Educational Delivery for Graduate Education

There are three basic types of educational delivery for graduate education:

  1. In-person/on-campus
  2. A hybrid of online and in-person intensives
  3. Fully online

IWS embraces a hybrid of an online and in-person intensive model of educational delivery for graduate education.

The IWS low-residency educational approach is focused on building an intentional learning community through face-to-face interaction.

The IWS model of educational delivery reinforces the nature of the Christian community and fits into the student’s schedule and budget. Each course at IWS has an applied emphasis during the intensive weeks so that students make a direct impact on their ministry contexts. The goal is to prepare our students intellectually and spiritually to lead the church in God-honoring worship. The result is an applicable and stimulating academic experience.

“I can’t think of any other school that is doing what IWS is doing. I love the different denominations and cultures coming together as worship leaders learn to worship the Triune God with excellence.”

Dr. Laura Story, GRAMMY Award Winner & IWS Alumna and Trustee

The IWS hybrid approach of educational delivery also allows students to study with a superior faculty of leading scholars from various exemplary colleges, universities, seminaries, and churches. Students, faculty, staff, and administration gather for one-week intensives in January and June — we eat, study, and worship together and experience community based on honest and open relationships. These are missing elements from the online-only programs. In these and other ways, the IWS creates an atmosphere of learning in community. It is an exciting venture in high-powered but non-competitive intelligent and experiential learning.

“IWS has provided me a community that gathers for rigorous theological study, hands-on training, and personal reflection. We get changed, and I think it’s part of how God intends to change the church.”

– Dr. Reggie Kidd, IWS Professor
As listed in the chart below, in IWS’s list of competitor schools, seventeen of their programs are fully online, fifteen programs are in person/on campus, and eleven programs are various hybrids of online and intensives:
College/UniversityIn Person / On CampusHybrid: Online + IntensivesFully Online
Robert E. Webber Institute
for Worship Studies
Master of Worship Studies (MWS)NoYesNo
Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)NoYesNo
Baptist College of Florida
Music and Worship Leadership (MA)NoNoYes
B.H. Carroll Theological Institute
Worship (MA)NoNoYes
California Baptist University
Worship Arts (MA)NoYesNo
Cedarville University
Worship and Theology (MA)YesNoYes
Dallas Baptist University
Worship Studies (MA)UnknownYesNo
Fuller Seminary
Theology (MA)YesNoYes
Lee University
Music and Worship (MM)YesNoYes
Liberty University
Worship Studies (MA)YesNoYes
Worship Studies (DWS)NoNoYes
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Ministry (MA) – (SBC)YesYesYes
Worship Ministry (MA) – (Non-SBC)YesYesYes
North Central University
Strategic Leadership: Worship Arts track (MA)YesYesYes
Seattle Pacific University (Seattle Pacific Seminary)
Theology (MA) Worship and the ArtsYesNoNo
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Ministry (MA) – Baptist or militaryYesNoNo
Worship Ministry (MA) – Non-BaptistYesNoNo
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Leadership (MA) – SBCYesNoYes
Worship Leadership (MA) – Non-SBCYesNoYes
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Worship Leadership (MA) – SBCYesNoYes
Worship Leadership (MA) – non-SBCYesNoYes
Trevecca Nazarene University
African American Worship Studies (MA)NoYesYes
Worship and Leadership (MA)NoYesYes
Visible Music College
Worship (MA)NoYesNo
World Mission University
Worship Studies (MA)YesNoYes
Find more information on financial aid availability for graduate programs at IWS and compare the cost of worship studies degrees from IWS and other schools here.
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.