Graduating Worship Shepherds through the Master of Arts in Worship Cohort

by Julie-Allyson leron

“Worship today looks like a good front man, not a good shepherd. Leading songs isn’t enough,” says Aaron Keyes, leader of 10,000 Fathers Worship School in Atlanta and soon-to-be graduate among Northern Seminary’s first cohort from the Master of Arts in Worship (MAW) program.

By partnering with the 10,000 Fathers Worship School, Northern’s MAW program combines the best of spiritual formation with worship leadership. Together they meet the need of congregations and worship leaders who desire a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and a renewed commitment to the church.

“The worship pastor is not only theologically trained but committed to the spiritual formation of those gathered,” says Sam Hamstra, MAW Program Director.

For nearly a decade 10,000 Fathers has offered worship leaders an 18-month program where “worship leaders who lead songs” can grow into “worship pastors who lead people.”

In this partnership, cohorts study in Atlanta and at Northern’s Lisle Center. Hamstra describes the program’s two primary focuses saying, “We are both interested in character formation as well as the ongoing development of personal competencies.”

The initial cohort, of which Aaron is a part, is a 13 member group of worship pastors graduating June 2018. Hamstra explains, “Each one is already serving the local church. They look forward to continuing their ministries as faithful servants of Christ.”

“To lead a congregation prophetically and pastorally, to speak what’s challenging to a congregation when they need to be challenged, and to speak comfort when they need to be comforted takes a lot of wisdom. That’s where I’m grateful for the Seminary partnership.”

– Aaron Keyes

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