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Worship Culture Creates Songwriting Minor

by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

Male student playing pianoCedarville University will offer a new songwriting minor starting fall semester 2021.

The minor will include seven classes, four of which are new classes to the music and worship department specifically created for this minor, including Fundamentals of Songwriting, Worship Songwriting, Professional Aspects of Songwriting, and Senior Songwriting Seminar. These courses will help students explore the songwriting process and develop critical analysis and application of theology in lyrics.

“We want students to have a real handle on the skill and the craft of songwriting,” said John Chilcote, assistant professor of worship. “It's a lot more than just having a natural knack. Songwriting is a skill that you can learn, study and improve like any other art form.”

The minor will also give students experience recording audio tracks and producing music on a professional level. This will culminate with a class trip to Nashville, Tennessee, to talk with professional songwriters and a final project requiring students to write and record four songs.

“We want to model what it would be like to write and record songs in the actual industry,” explained Chilcote. “The goal is to make our students well prepared to understand the real process of songwriting.”

But this new minor is really just an extension of the culture the music and worship department has already created. With 37 songs entered in the annual songwriting contest, 16 official worship bands, and an annual worship conference, this minor is the perfect addition to the ever-growing worship culture on campus.

“You don’t write songs in isolation, so these songs are going to be written within our context at Cedarville,” said Chilcote. “Students will be writing from the hopes, dreams, and challenges that all the students on campus resonate with. So I hope that we can even use some of these songs in chapel and beyond.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts in Worship, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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