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Mission Statement
   The Rensselaer Program of Church Music and Liturgy, located at Saint Joseph's College, Rensselaer, Indiana, responds to the call for "higher institutes of sacred music [to] be established," as set forth in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. The program further responds to the Saint Joseph's College Mission Statement where the College is called: ". . .to extend personal and professional services as Church and public needs require" by primarily serving the academic needs of those who serve the Roman Catholic Church in the ministries of liturgy and music. The program provides opportunities and challenges for development of musical and liturgical gifts needed by leaders of worship leading to graduate degrees and certificates. This program stresses excellence in both teaching and in learning, as well as promotes patterns of authentic worship and encourages formation of leaders in Church Music and Liturgy. (2004)

At the heart of the Rensselaer Program are the two Master of Arts degree programs. Both involve foundational coursework in liturgy and liturgical music. Both require 30 semester credits. Most students complete the M.A. in four or five summers. Applicants need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in undergraduate work. The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is not required for admission.

MASTER OF ARTS IN MUSIC Concentration in Church Music and Liturgy 
This graduate degree program offers specialized study in church music and liturgy for students who wish to continue to develop their musical skills. Designed for students with a bachelor's degree in music-or who have an equivalent background.

Focus on development of skills for the church musician
Six possible emphases: organ, piano, conducting, voice, composition, or ensemble music
Proficiency exams in music theory and history (See Placement Exams.)
Coursework offered during the summer for those who do not pass proficiency exams

This degree is designed for those who wish to concentrate on the study of liturgy with additional coursework in church music.

Focus on Sunday Eucharist and sacraments
Emphasis on effective liturgical celebration
Music theory and history exams not required
Basic keyboard ability presumed

Those who do not have a bachelor's degree, but do have experience in church music and liturgy, should see Continuing Education for information about the Diploma in Pastoral Liturgy.


                                             For more information about the program, email
Page revised 04/18/2012.