If you’re looking for a school of worship, we live in a time of abundance. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of schools of worship in the world. Some worship schools are online, others are in-person, and others offer a hybrid program.
This article will expose you to some of the best schools of worship, and help you decide which one might be right for you.
*Disclaimer. We cannot verify the theological distinctives of each of these organizations, so it is advised that you research their beliefs and teachings before you apply for their programs.
Online vs In Person Worship Schools
When it comes to schools of worship, there are two main types: online and in-person (though a few programs offer a hybrid approach). There are pros and cons to both of these styles.
Online: Online learning is great because it’s usually much more affordable and can be completed on your own timeline. It fits into your schedule and you don’t have to relocate yourself or your family just to get a good education.
The downsides of online is that it’s less immersive and there is less accountability. You can slip off your learning habits if you’re not careful, because it’s really all up to you. You have to have more self discipline to stay consistent.
In-Person Schools: The benefits of in-person education is that you get a fully immersive experience. You are on-site, getting hands-on experience, and in a collaborative learning environment. You are making (potentially life-long) friends and enjoying in-person community. You also have built-in accountability, because everyone is going through the program together and are gathering weekly (if not daily) to progress through the material.
The downside of in-person learning is that it can be quite expensive. Most of the best worship schools cost thousands of dollars per semester. This can be quite prohibitive for young worship leaders looking for training. Besides being costly, attending an on-site worship school means you have to move across the country (or even across the world). And most of the programs do not include housing.
With that groundwork laid, let’s get into our list of the most reputable worship schools.
1) Worship Ministry Training (Online)
Worship Ministry Training is an online academy for worship leaders. It provides pre-recorded video courses, live monthly training workshops, weekly group coaching calls, and done-for-you resources, documents, and team discipleship materials. It provides ALL of the tools and training you need to build a thriving worship ministry. Plus a thriving community of worship leaders sharing what they are learning in online forums and private chats / video calls.
- Theological Foundations
- Team Building
- Set Building
- Musical Excellence
- Increasing Congregational Engagement
- Group Communication
- Administrative Excellence
- Vocal Technique
- Running Effective Rehearsals
- Ministry Health
Cost: $29 / month for individuals. $99 / month for unlimited users (church account).
Length of Program: As long as you need or desire. Complete the courses on your own timeline.
2) Worship Ministry School (Online)
Worship Ministry School is an online platform similar to Worship Ministry Training. It provides courses, live coaching calls, and a forum for posting questions. The primary emphasis of Worship Ministry School is improving your technology and production. If you’re looking for help being a better leader, leading healthier teams, and improving your musical excellence, then we recommend Worship Ministry Training (above). But if you’re primarily wanting to improve your tech, then Worship Ministry School is worth your attention.
- Advanced Multi-Camera Live Streaming for Churches
- Beginner’s Guide to Church Sound
- Beginner’s Guide to Live Streaming for Churches
- Broadcast Mix Mastery
- Dante Audio Networking for Worship Ministry
- Electric Guitar for Modern Worship
- Equipping and Empowering Your Keyboard Player
- Getting Started with a Click and Tracks
- How to Lead Worship Band Rehearsal
- Lead Worship with Ableton
- Lighting for Worship
- Liturgical Theology for Worship
- MainStage Essentials
- Mixing for Worship
- Music Theory for Worship Leaders
- Pastoral Theology for Worship Leaders
- Planning Center Essentials
- Proclaim Essentials
- Producing a Live Worship Album
- ProPresenter Essentials
- Recruiting and Auditioning for Worship Teams
- Speak Between Songs
- Systems for Success
- The Worship Leader Mindset
- Worship Tech Blueprint
Length of Program: 9 Months
Cost: Between $600 and $3000 depending on which program you choose.
3) School of Worship (In-Person)
Situated in sunny Southern California (Costa Mesa, specifically) is the Calvary Chapel School of Worship, an in-person program for worship leaders and worship musicians. School of Worship has been operating their program for nearly two decades and they have a full faculty of staff and teachers. The modern worship movement was birthed out of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in the early 70’s, so it makes sense that they’d have a great and long-standing school of worship.
- Worship Team Development
- Rhythm and Music Theory
- Songwriting and Music Production
- Vocal Ensemble
- Vocal Technique
- Acoustic Guitar
- Small Group Labs: Acoustic Guitar • Voice • Drums • Keyboards • MainStage • Loops and Tracks • Electric Guitar • Home Recording • Live Sound • Bass • Band Leadership • Guitar Maintenance • Ableton
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Length of Program: 9 Months to 2 years.
Cost: $4,850, total for both semesters. Includes full tuition, an iPad, iPad apps, and SOW Master’s Summit retreat.
*Student is responsible for purchasing their own books and the cost of housing / living as these are not included in the cost of tuition.
4) Radiant School of Worship (In-Person)
Radiant school of worship is a part of the vibrant “Radiant Church” in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They offer on-site training and hands-on ministry opportunities as part of their school.
- Band Dynamics
- Davidic Worship
- Worship Leader Practicum
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Program Length: 8 Month Program
Cost: $4,200. Covers: Books, Discipleship Groups, Teachers, Software and Gear Usage, Three Retreats, Arise Shine Conference, Staff Training Meals, Online Tutorials, and Training
*Housing not included
5) IHOPU – Worship University (In-Person)
IHOPU has a worship track specifically for worship leaders. IHOPU is part of International House of Prayer a 24/7 prayer and worship ministry and church out in Kansas City, Missouri. Besides classes, you will be getting hands-on ministry experience in various areas of ministry at the church and prayer center. IHOP has a more charismatic bent to their theology and approach to ministry, so be sure to make sure you resonate with their theology.
One benefit to IHOPU is they offer paid work opportunities around their facilities, so you can help recover some of the costs of their program.
- Prophetic Worship
- Worship Leadership
- Studio Production
In addition to the Encountering God Series courses, Prayer & Ministry Practicum, and IHOPU Chapel, you will typically be taking two lecture courses and two skill-based courses per semester.
Location: Kansas City, MI
Program Length: One year, two year, and four year programs available.
Cost: $4,040 per semester. Housing not included
6) Oceans Edge School of Worship (In-Person)
If you’re looking for an accredited program, Oceans Edge School of Worship in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida may be for you. Oceans Edge has been providing quality education to worship leaders for nearly two decades. They have partnered with accredited universities to offer degree programs and official certificates of completion. They have a full-time staff and faculty and are part of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.
A list of classes was not available on their website, but you can visit HERE for more information.
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Program Length: 1 Year
Housing Cost: $6,500 per year
7) Living Light School of Worship (In-Person)
Living Light School of Worship has a program full of young, passionate people who are hungry to grow in both the heart and skill of worship. Located in Kenosha, Wisconson and part of Living Light Christian Church, a global multi-site church.
- Music Theory I & II Expand
- Songwriting Expand
- Worship Teams Expand
- Worship Leading Expand
- Ear Training I & II Expand
- Keyboarding Expand
- Song Arranging Expand
- Bible Memorization Expand
- Bible Overview Expand
- Personal Development Expand
- Effective Evangelism Expand
- Kingdom Worldview Expand
- Exploration of Worship Expand
- God’s Lavish Grace Expand
- Stewardship in Life Expand
- Vision and Commitment Course Expand
- Prophetic Workshop
Location: Kenosha, WI
Length of Program: 9-month
*Housing not included
8) 10,000 Fathers Worship School (Hybrid)
Last but not least, 10,000 Fathers Worship School is a hybrid program for worship leaders. It is run out of Colorado Springs, Colorado by Aaron Keyes and his team. This program is unique in that it is the only hybrid program on our list. Every 6 months, students gather to kick off the new semester with 5-day intensives in the Colorado mountains. They then head home and progress through the curriculum and assignments via weekly video calls.
Location: Colorado Springs, CO (and home)
Length of Program: 18 months
The syllabus was too in-depth to summarize all the courses, but you can see the entire 78-week curriculum HERE.
Which worship school is right for you?
Only you can decide which of these schools is best for you and your needs. But we hope this research helped you. If you’re looking for something helpful, affordable, and easy to dive into today, we recommend you check out Worship Ministry Training.
You can start for just $1 by clicking HERE.