Liberty announces new interim dean for the School of Music

Liberty University announced Dr. Stephen W. Müller as the interim dean of the School of Music, a position held by Dr. Vernon Whaley since 2012.

Before joining the Liberty faculty in 2013, Müller spent time in the music education field at schools and churches in Texas, Washington state and California. Müller holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy, a Doctorate of Ministry in Transformational Leadership, and is ABD (all but dissertation) toward a Doctorate of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Stephen Müller is familiar with the music education department, for he served as the associate dean of the Center for Music Education and Performance. With Müller in this role, the undergraduate music education program has flourished, tripling in enrollment, and students are able to receive state licensure if they wish. 

Müller said he finds Liberty’s approach to education unique in many ways. 

“I am honored to lead a faculty that are committed to training musicians to be champions for Christ,” Müller said. “There is an understanding between the students and faculty that is our true purpose.”

The school’s mission is to train and equip musicians to be champions for Christ. They are a “community of God-honoring musicians committed to a culture of worship lifestyle, servant leadership, stylistic adversity, academic inquiry, skillful musicianship, artistic and creative expression and sharing the Gospel through music,” according to their webpage.

There are two centers in the School of Music: the Center for Music & Worship — which trains musicians to serve in the ministerial community — and the Center for Music Education & Performance, which trains musicians as performers and educators. 

“Dr. Whaley is and was such an influencer nationally and internationally and such a visionary, so I don’t feel the need to do things differently than him,” Müller said. “I will just continue leading and influencing in ways that he began.” 

Nina Levy, a junior music and worship major at Liberty, is eager to see how Müller operates in this new position.

Lorena Rivera | Liberty Champion
SCHOOL OF MUSIC — The Center for Music and Worship Arts houses the School of Music.

“Professor Müller walks with God and is very intentional and loving,” Levy said. “He takes his job seriously and knows he works for God above everyone else and I have a lot of respect for that.” 

Müller also shared what Liberty can look forward to seeing from the School of Music in the future. 

“Liberty will see the School of Music more active on campus,” Müller said. “There will also be more inter-departmental activities with events like worship for the law school or smaller things at the Jerry Falwell Library. We are excited to build bridges and connect the campus through musicians.”

In an interview with Liberty News Service, Müller discussed his new position. 

“I am excited and honored to step into this role,” Müller said. “The next chapter for the School of Music will be built on a stable foundation comprised of a great faculty and staff, talented and called students, and incredible facilities. The future is bright.”

Events hosted by the Liberty School of Music are found on the Liberty webpage. 

Edmonds is a news reporter. Keep up with her on Twitter here.

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