Now we’re talking

The Baptist College of Florida

I am a big fan of my alma mater, The Baptist College of Florida. I am extremely proud, and thankful, for the education I received from BCF. I have found my time at seminary to almost be redundant thanks to the diligence, and excellence, of the faculty at BCF.

I’ve always been thankful for BCF niche as a leader in undergraduate ministry education. I’ve also consistently been disappointed with the lack or worship leadership training by educational institutions in the area of contemporary worship.

As a result of all of that I am excited to hear about BCF’s new music degree, a B.A. in Contemporary Worship. This speaks to their desire to be proactive in offering quality education, at an affordable cost, that works diligently to meet the ministry needs of our current context.

If you have a student, looking for a college, and interested in ministry they should really consider BCF. Not only is it a stellar educational opportunity for those interested in ministry, it’s also one of the most inexpensive colleges in the country. I highly recommend it.

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

8 thoughts on “Now we’re talking

  1. I hope that the degree plan is successful for them, and for the students who enroll in it. Its a great idea.
    My cynical side says that I hope it does not backfire on the students who graduate with this degree. People are still very polarized when it comes to worship music. Recently there was some controversy in our church over a change in the bulletins. One man said that he thought it was a conspiracy on the part of the staff to change the music in the traditional service. What a moron.
    I hope that churches do not see this degree on a candidate’s resume, and pass him or her over without giving further consideration to his or her credentials.

  2. Micah,
    I too am a big fan of my alma mater BCF, however I must disagree with adding a new Degree in Contemporary Worship. This is way too subjective for a degree program. Think about it, what is contemporary today is not tomorrow. Is this an education that will train folks with a solid foundation in biblical worship which they can use to lead God’s people in song for generations to come?
    I could be wrong but I think this is a simple tool to reach a niche market of students in order to boost enrollment. It doesn’t sound good to me. Sorry.

  3. Well, Scott, we’ll have to disagree on this one. Let me explain my reasoning, though. Worship using contemporary methodology is not just a novelty, it is quickly becoming the majority. Once I moved out of the “bible belt” I found that churches that practice “traditional” worship are in the small, small minority. The problem is that our ministry schools are not offering training of any kind for guys who want to go into worship leadership but who aren’t interested in leading a church with a choir, organ and a shirt and tie. Both worship pastors who have served with me at MVBC have been students at seminary but have both chosen not to pursue a music degree because it was, as they put it, a waste of time for practical ministry as we know it today. They both instead pursued (or are pursuing) theology degrees and are self taught in the art of worship leadership. They also have been, in my opinion, far superior to those that I know who are classically trained.

    The merits of calling the degree a degree in “contemporary worship” can be argued, but the need to train worship leaders in methods apart from the traditional norm is a necessity in my opinion.

  4. Micah,
    I do agree that contemporary forms of worship are not “novelties.” My concern is that BCF tends to lean on being too practical and less classical in their training. Please don’t miss understand me, when I say “classical” I am not refering to choirs, organs,neck ties or small churchs. I am primarily refering to a historical approach to education. We don’t learn in a contemprorary vacuum but we learn by interacting with our “Christian Tradition.” A degree that focuses on a “contemporary form” of worship instead of interacting with the history and doctrine of worship is in my opinion insufficient. I do think so classes offered in this area are good, I only question an entire degree program focusing on this “form.”
    In my experience, I left BCF with a tremendous practical knowlege of the job but I feel I lacked a deep interaction with the “Christian Tradition.” We spent a lot of time in “How to classes” when we should have been studying “The Faith of our Fathers.”
    Now that I have said all that let me pause and relate my love and appreciation for BCF. I do and always will support my Alama Mater. I believe in their vision. I would consider sending my own children there. But I see a tremedous need for more “liberal arts” focus in stead “how to” focus. Lets teach the next generation to THINK and let them use whatever form they choose. Does this make any sense? I am trying to write while fielding some phone calles so forgive my broken thoughts. Let me know what you think…

  5. Scott,

    I always find it interesting to see different perspectives. You are one of the guys that I truly appreciate and wish I could be closer to you guys so that we could fellowship together in person! Having said that, my perspective on our educational process is almost the exact opposite of yours. My largest critique of theological education is that it’s not nearly pragmatic enough. This more so true in seminary but I also found it to be true in college; and this is coming from a guy who enjoys the academic side of things. 🙂

    I am convinced we need the historical, theological and purely academic portion of the education but that it has to be married with a laboratory-like atmosphere so that the application of that knowledge can be fleshed out. I think the traditional, historical method of education is going to have to experience an alteration to traditional norms to come to a place of acceptable impact today.

    But, that’s just my opinion and I’ve been known to be wrong on multiple occasions before! 🙂

  6. Micah,
    I too wish we were closer. I would love an opportunity for our families to know each other. Hopefully someday they can meet.

    One of the main reasons I entered the wonderful world of blogging was to exchange ideas with guys I love and respect. Thanks for taking the time to conference with me on these issues. I believe “iron sharpens iron” and I pray that we both seek a healthy balance. You have given me a lot to think about. I look forward to future disscussions.
    Your friend, Scott

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