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

"Healing and Power"/Pentecost 2024)

Pentecost 2024

“Healing and Power”


Even within the vast treasure of the Church’s global song, it is difficult to imagine a hymn more enriching that Philip Blycker’s “Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven”/”Santo Espíritu, excelsa paloma”. [LSB 502]

Working in Guatemala City in the 1970s Blycker sought to explore the Scriptural witness to the names and roles of the Holy Spirit. What a varied and nuanced list he uncovered! It gives new life to our “high and holy calling” as those who lead the Church’s song. It greatly unpacks our confession of the Third Article of the Creed and the Latin flavor of the music pulls everyone into the multi-layered riches of the text. (And don’t miss Bob Hobby’s rollicking arrangement with organ, instruments, and voices or the Hart Morris handbell setting---both from CPH.)

The Spirit is gentle, descending as a dove, speaking tenderly to us. It is also a great wind and fire conveying the power of God. It cleanses and enlightens through the Word. The Spirit brings light to a bleak and darkening world. What a gift!

Holy Spirit, come and fill our temples with your divine presence
as we sing the story and praises of the One who cleanses us and
makes us whole every moment of our lives and ministry. Amen.

Make your summer a Spirit-filled time of reflection and renewal! Blessings…

Barry Bobb


Holy Spirit, the dove sent from heaven,                    

Ever one with the One who is Three,

From the Father you came, words of peace to proclaim,

Come and comfort us, speak tenderly.

You, the fragrance of life we are seeking;

Fill your temple, your altar make clean.

Joyous shelter of love, gracious friend from above,

In your care we are resting, serene.

Holy Spirit, the fire celestial,

Who on Pentecost came as foretold,

To descend from on high and the Church occupy

As the cloud filled the temple of old;

All the baptized you seal with your promise,

All believers your gift there receive,

So that all the elect---all in Christ---may expect

To enjoy what by grace they believe.

Holy Spirit, the unction of blessing,

Sacred oil of the green olive tree,

Giving heat, giving light, as the tent lamps ignite

And as Aaron praised God joyfully.

Blessed living and life-giving water,

Now preserve us from evil within;

For in Jesus, God’s Son, all believers are one

In this washing that cleanses from sin.

Holy Spirit, the wind of great power,

Source of strength and of peace and of love,

Truest Comforter, plead, as you bring all our need

To the throne of God’s glory above.

Be the light that enlightens the Scriptures;

Keep our feet from each devilish snare;

Only you can make whole all that troubles our soul,

By your chrism, Christ’s triumph we share.


English text: © 2004 Stephen P. Starke; admin. Concordia Publishing House.

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.

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. 

Contact Center Director Barry Bobb or call 314-258-2341 to make arrangements.