Doctor of Musical Arts Degree Program

DMA 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 2016 Semester Dates

Application Deadline for Spring 2017 Entrance October 15, 2016
Workshop Intensives for Fall 2016 Semester                               September 1-3, 2016                              
November 3-5, 2016
December 1-3, 2016
Registration for Spring 2017 Semester November 15-30, 2016

Fall 2016 Semester Courses

MUWM9303 Contextual Dimensions in Current Worship Research – Mike Sharp 
(Course meets Sept. 1-2, Nov. 3-4, and Dec. 1-2; Thursdays 1-9 p.m., Fridays 8-10:15 a.m.)

MUDC9300 Introduction to Music Research and Writing [All concentrations] – Greg Woodward
(Course meets Sept. 2, Nov. 4, and Dec. 2; Fridays 10:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.)

MUHI9400 Advanced Studies in Music History and Literature [All concentrations] – Ed Steele
(Course meets Sept. 2-3, Nov. 4-5, and Dec. 2-3; Fridays 1:30-9 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 noon)

Spring 2017 Semester Dates

Application Deadline for Fall 2017 Entrance April 15, 2017
Workshop Intensives for Spring 2017 Semester                           February 2-4, 2017
March 30-April 1, 2017                              
May 4-6, 2017
Registration for Fall 2017 Semester June 15-30, 2017

Spring 2017 Semester Courses

MUWM9304-Global Worship Perspectives [W/H concentration] – Mike Sharp and Ed Steele
(Course meets Feb. 2-3, March 30-31, and May 4-5; Thursdays 1-9 p.m., Fridays 8-10:15 a.m.)

MUSR9300 Reading Colloquium #1 Worship in Ministry and Practice [W/H concentration] – Mike Sharp
(Course meets Feb. 3, March 31, and May 5; Fridays 10:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.)

MUTH9400 Advanced Studies in Analysis and Composition [All concentrations] – Jason Waggoner
(Course meets Feb. 3-4, March 31-April 1, and May 5-6; Fridays 1:30-9 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 noon)

DMA Program Overview

The DMA consists of the following elements:

  • Four core semester-length seminars
  • Three supervised reading colloquia
  • Introduction to PhD 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 DMA Coordinator in consultation with the Division Chair.

A student may take no more than two DMA 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 DMA 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.

Click here for DMA Manual.

DMA Program Requirements

DMA Residency (32 Hours)

Introduction to Research and Writing                                3 hours
Two Supervised Reading Colloquia (3 hours each) 6 hours
Four DMA 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

DMA 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

DMA 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 DMA program are now being accepted for the Spring 2017 semester. Application forms may be downloaded from the links below. All materials must be received by October 15, 2016 for qualified applicants to be considered for January 2017 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 CastleBranch.