three year program:
Diploma in Music & Worship Arts
Three Year Program (90 Credits)
Courses revolve around:
Learn, create, think and worship through music and songwriting.
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.
This program is directed by worship leader and songwriter Brian Doerksen.
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.
Worship & Music Ministry
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 in development - subject to change.
Bible & Theology (27 credits)
Arts & Sciences (27 credits)
Worship Arts (15 credits)
Songwriting Concentration (21 credits)
Music & Worship Ministry Concentration (21 credits)
For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.
Brian Doerksen Program Coordinator
“I’m thrilled to be personally giving leadership to the new 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. ”
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.
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.
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.
The community present in the Music and Worship Arts program is uplifting, Christ-centered and pushes you beyond what you thought you could be.
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.
Worship Arts Classroom
Inside the Loft
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.