Comparing the Cost of Worship Studies Programs

Are you comparing the cost of worship studies programs?

We know that enrolling in a graduate program in worship studies is a big decision and a major investment of limited and precious resources of funds and time. But is it a worthy investment? IWS founder Bob Webber said, “Worship is the key to the renewal of the Church.”

So the answer is a resounding YES — enrolling in a graduate program for worship studies is a worthy investment!

Ultimately, when the Church is renewed with worship built on solid biblical, theological, and historical foundations, Christians are formed with the compassionate heart of Jesus and encouraged to
follow in his footsteps, being poured out for the life of the world. What could be more important
than that? Nothing!

In one real sense, the study of Christian worship is invaluable—in fact, so invaluable that to put a
price tag on the investment of funds would denigrate its worth.
But in a real sense, since we live
in a real world and have been given stewardship over our precious and limited financial
resources, we must be wise in our financial investments.

So, what should a worship studies graduate program cost?

What should we expect to pay, both in time and in finances? How can we compare the cost of some of the best worship studies programs available to students? It’s not easy. Schools tend to hide their real costs by burying the information in their websites, or by not stating the costs clearly.

The chart below shows the comparable number of credit hours, tuition costs, delivery modes, types of financial aid, and accrediting associations of many of the top masters-level and professional doctoral worship studies programs in the US. The cost of the Master of Worship Studies degree program from IWS is lower than approximately 75% of our competitor schools.

College/UniversityNumber of Credit HoursCost per Credit HourTuition OnlyAccrediting Organization
Robert E. Webber Institute
for Worship Studies
Master of Worship Studies (MWS)36$422$15,192ATS
Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)36$475$17,100ATS
Baptist College of Florida
Music and Worship Leadership (MA)30$420$12,600SACSCOC
B.H. Carroll Theological Institute
Worship (MA)48 “units”$390/unit$18,720ATS
California Baptist University
Worship Arts (MA)34$582$19,210WSCUC
Cedarville University
Worship and Theology (MA)36$436$15,696HLC
Dallas Baptist University
Worship Studies (MA)36$1,271$45,756SACSCOC
Fuller Seminary
Theology (MA)80 $493$39,748ATS
Lee University
Music and Worship (MM)32$667$21,344SACSCOC
Liberty University
Worship Studies (MA)42$565$23,730NASM
Worship Studies (DWS)45$650$29,250SACSCOC
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Ministry (MA) – (SBC)45$315$14,175ATS
Worship Ministry (MA) – (Non-SBC)45$540$24,300ATS
North Central University
Strategic Leadership: Worship Arts track (MA)36$600$18,000HLC
Seattle Pacific University (Seattle Pacific Seminary)
Theology (MA) Worship and the Arts60$595$35,700ATS
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Ministry (MA) – Baptist or military52$304$15,808ATS
Worship Ministry (MA) – Non-Baptist52$609$31,668ATS
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Leadership (MA) – SBC54-56$298$16,092ATS
Worship Leadership (MA) – Non-SBC54-56$514$27,756ATS
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Leadership (MA) – SBC36$317$11,412ATS
Worship Leadership (MA) – non-SBC36$634$22,824ATS
Trevecca Nazarene University
African American Worship Studies (MA)36$463$16,668SACSCOC
Worship and Leadership (MA)36$463$16,668SACSCOC
Visible Music College30*tuition inclusive of all fees$22,000*TRACS
Worship (MA)
World Mission University40$300$12,000ATS
Worship Studies (MA)

Learn more about IWS’s Master of Worship Studies or Doctor of Worship Studies degrees, and read about options for financial aid availability for graduate education.

About the author

Dr. James R. Hart served as President of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies from 2007-2024. Dr. Hart was a member of the first IWS doctoral class, the Alpha class, and served as Dean of Students during his matriculation. After graduating from IWS, Dr. Webber appointed him as the Dean of Administration, and then Provost in 2006. In June of 2007, he was inaugurated as the second president of IWS. Dr. Hart holds a B.M. in Sacred Music from Oral Roberts University, an M.M. in Trumpet Performance from the University of Tulsa, and a D.W.S. from the Institute for Worship Studies. He was critical to the formation of IWS in Florida and has held administrative responsibilities since its inception in 1999. He is a professional trumpeter, choral director, and worship leader, and a published composer/arranger, songwriter, and author. He has been involved in worship leadership in various contexts around the globe for over 40 years and has taught in the areas of worship, theology, and music in various conferences, colleges, and seminaries. Dr. Hart and his wife, Carol, have three daughters and three grandchildren.
1 Response
  1. Jennifer

    One of the big reasons I chose IWS over other Master’s degrees listed here was the cost. For me, it came down to a decision between IWS and Liberty University, and I decided to go with IWS. However, I didn’t realize that by choosing IWS I saved $8,000 – that is much more significant than I realized!