Doctor of Sacred Music (D.S.M.)
- 30 credits (10 courses)
- 6 credits (Exit Project)
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- Baccalaureate degree or equivalent in some area of music validated by a transcript.
- Master’s degree in sacred music or other area of music, validated by a transcript.
- Five years of accumulated experience in music ministry.
- Completion of the Application Procedure, which includes the submission of a performance portfolio detailing the student’s musical experiences, including when appropriate, video and/or audio recordings representative of the student’s musical skills and performance expertise.
- Students are expected to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Student Handbook of the year of their acceptance with particular focus on their particular degree program. Students are bound by the academic and financial requirements of the Handbook in use at the time of their acceptance. The current Student Handbook, as well as past years’ Handbooks, can be viewed here.
- Completion of ten Units of Study:
- Five Units of Study must be taken from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Students may choose from any of our online courses in sacred music, tailoring their course selection according to their interests and professional needs.
- Five Units of Study may be completed through the GTF, through other approved educational institutions, or through the use of transfer credit.
- Completion of the non-credit course, Research Methodology. This course is a prerequisite to beginning the doctoral project.
- Completion of the Doctoral Project and submission of one electronic copy including the Project Consultant’s evaluation forms. All academic requirements must be met by March 1 prior to graduation.
This program requires the completion of ten Units of Study. A Unit of Study is defined as 40 contact hours of instruction, and is equivalent to a 3-credit graduate-level course, one Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, or 4 Continuing Education Units.
Units of Study may be completed through the GTF, from other approved venues, or by using transfer credit.
The Study Options button on the GTF’s website under the heading Academics lists the course offerings of the GTF and provides information about the various methods of earning Units of Study for your degree.
Students select a faculty member of the GTF to serve as Project Consultant. This enables the student to receive helpful and pragmatic evaluative feedback from a member of the faculty in the developmental process of producing the Exit Project. The role of the faculty Project Consultant is responsive and suggestive rather than “supervisory” as is the case with academic thesis writing. The faculty person is encouraged to limit feedback to pragmatically helpful hints and suggestions and not to attempt any censorship of the project. The exercise of discretion with respect to time demands is very important for both the student and faculty member. The faculty Project Consultant must give final approval of the student’s work by submitting the Project Consultant’s Report Form. The assessment from the Project Consultant is due by March 1 of the intended year of graduation.
- The student peruses the Faculty Details page and makes a selection.
- The student completes the Faculty Project Consultant Nomination Form 107 (Forms).
- Academic Affairs provides the nominated faculty member with Form 107.
- The selected faculty member notifies Academic Affairs of acceptance of student nomination.
- Academic Affairs informs the student and faculty member of relationship approval and contact information is provided.
The D.S.M. project may take the form of a recital or lecture-recital, a choral/instrumental performance, the writing of a traditional thesis, the composition and performance of an original work or set of works, or the development of an in-ministry activity based on the student’s particular area of interest and context need. The concept and format of the project can adhere to one of three distinct project formats as delineated below.
- Academic Track: The D.S.M. project in its final form, if written in a thesis style, must be 35,000-40,000 words (140-160 pages), double-spaced, footnoted, with a table of contents as well as a bibliography of a minimum of 35 sources. It is also recommended that the project have annotations for the 10-12 most important sources for the project.
- Performance Track: Recording or video of recital, lecture-recital, the composition of an original work or set of works, or conducting performance.
The project must include a written overview or abstract (minimum 8,750 words) in which the student explains the motivation and rationale for the accompanying recording, video, or composition.
- Administrative/Ministerial Track: The project should reflect the student’s particular interests and/or context needs, such as the teaching of a series of classes on hymnody, the development and execution of a series of workshops, etc. The project must include a written component of 35,000-40,000 words (140-160 pages and may include recordings or video if applicable.
Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
The American Guild of Organists (AGO)
Association of Canadian Choral Conductors (ACCC)
Church Music Association of America (CMAA)
The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada
National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM)
Royal School of Church Music (RSCM)
Royal School of Church Music in America
Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO)
The Royal College of Organists (RCO)