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Matt Papa performing with Cedarville singers and musicians in concert in the Jeremiah Chapel

Cedarville Stories: Loving Well is the Music That Moves Him

by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager

Matt PapaModern-day hymn writer. Performer across the nation. Creative life. Famous friends. Influencer of the next generation.

Singer-songwriter and Cedarville Artist-in-Residence Matt Papa has a lot going for him. But when it comes down to it, it's his faithfulness with those nearest and dearest that really frames his life.

Matt experienced this firsthand as a young guy trying to figure out faith and life. His youth pastor invested in 12-15-year-old Matt, letting him come over to hang out, play video games, and eat pizza. Nothing earth-shattering, but his youth pastor's faithful friendship created space for God’s grace to take hold in Matt's life.

At about the same time as Matt's commitment to Christ, music became a part of his life too. Jesus has never let go, and neither has the music. And now, Matt is influencing the next generation of singers and songwriters in his role as an artist-in-residence at Cedarville.

As much as he desires to write great music that outlives his earthly existence, Matt knows that God’s call is mainly in the personal connections: spending time with his wife, Lauren, and their five kids; playing pickleball with his friends; responding to someone who writes him on Facebook about the impact of a song he wrote. 

“You want the people closest in your life to know you, trust you, and respect you," Matt shares during the podcast. “A lot of people are respected by the masses and disrespected by the people closest to them; that’s not what you want. I hope in my married life, my role as a father, I hope that is where I give glory to God more than anywhere else.”

To listen to more Cedarville Stories Podcasts, click on the link below:

Cedarville Stories logo and play button

More to the Story

Prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, Matt shared about himself and his hopes for his artist-in-residence role at Cedarville. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 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 the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, 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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