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Magazine names Liberty's worship program 'Best of the Best'

October 16, 2012 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

This month, Worship Leader Magazine announced the Liberty University Center for Music and Worship as its editor’s choice for “Best of the Best in Higher Education.” This is the second year in a row Liberty’s worship program has received the honor.

The magazine also named Liberty’s worship program as the “Top College Program,” as selected by its readers.

"Worship Leader" surveys worship leaders and media teams around the world for the annual issue, which includes the top picks in music, software, books, and other worship resources.

Liberty’s Center for Music and Worship, now housed under the new School of Music, launched in 2005 as one of only five worship programs nationwide. Today there are 88 worship programs at colleges and universities across the country. Liberty’s is the largest and most comprehensive worship program in the world.

“We believe God has given Liberty University’s Center for Music and Worship the opportunity to impact the evangelical culture as never before,” said Dr. Vernon Whaley, dean of the School of Music. “We look forward to seeing Liberty worship students serve in thousands of churches and ministries across the world.”

Whaley said the heart of the Center for Music and Worship is to equip musicians a Champions for Christ as they use worship and praise as an evangelism tool and to proclaim God’s wonders.

“It is our conviction that God wants us to take worship to the nations,” he said.

As Liberty seeks to establish a world-class music school, Dr. Lavon Gray has been appointed as associate dean of the Center for Music and Worship.

Gray, since moving to Lynchburg in January 2012 with his family from Jackson, Miss., has been critical in helping establish and define new programs, strengthen growing programs, and form partnerships with worship pastors at some of the largest churches in the world.

Worship students participate and perform in 'Fusion,' a night of music and worship inside the Towns Alumni Lecture Hall on Sept. 22, 2012.

Since its 2005 reorganization, the Center for Music and Worship has experienced unprecedented growth. Today, 546 undergraduate students, 390 graduate students, and 38 doctorate students study in one of its dynamic programs.

The center offers a Bachelor of Science in Music and Worship Studies with 11 concentrations/cognates available, including worship leadership, songwriting and artist development, worship technology, business, pastoral leadership, music in world cultures, theater, women’s ministry, biblical studies, and youth ministry. A new B.S. concentration in Cinematic Arts is being planned.

Three graduate programs are also offered: a Master of Arts in Worship Studies; a new M.A. in Music and Worship, which will be deployed in January; and an M.A in Ethnomusicology to equip musicians as missionaries. There are also worship studies concentrations available with the Master of Arts in Religion and Master of Divinity programs at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

With more than 1,000 students, the new Liberty University School of Music is comprised of the Center for Music and Worship and the Center for Music and the Performing Arts (formerly Music and Humanities), making it the nation’s seventh largest school of music. (Read more.)