Media Arts (1 credit)
  • WA 103 The Way of Worship
  • WA 120 Introduction to Songwriting (1 credit)
  • WA 126 Language of Music & Charting (1 credit)
  • WA 210 Music Ministry
  • WA 224 Arranging Songs (2 credits)
  • WA 227 Recording & Producing (1 credit)
  • WA 232 How Musicians Work

Songwriting Concentration (21 credits)

  • WA 121 Songwriting 1
  • WA 122 Songwriting 2
  • WA 221 Songwriting 3
  • WA 235 Music Business
  • WA 372 EP Project (9 credits)


Music & Worship Ministry Concentration (21 credits)

  • WA 252 The Story of Worship
  • WA 254 Worship: Subjects and Objects
  • WA 320 Worship by Design
  • WA 341 Worship FX
  • WA 354 Worship as Spiritual Formation
  • WA 376 Worship Practicum
  • WA 378 Worship Internship

For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.

Brian Doerksen  Program Coordinator

“I’m thrilled to be personally giving leadership to the Music & Worship Arts Program at Prairie. Our beating heart is creativity and culture-making in our musical mother tongue. We are exploring how the singer-songwriter serves the community and how those with a calling to music ministry and worship leadership serve the church. Those who show promise either as a songwriting worship leader or a singer-songwriter will record a graduation project; an EP of original songs. We aim to be anchored in ‘Emotionally Healthy Spirituality’ as we walk the way of worship rooted in the ancient practices of our faith. Join us as we discover how music works in the church and in our communities. ”

Music Worship Arts 1

Prairie gave me the chance to explore and grow in my talents; to glean from experienced professionals; and to see how the desire to create music is integral to our daily lives.

Music and Worship Arts Student
Music Worship Arts 1

I had come into the program with little to no experience in songwriting. But with such an experienced musician and songwriter like Brian teaching what he has learned, I feel I have really grown in my songwriting ability and musicianship as he has taken me under his wing and helped me discover my mother tongue of music. Along with music and writing techniques I have come to this knew understanding of what it means to worship God. It is not just in the songs being sung on Sunday or in my individual time of devotion and prayer that I worship God, but that worshipping God is in everything I do. Worship is a lifestyle.

Music and Worship Arts Student
Music Worship Arts 1

I came into this program scared about sharing my music with a group of strangers. When I arrived, I soon found that I was free to express my musical creativity without harsh judgment, and received Godly advice on how to improve.

Music and Worship Arts Student
Music Worship Arts 1

The community present in the Music and Worship Arts program is uplifting, Christ-centered and pushes you beyond what you thought you could be.

Music and Worship Arts Student
Music Worship Arts 1

Brian’s teaching has really helped me focus my songwriting. Brian creates a space of belonging and hospitality for us as students, helping us to share our music and our life with one another. I have attended many workshops on songwriting, but by being in this program, I can see that my writing style has become more refined and more to the point.

Music and Worship Arts Student

Career Opportunities


  • Songwriting and performance arts in Christian music
  • Christian music teacher/tutor
  • Music and worship coordinator in a church or para-ministry
  • Creating music for the Christian recording industry
Music Classroom
Music Classroom
Worship Arts Classroom
Worship Arts Classroom
Vinyl Studio
Vinyl Studio
Inside the Loft
Inside the Loft
Parable Place
Parable Place
Music Worship Arts 2
As Bono once said, 'Music can change the world because it can change people."  I believe that the Music And Worship Arts program at Prairie College affords an incredible opportunity for students to learn and grow in a creative environment, rooted in community within a faith context; being able to graduate with a fully produced recording is a bonus.
Stephen J. Rendall
Juno Award Winning Writer and Producer
Music Worship Arts 2

Getting students to think deeply theologically is essential if we are going to form meaningful leaders in the Church, but enabling deep heart connectedness to God is equally important.  The Worship Arts program at Prairie has these aims and is affecting meaningful formation and transformation!  I’m privileged to guest lecture and witness what God is up to on campus.

Joyce Rees
Pastor and Speaker
Music Worship Arts 2
The Music and Worship Arts program at Prairie is unique. With the ability to focus on songwriting and then graduating with a EP project as a result of your studies -  it is a gift to a developing artist. Match that with solid theological training, one on one mentoring and discipleship in worship leadership and you have a solid program to meet the needs of the developing artist and the church community.
Renee Evaskevich
Worship and Music Professor
Music Worship Arts 2
The Prairie College Music and Worship Arts program not only offers valuable teaching on songwriting and musical disciplines, it also offers the opportunity of real world practical application. Writing songs, re-writing songs, making charts, working with musicians, and recording an EP under the guidance of professional mentors invariably makes the student a more well rounded, creative individual with the tools and experiences to excel in their future musical endeavours. 
Mark Troyer
Producer/Recording and Mix Engineer at Evergreen Sound
Stephen J. Rendall
Joyce Rees
Renee Evaskevich
Mark Troyer