Exciting New Sacred Music Initiative launched this week

The Royal School of Church Music, in partnership with St Stephen’s House, Oxford, today announces the launch of a new Institute of Sacred Music.

It is hoped that the new qualifications of Postgraduate Diploma and MA in Worship and Liturgical Studies will be amongst the most sought-after qualifications in liturgy & worship for musicians anywhere in the world.

Church musicians, music minsters, clergy and lay people with previous musical and theological experience. will be able to embark on part and full-time qualifications. Hybrid tuition will allow for residential and online modes of study.

The new qualifications fall within St Stephen’s House’s partnership with Durham University through the Church of England’s Common Award scheme.

Musicians will learn alongside those training for ordained ministry in an environment described as ‘unique and vitally important to the modern world’.

Dr James Whitbourn, Senior Research Fellow, at Stephen’s House said: “students are likely to come from all over the world with experiences of liturgy and music drawn from their own practical and academic study. But here, they will have their own place in one of the most densely-populated choral cities in the world with its numerous outstanding choirs and its unparalleled variety of choral singing.”

RSCM Director Hugh Morris added: “It is so encouraging for there to be a bold new pathway for church musicians and theologians to study alongside each other. We are delighted to be working in partnership with St Stephen’s House and to be including this as part of our commitment to lifelong learning. Music is such a powerful, transformational tool for the church and its mission and this is a wonderful opportunity to bring aspiration to tangible life.”

Vice-Principal Revd Andreas Wenzel is delighted: “It is extremely exciting to be able to launch a vocational pathway for musicians and theologians at St Stephen’s House. The Common Awards qualifications allow us to share our heritage, the unique experiential contexts of the University City of Oxford, and rigorous academic formation with a worldwide audience. Had this course existed 20 years ago, I would have been on it.”