The Worship Arts major is a program run by Reverend Dr. John Nielson, who is also the Director of Music for the college. When this major was introduced, and even now, some people have thought that it is nothing more than a replacement for the Music major that was cut a few years ago. After talking with Dr. Nielson about the major in more detail, that may not be true, and here are a few reasons why.
First, this major has been in the works for a while. Dr. Nielson said, “One of the things that I was asked to do when I came a year ago, was to develop a new major through the Religion and Culture program in the area of worship arts.” When developing the major he made sure that it not only focused on music but on every aspect of the worship experience. Classes for the major consist of a general education requirement, and also concentrations. Each student must choose one concentration to focus on inside the major. This could be anything from the technical side of worship, to music, theatre, or any other form of art that could be used to worship. “It’s another way that this can really be personalized to a person’s skills or interests,” says Nielson.
If anyone’s opinion matters when talking about this topic, it would be the person who has a hand in both the major, and the program it was supposedly replacing. When asked about this, Nielson said, “I think that they are related, I don’t know that it was directly this went away so now we have to do this.” He spoke about how there is hope for the music major to eventually return as a major or minor, but until it does, that the Worship Arts program is “a place where music can have a home at ENC”.
I think it’s safe to say that the Worship Arts major is not here to replace the Music major in its absence. In my opinion, it brings so much more than just music to the table and is a program that would be very interesting to take elective courses in, even if you are not a Worship Arts major. There are so many things that this major can add to ENC’s current major list, it’s a great addition to our college, and the fact that it creates a place for music to be alive on campus is just a happy coincidence.