Music and Worship Program Named "Best of the Best"

by Jenni Hodges, Public Relations Writer

Worship Leader magazine has selected Cedarville University's department of music and worship as “Best of the Best” in the higher education category for 2012. The University is highlighted in the magazine’s October issue, which features the editorial team’s selection of influential resources for worship leaders.

The worship program is one of Cedarville’s fastest growing majors because of its interdisciplinary approach, practical orientation and contemporary emphasis. There are currently 54 worship students, and enrollment has increased by an average of 37 percent each year since 2009, when the program was first offered.

The degree combines studies in worship, music, theology and technology, and it allows students to choose relevant electives based on their interests related to worship ministry. Students have opportunities for practical experience through music department ensembles, chapel bands, touring teams, worship bands, on-campus concerts and worship events. Upperclassmen also lead worship in chapel.

Many area churches use students to lead worship and play in their praise bands, and graduates of the program are also in demand. “Worship leader” is the second most requested position in the University’s career services office.

Zach Santmier, a junior from Virginia, has been working as the worship leader at University Baptist Church in Beavercreek since his freshman year at Cedarville.

“The program definitely prepares you for practical experience,” Santmier said. “I’ve led worship hundreds of times since coming here.”

Roger O’Neel, associate professor of music, said students also benefit from interacting with guest artists like Bob Kauflin, Lincoln Brewster and Aaron Keyes. This fall, Keith Getty and Phil Wickham worked with worship students during their visits to Cedarville.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at