Worship Arts

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Learning How to Glorify God

Study Worship Arts at LBC

Learning How to Glorify God

Sing and play your heart out to God as you lead others in doing the same!

At LBC, we’re passionate about training students to lead God’s people in corporate worship grounded in a Scriptural understanding of arts and the church. As you learn, you’ll also be sharpening your own musical skills and developing as a servant leader.

On top of LBC’s unparalleled biblical instruction, you will gain tools and knowledge to engage people through the arts as you participate in the story of God together. You will be mentored by caring and experienced professors as well as local leaders, with ample hands-on opportunities to lead your peers and gain real-time ministry experience. Our students graduate prepared spiritually, academically, and professionally to serve in churches, retreat & conference centers, parachurch organizations, and beyond.

Why Study Worship Arts at LBC?

  • Take part in internships with local churches to gain practical experience in preparing for and leading worship.
  • Learn about practical ministry, philosophical understanding, ministry and top-notch performance training.
  • Study under professors and professionals with many years of experience in leading worship at churches both nationally and internationally.
Your Journey

Program Credits: 134

Locations: Lancaster


Bachelor of Arts with majors in Worship Arts and Biblical Studies

Accreditation: National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Here are some examples of internships completed by students in the past:

  • Worship Coordinator in a Local Church
  • Worship Leader at a Christian Camp
  • Worship Leader for Retreats/Conferences


  • Traditional
  • Online & Evening (Adult Education)
  • Available as Minor

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” – Psalm 150:6

A Closer Look: Worship Arts

image of LBC student worship leader used to introduce music video

Hands-On Experience

Students in the Music, Worship & Performing Arts department get the chance to showcase their musical skills through recitals, concerts and by leading worship during chapel. Enjoy “More Than an Experience” by MBSSY, an LBC student worship team.

Meet the Faculty

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Ryan Shenk, M.A.

Assistant Professor, Director of Worship Arts

“Nothing is truly learned until it is put into action.” — Mr. Shenk

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Paul Thorlakson, D.M.A.

Professor, Chair of Music, Worship & Performing Arts Department

“Nothing brings me more joy than to witness God’s multiplication of a student’s natural gifts into a supernatural force for His kingdom” — Dr. Thorlakson

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Robert Bigley, D.M.A.

Professor, Executive Director of Trust Performing Arts Center, Director of Choral Studies

“My students inspire me every day. I hope to do the same for them.” — Dr. Bigley

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Timothy Sidebothom, Ph.D.

Professor, Director of Music Studies

“It is my privilege to teach inquisitive, college students about music and the life God has given them.” – Dr. Sidebothom

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Rachel Sidebothom, M.Ed.

Assistant Professor, Music Education Program Director, Associate Chair of WPA

“Changing lives through quality music instruction.” — Mrs. Sidebothom

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Bruce Gerlach, D.M.A.

Part-time Faculty

“In my joy, I’ve joined the dance of Union with the Three in One” – from the hymn “Union With the Three in One” – Dr. Gerlach

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Sample Course Outline

WPA 102 – Introduction to Worship Arts

A foundational understanding of a biblical theology of worship is introduced. Additionally, an overview of the art of worship from early Christian times through the current post-modern trends is included. Practical implications for worship situations in today’s church are drawn from both the biblical and historical context.

MUS 102 – Music Theory II

Further development of topics covered in Music Theory I (MUS 101) including harmony, cadences, and embellishing tones are studied. Roman numerals, figured bass, and chord symbols are used in intermediate analytical and practical applications.

WOR 401 – Communicating Biblical Truth through Worship

This course focuses on the theory and practice of “preaching” while leading worship – a guide to “worship homiletics” for worship leaders. Students learn to “preach/teach” while guiding worship in the contemporary, blended, and traditional services. The final project is presented to the public as the Senior Project.

MUS 212 – Contemporary Theory & Arranging

Advanced harmony and rhythms are studied. Counterpoint and voice-leading of these musical elements are applied in arrangements written for various ensembles.

MUS 211 – Introduction to Composition

Musical form and advanced harmony are studied. These musical elements are explored through the composition of original pieces.

PRO 101 – Intro to Electronic Media

This is an introductory course to electronic media with specific application to its use in worship ministries. Basic areas covered include visual (still, video, streaming) and audio editing and production, Flash presentations, related software applications (Powerpoint®, worship preparation software, ProPresenter®), related web-based resources, basic recording techniques, and the use of media in worship ministries.

HUM 302 – Media: Conveyor of Cultural Ideas

This course is an examination of media as tools to convey cultural ideas (including religious ideas, philosophical ideas, worldviews, persuasive messages, and culture itself). A cultural lens for both consumers and producers of media to evaluate mass media on behalf of church and society will be developed. The student will investigate how the mass media both reflect and shape cultural ideas. Students will apply critical skills to learn how to analyze all forms of media communication. Prerequisite(s): COM 202 or permission of instructor. (This course is cross-listed as COM 302.) 3 credits.

HUM 340 – Music History II

This course examines music from Classicism to Romanticism, concentrating on the major composers of each era, their musical contributions, vocal and instrumental developments, and the progression of musical style and form within the historical, sociological, technological, and theological advancements and influences of these eras.

MUS 312 – Rhythm Section Methods

Rhythm Section Methods introduces guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and percussion, giving the student a basic understanding of how each instrument is played. Instruction includes technical, expressive, and notational characteristics of each instrument.

MUS 231 – Songwriting

This advanced beginner class expands on the techniques learned in Jazz I with focus on cleanly executed technique, well connected movement quality, dynamics and increased strength and flexibility. A variety of jazz styles will be introduced. Students will be expected to retain at a more advanced pace, and properly execute combinations. Performance quality and dramatics of musical theatre jazz will be introduced and practiced.

WOR 402 – Administrative Process in Worship Arts

This course is an in-depth investigation, with practical application, of the administrative process involved in a worship arts ministry. Basic areas covered will include the supervision and management of people and resources, vision-building, leadership development/staffing, planning of worship events, budgeting, and administering the use of electronic media/technology in worship.

WOR 499 – Senior Project

Qualified students, during the final year of studies, present a worship event/project for the purpose of providing a final, cumulative artistic expression, show-casing their ability to develop and effectively produce a missional worship event/project that represents the biblical and spiritual core values of the College, while also demonstrating a profound understanding of personal worship.





Every student who applies to any major in the Music, Worship & Performing Arts department must audition for acceptance into the major of their interest and must also be accepted as a student to Lancaster Bible College.

Audition Requirements

Careers and Jobs in Worship Arts

  • Church Worship Leader
  • Songwriter
  • Performer

What’s your next step?