Is a worship leader type degree worth it?

What would you rather have more of for your calling in life — education or experience? Some say you need more education than experience to get started.  Others say experience trumps education.  Yet other, you simply need a heart for a calling.
Is a worship leader type of degree worth pursuing? One small indicator might be looking at the total number of positions currently listed through churchstaffing.com as of today (September 9, 2010).

Listings % Position Area
35 21.47% Worship & Music Pastor
33 20.25% Youth Pastor
15 9.20% Children’s Pastor
12 7.36% Senior Pastor
11 6.75% Music
7 4.29% Associate Pastor
6 3.68% Christian Education
6 3.68% Discipleship/Equipping
4 2.45% Business/Administration
4 2.45% Media/Technology
3 1.84% Campus Pastor
3 1.84% Church Staff
3 1.84% Executive Pastor
3 1.84% Other Pastor
3 1.84% Para-church Ministries
2 1.23% Chaplain
2 1.23% Church Planter
2 1.23% Secretarial/Office
1 0.61% Combo Positions
1 0.61% Counseling
1 0.61% Family Pastor
1 0.61% Missions Pastor
1 0.61% Missions/Domestic
1 0.61% Other
1 0.61% Pastoral Care Pastor
1 0.61% Small Group Pastor
1 0.61% Women’s Pastor
163 100.00% Total

Next question, how many of the 46 positions below require a degree — and what kind of degree?

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3 Responses to Is a worship leader type degree worth it?

  1. Matt Gorzalski says:

    Yes a degree and education is best. In the business world it immediately sets you apart from the rest. You also have knowledge of the latest trends. There is a church we’ve visited that is trying to become more temporary and I think wanted Joy and I to take a leading role in doing that. That’s a lot to ask for two people who’ve been there 3-4 times. But anyway, if they want to progress they will need to hire a full time music minister with a degree, who is young and understands how worship is done these days. And nobody in this congregation fits that description although they have experience. So get the education.

    • Kaleb says:

      What if an individual has years of experience, is young, and has great talent, heart and knowledge of current trends but doesn’t have a degree in music or worship? It fits all your criteria but such an individual might be better suited for the job then someone with a degree. Does education really matter of experience? Or are either or both in combination best?

      • Matt Gorzalski says:

        That is an interesting scenario. How could someone be young but have years of professional experience? Or would this experience be individual experimentation with music programs, all of the wiring configuration, and instrumental skills developed amateurly in their bedroom? I guess age is a factor. I think young people would be better suited to pick up these skills in a learning environment like school which would better allow them to compete for jobs against people with years of experience.

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