The Rise of Worship Schools


During the last few decades the Worship Pastor or Director of Worship or Worship Leader has become a very important position within the ministry team of a local congregation.  In response, many individuals have taken their places in service to local congregations.

In recent years, however, a growing cry has come from local congregations for worship leaders who are deeper and wider, that is, for worship leaders who have a growing understanding of the church, a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ, and a fully deployed set of gifts. This cry has been accompanied by a growing awareness on the part of Worship Leaders for development in their understanding of worship, spiritual formation, and competencies.

In response to that cry, worship schools have been established throughout the nation. Most of them originated with and are hosted by local congregations. Prominent examples include:

  • Seacoast School of Worship (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina)
  • Bethel School of Worship (Redding, CA)
  • New Life School of Worship (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Oceans Edge School of Worship (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

A non-church based worship school is 10,000 Fathers Worship School led by Aaron and Megan Keyes. I recently had the privilege of hanging out with the Keyes and a handful of their students.  I already knew Aaron Keyes as an anointed worship leader and musician but, after a couple days in their home, I discovered that the Keyes have established a life-transforming worship school. What sets 10,000 Fathers Worship School apart from other worship schools is its commitment to make disciples who make disciples. The mission of the school is to not only teach leaders the art of leading worship but to disciple them before releasing them as spiritual fathers and mothers to a new generation of worshipers. 

As servants of Christ responsible for prompting the praise of God’s people, worship leaders realize that theirs is a great responsibility; they also realize the need to grow in their knowledge, deepen their walk with Christ, and improve their skills. Worship schools are one response to those need. 

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Community Builder

Hi Sam,

Thank you for making us aware of these schools that are devoted to worship training.  I'm curious: are any of the schools of worship you mentioned "Reformed" in their doctrine and worldview?  For what it's worth, two of my wife's nephews have studied at the Bethel School of Worship in CA, and really enjoyed it. 

Peace to you!





Community Builder


Thanks for the report on Bethel and for the question. I would need to research the schools at a deeper level to get a handle on both their doctrinal statements and their worldviews. My hunch is that the church based ones lean towards the Pentecostal-Charismatic wing of American Evangelicalism. The 10,000 Fathers Worship School,however, resonates with both my Reformed soteriology and my worldview. One example is its founder's song "Sovereign Over Us" -   

But if you know of other schools, please let me know.  





Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies is reformed/Calvinistic in its approach. Also, several Christian Colleges and universities have worship/music "schools".