Doctor of Musical Arts Degree Program

D.M.A. Purpose and Goals

The purpose of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree specializing in church music is to equip persons with knowledge, attitudes, and skills that may be applied in research, performance, teaching, ministry, and denominational leadership in the field of church music. The Doctor of Musical Arts degree is designed to lead graduates to meet the following goals:

  • Mastery of a body of knowledge related to required course work
  • Skill in written and oral communication
  • Skill in planning and conducting ministry, classroom, or studio learning experiences
  • Attitudes and skills conducive to healthy interpersonal relationships
  • A high level of skill development in a chosen performing and/or research area

The Division of Church Music Ministries may be contacted by phone at (504) 282-4455, ext. 3229 or (800) NOBTS-01, ext. 3229 or by e-mail at

Dr. Darryl Ferrington

Professor of Music Education
Director of the DMA Program
(504) 282-4455, ext. 3267

Dr. Darryl Kirk Ferrington

Fall 2015 Semester Dates

Application Deadline for Spring 2016 Entrance October 15, 2015
Workshop Intensives for Fall 2015 Semester September 10-12, 2015
October 29-31, 2015
December 3-5, 2015
Registration for Spring 2016 Semester November 15-30, 2015

Fall 2015 Semester Courses

MUWM9400 Advanced Studies in Historical Perspectives of Worship [All concentrations] – Michael Sharp
(Course meets Sept. 10-11, Oct. 29-30, and Dec. 3-4; Thursdays 1-9 p.m., Fridays 8-10:15 a.m.)

MUSR9301 Supervised Reading Colloquium 1: Worship in Ministry and Practice [W/H concentration] – Michael Sharp
(Course meets Sept. 11, Oct. 30, and Dec. 4; Fridays 10:30 a.m.-1:10 p.m.)

MUHI9304 Advanced Studies in Lyrical Theology [W/H concentration] - Ed Steele
(Course meets Sept. 11-12, Oct. 30-31, and Dec. 4-5; Fridays 1:30-9 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 noon)

MUPA9300 Studies in Performing Arts [All applied concentrations] - Faculty
(Course meetings TBA)

Spring 2016 Semester Dates

Application Deadline for Fall 2016 Entrance                                        March 15, 2016
Workshop Intensives for Spring 2016 Semester                                 February 4-6, 2016                                
April 7-9, 2016
May 5-7, 2016
Registration for Fall 2016 Semester June 15-30, 2016

Spring 2016 Semester Courses

MUWM9300 Contemporary Context of American Evangelical Worship [W/H concentration] – Michael Sharp
(Course meets Feb. 4-5, Apr. 7-8, and May 5-6; Thursdays 1-9 p.m., Fridays 8-10:15 a.m.)

MUHI9401 Advanced Studies in Church Music History [All concentrations] – Ed Steele
(Course meets Feb. 5-6, Apr. 8-9, and May 6-7; Fridays 1:30-9 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 noon)

MUPA9301 Advanced Study in Performance Pedagogy [Taught according to applied concentration] - Faculty
(Course meetings TBA)

D.M.A. Program Overview

The D.M.A. consists of the following elements:

  • Four core semester-length seminars
  • Three supervised reading colloquia
  • Introduction to Research and Writing course
  • Additional 15 hours in a chosen concentration (divided between semester-length seminars, private study, and recitals)
  • Written qualifying examination (upon completion of 24 seminar hours)
  • Oral comprehensive examination (at the completion of seminar and recital work)
  • Prospectus Development course
  • Dissertation submission and defense

The student's program is guided by a faculty advisor during the residency stage and guidance committee during the senior residency and candidacy stages. Faculty guidance assignments are made by the D.M.A. Coordinator in consultation with the Division Chair.

A student may take no more than two D.M.A. core seminars a semester. Additional colloquia, concentration seminars, and private study may be added to this load but should be undertaken with careful consideration of available time and resources.

The written qualifying examination is administered after the student has completed a minimum of 32 hours and includes music history and literature, music theory, recognition of musical styles, and bibliography. The results of the qualifying examination are used to determine the student's continuance in the D.M.A. program. Should the student qualify, the results of the examination are utilized in determining courses for the senior residency stage of the student's program.

The oral comprehensive examination is administered near the completion of course requirements and covers the major field of church music plus one concentration area. After submission of the dissertation, the candidate is given a final examination focusing on the dissertation. The program must be completed within seven years.

Program Requirements

D.M.A. Residency (32 Hours)

Introduction to Research and Writing  3 hours
Two Supervised Reading Colloquia (3 hours each)  6 hours
Four D.M.A. Seminars (4 hours each) 16 hours

Two Concentration Seminars (3 hours each) and/or
   Private Instruction Hours and Recitals

 6 hours
Qualifying Examination  1 hour

D.M.A. Senior Residency (17 Hours)

Three Concentration Seminars (3 hours each) and/or
   Private Instruction Hours and Recitals
 9 hours
One Supervised Reading Colloquium  3 hours
Dissertation Research Proposal Approval  1 hour
Prospectus Development  3 hours
Oral Comprehensive Examination  1 hour

D.M.A. Candidacy (6 Hours)

Dissertation Prospectus Approval                               1 hour
Dissertation Research and Writing  4 hours
Dissertation Defense  1 hour

Total Required: 55 Hours

Application Forms

Applications for the D.M.A. program are now being accepted for the Spring 2014 semester. Application forms may be downloaded from the links below. All materials must be received by October 15, 2014 for qualified applicants to be considered for January 2015 entrance.

Completed forms and a $35 application fee should be mailed to 

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Division of Church Music Ministries
3939 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA  70126

NEW: Each applicant for the DMA program also must complete a Criminal Background Check by following the link below, and results must be available before the applicant can be considered for admission. The $29.95 fee is payable online to Certified Backgrounds. 


The mission of New Orleans Baptist Theological
Seminary is to equip leaders to fulfill the Great
Commission and the Great Commandments through
the local church and its ministries.


Biblical Studies
Christian Education
Church and Community Ministries
Church Music Ministries
Pastoral Ministries
Theological and Historical Studies
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