In his book, Singing and Making Music, Paul Jones offers the following critique of the training of church musicians at Baptist seminaries and Bible colleges:

The Baptist seminaries and independent Bible colleges are training church musicians, and have been for years, predominantly for service in churches of a congregational nature. They must be given credit for actually doing something, and the required coursework in theology/Bible is an excellent beginning. In this author’s estimation, the focus on ‘worship techniques’ in such schools (with credit-level coursework in clowning, puppetry, mime, dance, play- and scene-writing, drama teams, contemporary worship ensembles, and such graduate level required courses as ‘Leadership in Contemporary Expressions of Corporate Worship’ and ‘Producing and Staging Church Drama’) indicates an attempt to equip musical leaders with what is ‘currently out there’ in evangelical churches. Unfortunately, it also seems to exhibit a degree of willingness to compromise musical excellence to accommodate the relativism of the postmodern church. One wonders how much stronger the graduates of these programs could be if hours spent on such courses were instead allotted to a deeper study of great music, history, and liturgy. But all institutions feel the pressing need to find prospective students (and to graduate them ’employable’), and this factor wins out over a commitment to change the musical landscape for the better.*

I found some of this true in my bible college experience, which was (or at least feels like) a long time ago. They certainly did not cultivate a love for great hymns or hymnody, even within the class on the history of hymns. By far, the products of the fundamentalist music industry received the greater amount of attention and promotion.


*(Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Publishing, 2006), 144-45.