Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pastoral Music, D.P.M.

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The Doctor of Pastoral Music (D.P.M.) degree is intended to provide an environment for the vocational renew of practicing and experienced church musicians, and equip them for changes in the profession of church music in the areas of liturgy, cultural diversity, theological perspectives, congregational song, contextual musical analysis, and additional skills related to the performance of music in worship.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to identify critical issues in pastoral ministry related to worship and church music and implement holistic strategies for improvement in relationships and performance.
  2. Students will be able to evaluate research that integrates various musical traditions with recent developments in liturgy, culture and worship, ritual studies, and hymnody.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate refined skills in an applied area including, but not limited to, organ service playing, keyboards in worship, congregational song, choral conducting, guitar, and percussion, in conjunction with their primary focus.
  4. Students will be able to apply these methodologies and performance skills in the context of their social location, including their congregation and community.

Requirements for Admission

  1. An accredited (NASM/ATS) MM, MSM, MCM degree (48 credit hrs.) or equivalent with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale (B=80) in addition to graduate courses in music theory, musicology, applied music study, and a minimum of five courses in Bible (6 credit hrs.), theology (3 credit hrs.), liturgy (3 credit hrs.), and hymnology (3 credit hrs.).
  2. At least five years of full‐time music ministry experience post‐master’s degree.

Requirements for Graduation

The D.P.M program requires 39 credit hours of academic credit: 30 credit hours of coursework and nine credit hours earned through the satisfactory completion of a practicum and thesis.

Only course grades of 80 or higher will qualify toward meeting the requirements for graduation.

All degree requirements must be completed within seven years from the time when coursework began. Under special circumstances, the director of the D.P.M. program may be petitioned in writing for an extension. People who do not complete the degree within eight years of initial matriculation will be required to repeat all coursework. All financial obligations must be met before graduation.

Course Requirements

Required Courses

Summer Term

  • CM 9370 - The Person and Role of the Minister
  • CM 9380 - Seminar in Practical Theology
Total: 6 Credit Hours


Taken in sequence

  • CM 9392 - Professional Project I
  • CM 9394 - Professional Project II
Total: 6 Credit Hours

Concentration Courses

  • CM 9323 - Applied Studies in Church Music (conducted in student’s parish)
  • CM 9373 - Issues in Liturgical Theology and Practice
  • CM 9324 - Issues in Pastoral Music
  • CM 9344 - Music in Worship and Renewal
Total: 12 Credit Hours


Choose from the following suggested courses:

  • CM 9325 - Seminar in Worship Arts
  • CM 9321 - Cross-Cultural Immersion in Music and Worship
  • CM 9307 - Conflict Transformation in Congregational Life
  • CM 9308 - Making Sense of the American Spiritual Landscape
  • CM 9359 - Understanding Congregations: An Introduction to Congregational Studies
  • CM 9369 - Leadership in Church and Community
  • CM 9390 - Directed Studies in Pastoral Music
Total: 6 Credit Hours


  • CM 9696 - Pastoral Music Practicum
  • CM 9398 - Doctor of Pastoral Music Thesis
Total: 9 Credit Hours

Total: 39 Credit Hours

The Doctor of Pastoral Music Committee

During the first year of study, the student will invite, in consultation with the director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, three people to serve on a committee to supervise the approved project practicum and the written project thesis. The committee will consist of an adviser, a reader and a field supervisor. Either the adviser or the reader must be a member of the Perkins regular faculty, with the other committee member selected from the regular or adjunct faculty. It is recommended that a Perkins regular faculty member serve as adviser. The field supervisor should be recognized as having gifts and experience in ministry that are applicable to the practicum and be available to consult with the student during the practicum as well as to evaluate the student’s practicum. The entire committee will guide, read and evaluate the student’s professional practicum and project thesis.

When the professional project is completed satisfactorily as determined by the committee in consultation with the director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, the student will participate in an oral evaluation on the school campus by the committee on the professional project thesis. At a minimum, both the student and adviser must be physically present for the oral evaluation. It is recommended that all committee members be physically present with the student for the evaluation. All committee members must be present for the evaluation, either in person or by electronic means.

Project Practicum and Thesis

The professional project practicum and thesis combine research, a designed ministerial field experience and a written doctoral-level project that addresses both the nature and the practice of ministry and has the potential for application in other ministry contexts.

  1. The professional project is an approved practicum experience and written thesis that articulates the theological and theoretical rationale for the practicum with theological reflection on the experience.
  2. The professional project in both its parts (practicum and written thesis) should demonstrate the student’s ability to identify a specific theological topic in ministry, organize an effective research model, use appropriate resources, evaluate the results and reflect the student’s depth of theological insight in relation to ministry.
  3. The written project thesis must be submitted in an approved style and format.
  4. Upon completion of the professional project and with the student’s Doctor of Pastoral Music committee’s permission, the student will sit for an oral examination administered by the project committee and open to the public covering the project and the student’s integration of her or his theology and practice of ministry. This examination will take place on campus, with at a minimum the student and adviser present. Other committee members may participate via electronic means if necessary.

At completion of the D.P.M. thesis and successful oral evaluation, the completed written project thesis will be accessioned in Bridwell Library. A summary of the thesis proposal and its results will be posted on the D.P.M. website.

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