Our era has witnessed an almost unprecedented burst of creativity in music and the arts for the Church.

The Center for Church Music is a place where you can tap into that great flow of energy (either on site or online) in order to:

  • get new ideas for music and other arts ministries in their various forms
  • gain a perspective on the music and art of the Church
  • take time for reflection
  • connect with the larger endeavor of Lutheran church music and the arts
  • be inspired by some remarkable leaders and thinkers in our midst
  • be energized for music and Gospel-based arts ministry
  • satisfy curiosity

From the Director

Pentecost 2022

Time to Exhale!  (…and pause)

Holy Spirit, light divine, shine upon this heart of mine;
chase the shades of night away, turn the darkness into day.

Holy Spirit, joy divine, cheer this saddened heart of mine;
yield a sacred, settled peace, let it grow and still increase.

Andrew Reed, 1787---1862

Finally, another season is complete!

And we seem to be coming out of the pandemic/lockdown…

We’ve endured a lot, triumphed over much, and learned a few things.

Well done!

Now, before you start to focus on summer services and fall planning, it’s time to relax and truly, fully exhale. Have you ever noticed how important that brief pause between exhalation and inhalation is? It brings a release, a centering, quietness, shalom…

Don’t hesitate to give yourself a bit of a sabbatical---some down time (or at least less frenetic days). Reconnect with friends and colleagues, catch up on some reading, take in a conference. Allow your horizons to widen, find out what’s happening in the rest of the world, especially within the Church and her music. You may want to check out the extensive website of the Center for Church Music and, if possible, visit the site yourself, especially the recently completed Liturgical Choir Reference Library. Dream a little…

When you finally do inhale and start looking ahead, may it be with expanded breath and a brighter vision.

The Risen and Ascended Christ promises to each of us his energizing Spirit---let it fall afresh on you and breathe in you!


Barry Bobb

Five Aspects of the Center for Church Music

Read about the five main aspects of the Center that shapes what we do and how we serve.

Resource Room

  • Books, magazines, recordings, the Schalk American Lutheran Hymnal Collection (541 volumes) and the ever-expanding archives of the original manuscripts of great American Lutheran composers & hymn writers.
  • Liturgical Choir Music Library

Digital Initiative

  • All of the volumes in the hymnal collection can be perused online at www.hymnary.org or from this website. See "Hymnal Collection Index."
  • Many of the original manuscripts are accessible online at the Center’s website (including Manz, Schalk, Hillert, Pelz, Thoms, Busarow, Bouman and others...) See "Composer Manuscript Indices".


  • Devotions, interviews, profiles, essays, forums, ideas, an arts registry

Print publications

  • Books and monographs in the Shaping American Lutheran Church Music series available through Amazon and Fortress Press

Encouragement of the next generation

  • Hillert Award in Student Composition---open to any undergrad or graduate student at a Lutheran university or seminary in the United States
  • Schalk Scholars
    • Creates awareness and access to current research in the areas of music and the arts
    • Provides stipends for research as well as publication and venues for presentations for these emerging scholars
    • Arts Registry
    • Contact information and samples from composers, visual artists, writers, designers, media artists.

The Hillert Award

The Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition is awarded every other year to a current student at a Lutheran university or seminary. Nominations are now open for the 2020 competition.

Learn More

Schalk Scholar Program

The Schalk Scholar program seeks to identify and support up and coming scholars in the area of church music. 

Learn More

Get Involved

Commit Yourself

Share your time, talents and gifts by becoming involved with the Center for Church Music. Contact the director, Barry Bobb to learn more about the different opportunities available. 

Visit the Center

Visit the Center for Church Music located in the Klinck Memorial Library on Concordia University Chicago's Campus.