Director of Parish Music

Would you like to be involved in leading the music for a congregation? Do you have skills in singing or playing piano or organ or other instruments?

Concordia-Chicago Director of Parish Music Overview

The DPM program at Concordia is a special certificate program within the liberal arts music major with additional coursework in church music. As a Director of Parish Music (DPM), you will play the organ and piano, direct a variety of choirs and instrumental groups, and help plan worship services with the pastor. Often, DPMs also become involved in other programs of the congregation that relate to music. Our program prepares you for all of these responsibilities.

CUC’s emphasis on performance in applied lessons and ensembles keeps you active at your craft, and a vibrant worship life in chapel provides numerous opportunities for musical participation—including involvement with Résonanz, our acclaimed contemporary chapel group.

Director of Parish Music Course Information

The music courses include academic courses, applied study and ensemble participation. Academic courses encompass the core areas of music theory and aural skills, music history and literature, and conducting. All music majors study a primary instrument or voice, and many study a second instrument. Applied study is available in every instrument, as well as voice. Students in the Director of Parish Music program study organ, piano or voice. In addition, students take specialized courses in the foundations and practice of church music.

Upon completion of coursework, you will receive a Certificate in Parish Music. This certificate is only available with the music major; you cannot take the certificate apart from the major. You also have the option to roster as a commissioned minister in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by taking a series of theology courses.

For details about required courses and course descriptions, please visit our online catalog.

Director of Parish Music Opportunities

Our close proximity to Chicago, a world-class center for music, can enrich your educational experience through concerts, workshops and other cultural events. Parishes throughout the metro area offer diverse opportunities to participate in church music. Students also have a unique opportunity for a field experience semester with the manager of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

CUC is highly active in the church music community, offering an annual Lectures in Church Music conference, which attracts church musicians from across the country. Seen as a resource by area churches, our students are often sought for regular and substitute church music positions, and three of our full-time faculty remain active as church musicians in local Lutheran congregations. Senior-level students have access to some graduate/undergraduate courses in our highly regarded Master of Church Music program.

Concordia-Chicago is part of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. You can learn more about the organization on their website: ALCM.