Music Pastor at a glance
North Central’s Music Pastor major will prepare you for your calling as a church leader who ministers through music. You’ll be surrounded by a vibrant Christian community that will encourage you and support you as you pursue your passion to praise God with spirit-filled spirit worship. North Central’s world-class music program, state-of-the-art facilities, and relationships with local churches will give you both real-world experience and invaluable connections. Plus, you’ll have opportunities to join one of our student-led worship teams.
Considering a career in worship leading? Check out our article on 7 reasons to get worship leader training.
Want to learn more?
Download the one sheet!
Simply fill in your info on the form to download the informational one sheet that covers:
- An overview of the program
- Classes you’ll take
- Exciting jobs you can get after graduation
Interested in earning your degree as a Music Pastor at NCU?
What sets us apart
Skills you’ll gain
When you graduate from the Music Pastor program, you’ll be prepared to:
- Lead worship and music ministry in church settings
- Use music to worship, bring God’s Word to life, evangelize, disciple others, and further God’s work
- Effectively use multimedia presentations
- Play the piano proficiently
- Apply written and aural music theory
- Arrange and compose music
- Teach music
- Understand music of other cultures
- Oversee administration, organize, manage time, create budgets, understand public and staff relations
To ensure that you’re prepared as an experienced, highly-skilled musician, we have a few requirements for our Music majors.
- Ensemble participation—You need to participate in at least one ensemble each semester. You can choose from: Woman’s Chorus, Festival Chorus, Chorale (audition only), Rhythm Players, Jazz Workshop ( upperclassmen), String Ensemble
- Recital performance class—You’ll register for this class each semester to prepare for your senior recital, perform on your primary instrument, and learn recital etiquette.
- Recital attendance—You’ll be expected to attend all recital classes, senior recitals, and faculty recitals.
- Applied lessons—You’ll take music lessons in one major instrument and one minor instrument. You can choose from the following: piano, voice, guitar, drums, bass guitar, violin, flute, cello, saxophone, trumpet and french horn. Piano is the minor instrument for anyone who isn’t a piano major.
- Jury exams—You’ll take final jury exams at the end of each semester. At jury exams, you’ll perform pieces you’ve studied that semester.
- Piano proficiency—You’ll be required to demonstrate piano proficiency by the end of your fourth semester of theory.
- Senior project/recital—All Music Pastor majors need to complete a half hour performance on their primary instrument as well as a half hour conducting recital to finish their degree.
You’ll participate in an internship as part of your program. Your internship will prepare you with real-world experience and valuable connections as you follow your calling as a music pastor.
Minors & programs
We want you to be well-rounded and well-prepared when you graduate, so you’ll have the opportunity to choose a minor or supporting program so you can explore another area of interest. Here are some possibilities:
- Campus Missions
- Evangelism & Church Planting
- Intercultural Studies
- Leadership Development
- Media Communications
- Media Production
- Urban Studies
- Youth Ministries
See the full list of minors and supporting programs.
Ben Cruse ‘15
"Every year, anything I did, any class, any leadership team, any worship team, somebody was pouring into me, investing into my life, and caring about me-not just to prepare me as a minister, but also to grow me as a person."
All students must complete the General Education Core and Christian Studies Core. General electives may be added or an optional minor may be selected. You need 124 total credit hours to complete the Music Pastor degree.
Watch the new Worship Live video, performed and recorded by NCU students and alumni!
Meet one of your professors
Assistant Professor of Worship Arts
I am originally from Kenosha, WI (go Pack go!), and am married to my high school sweetheart (Justine). We have three amazing kids (Vinnie, Sofie, and Santino), and live in Princeton, MN (way north!). As a graduate of NCU (B.A. Music, 2002), I have had a love for the school for more than half of my life, and truly enjoy teaching here! Since graduating, I have served the local church in music ministry for over 12 years (serving in Orlando, FL and Princeton, MN). It has been my pleasure to lead people in worship through these years, and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the next generation of worship leaders and music pastors here at NCU.
WHAT ARE YOUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE?
Worship Studies and Musical Worship Leadership in the Local Church
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING AT NORTH CENTRAL?
I love the culture of NCU and the impact that it has around the world. It is an honor to work with such incredible students!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CLASSES TO TEACH?
Theology of Christian Worship (339). Worship is so much bigger than we think it is! This class helps us to connect to God’s Story and explore the truth that Christian worship leads us to the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.