Music in Worship, B.S.

Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science degree in Music in Worship is offered upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements. Total credits: 56.

Students interested in pursuing the Music in Worship degree must demonstrate commitment to the pursuit of spiritual growth, musical excellence and theological understanding.

Special Programs/Opportunities


The Conservatory provides opportunities for experience in several types of vocal and instrumental ensembles, including the Biola Chorale, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Women's Chorus, Men's Chorus, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensembles. All are open to non-music majors as well as music majors by audition.

Concert Series

The Conservatory concert series features outstanding guest artists and student ensembles.

Masterclasses and Artist-in-Residence Program

Opportunities for participating in masterclasses with guest artists are available annually. Of special note is the ongoing series of masterclasses and recitals by world-renowned artists, including Menahem Pressler, pianist, Artist-in-Residence.

Local Opportunities

The Southern California area provides exceptional opportunities for hearing the world's leading artists, as well as outstanding college and church music performances.

Service Opportunities

The Los Angeles metropolitan area offers many opportunities for remunerative service in music. There are frequent openings for competent church choir directors, soloists, accompanists, instrumentalists, and organists.


Music awards in varying amounts are available to qualified students. Complete information is available by emailing or by writing:

Director, Conservatory of Music
Biola University
13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90639-0001

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Music in Worship, students will be able to:

  1. Apply historical and theoretical understanding to the analysis of musical forms, processes, and structures found in masterpieces from the western art music tradition (ULO 1).
  2. Describe how they intend to integrate their faith in their anticipated future professional activities (ULO 2).
  3. Demonstrate basic musicianship skills in sight-singing, dictation, conducting, voice and piano (ULO 2).
  4. Evaluate basic form, harmony, meter, rhythm, voice-leading and developmental techniques found in excerpts and entire pieces from the Western art music tradition, and will experiment with writing music in the same styles (ULO 3).
  5. Apply their stylistic, theoretical, interpretive and technical skills and understanding to create and perform personal, communicative performances on their primary instrument (ULO 3).
  6. Demonstrate how they will connect mind and heart in order to provide spiritual leadership within the local church (ULO 2).
  7. Demonstrate their ability to use contemporary music theory practices and worship-chart vocabulary by writing 'take-down' transcriptions and professional charts (ULO 3).
  8. Demonstrate preparedness for the worship music field by addressing their personal philosophy of worship, demonstrated musical skills, and ability to effectively communicate with a congregation and church leadership (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

All students seeking admission must demonstrate musical background and performance strengths necessary for successful completion of the stated curriculum. Admission into Biola University does not guarantee admission into the Conservatory as a music major. A student will be admitted to the Conservatory of Music after:

  1. Meeting requirements for University admission.
  2. Completing a Conservatory application with the required number of references.
  3. Completing a Conservatory audition, including a basic musicianship examination designed to demonstrate university level music study readiness.

After acceptance and upon entrance, students will be given placement examinations and auditions in music dictation, keyboard skills and performance. These examinations are given for the purpose of validating prior study and determining proper placement in music courses. Specific information concerning the content of these examinations and suggestions for preparation are available by contacting the Conservatory Office.

Transfer of Credit/Advanced Standing

With the exception of courses in music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance, courses taken at other regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States will be accepted on a comparable course basis.

Prior study in the areas of music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance will be validated through placement examinations.

Advanced standing may be gained through placement examinations in the areas of music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance; however, no credit(s) will be given for waived courses. Waiver of courses on the basis of placement examinations without comparable prior course credit will increase elective credits required.

Credit for courses taken at a non-accredited college or university will be granted only through placement or challenge examinations.

Applied Music

In order to graduate, music students must reach primary applied proficiency level standards designated for each degree program. Applied Music lessons are guided by faculty or studio artists who have expertise and professional experience in the voice or instrument under study. Studio artists are affiliated with Biola via independent contracts and thus do not undergo the same process for hire as do faculty. The studio artists are all highly competent individuals who appreciate Biola and endorse the goals of the Conservatory, but their theological conceptualization has not undergone the same close review as that of the faculty. For more information, see the Conservatory Office.

Integration Seminar Requirement

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science music degree program are required to take BBST 465 as "Redeeming Culture Through Music" (this course fulfills the integration seminar Bible requirement).

GPA Requirements

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the major and receive a minimum grade of "C" in each required music course.

Curriculum Requirements

Program-Specific Core Curriculum (GE) Courses
Two years of language in high school or the first four credits in college meet the foreign language requirement for candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree.
Program Courses
MUSC 124Sound Production I1
MUSC 125Sound Production II1
MUSC 141Applied Music 18
or MUSC 142 Applied Music
MUSC 153Sight-Singing and Dictation I2
MUSC 154Music Theory I2
MUSC 163Sight-Singing and Dictation II2
MUSC 164Music Theory II2
MUSC 185Worship Foundations2
MUSC 200Concert Music 20
MUSC 287Hymnology1
MUSC 317Survey of Western Music I: Classical thru Mid-Twentieth Century3
MUSC 318Survey of Western Music II: Medieval thru Baroque3
MUSC 323Basic Conducting2
MUSC 346Pop Theory for Contemporary Worship I2
MUSC 349Pop Theory for Contemporary Worship II1
MUSC 353Sight-Singing and Dictation III1
MUSC 354Music Theory III2
MUSC 363Sight-Singing and Dictation IV1
MUSC 364Music Theory IV2
MUSC 386Spiritual Formation and Worship2
MUSC 387Designing and Leading Worship2
MUSC 452Worship Music Seminar 20
MUSC 453Worship Internship6
Proficiency Courses
The following proficiencies are required in order to complete the program:
Keyboard proficiency equivalent to three semesters of piano class:
Keyboard I
Keyboard II
Keyboard III
Guitar proficiency equivalent to one semester of guitar class:
Guitar Class
Voice proficiency equivalent to one semester of voice class, and/or one semester of private voice:
Voice Class
Applied Music
Ensemble Courses
MUSC 013Worship and Popular Music Ensemble 32
Select 2 credits of ensemble from the following:2
Biola Chorale
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Women's Chorus
Men's Chorus
Elective Courses
Select courses based on specialization listed below4
Guitar Specialization
Advanced Guitar Class I
Advanced Guitar Class II
Select 2 credits of music or non-music electives
Keyboard Specialization
Keyboard Orchestration
Select 2 credits of music or non-music electives
Vocal Specialization
Select 4 credits of music or non-music electives
Total Credits56

8 credits through proficiency: level 224.


Must be taken for four semesters.


Must be taken twice.