Close this search box.

Worship and Music (MA) [Online]

The online Master of Arts in Worship and Music degree prepares you to thoughtfully lead a worship ministry through a robust study of worship theology and history paired with an industry-leading, practical study of music technology.

co ma worship header
DSC 2391

Program Highlight

  • Take courses fully online in 7-week sessions.
  • Lay a theologically responsible foundation for church worship and liturgy suitable for a variety of church denominations.
  • Learn advanced worship technology and arranging on a digital audio workstation.
  • Gain a global perspective of worship through studies in African American worship and ethnomusicology.
  • Study at a University that has taught Bible and theology for over 100 years and has been NASM-accredited since 1972.
  • Join a community of like-minded worship leaders from around the world.
  • Study under faculty who are both highly credentialed musicians and experienced worship leaders.
  • Create a self-produced six-track recording of three original songs and three arranged songs for congregational singing in a culminating final project.

Master's in Worship & Music Degree from Cairn

Biblical Integration

Cairn University is committed to the centrality of Christ and the Word of God and is reflected in the curriculum and instruction. At Cairn, faith and truth do matter. We teach our students accordingly, challenge you to think deeply on these things, and strive to make you ready to serve Christ in the church, society, and the world as biblically minded men and women who not only give assent to truth but think and live in light of it.

Experienced Faculty

Our online courses are taught by faculty who are committed to your professional and spiritual growth. In addition to the carefully crafted learning activities, our faculty are substantively engaged throughout the course delivery. Students don’t just have professors, they have mentors who invest in them throughout the program and often remain connected long after graduation.

Campus Community

Community is about more than simply taking classes together. It's more than having a similar experience. Community is powerful, instructive, encouraging, and biblical. And at Cairn, community is intentional. It's attended to closely as an outworking of the University’s biblical commitment and understanding that in Christ, we are one.


Cairn Online enrolls new students in early September, October, January, early March, May, and early July. You are eligible to enroll up to two weeks prior to the upcoming term.


There's quite a bit of talk these days about the cost of higher education and the question of value. Many assume that you can't have both value and affordability, so they settle for lesser options or assume that the costliest options must have the most value. But when Cairn talks about walking a different path, value is no exception. It's possible to get a college education that is both affordable and valuable.

more Details

Get an inside look at our Worship and Music M.A. Program

There are over 70 unique programs at Cairn to choose from! Not sure if this is the best program for you? Here are some more details to help you decide.

Required Credits: 36

Curriculum Highlights: 

    • MUS 651 Biblical Found of Worship
    • MUS 606 African American Worship
    • MUS 691 Worship and Ministry Project
    • MUS 607 Plan Worship Theologically

Worship Leader


Program Director

NASM logoThe School of Music has also received programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music.

NC-SARA Approved InstitutionCairn Online has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which regionally oversees postsecondary online education.

Additional Accreditation Information


DSC09465 2 scaled

Connect With Us


Meet Our Faculty

graeme burgan web 500 300x300 1

Graeme Burgan

Adjunct Faculty, School of Music

Graeme Burgan has appeared in concert halls across his homeland of Australia and the United States including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Woodend Winter Arts Festival, the Andrea Clearfield Salon, the Melbourne Recital Center, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Sound All Around program.

Graeme has collaborated with singers Alan Held, Serena Benedetti, Suzanne Kompass, and Justin Guarini; with composers Sean O’Boyle, Rollo Dilworth, and Morten Lauridsen; and four Australia-wide tours with percussion virtuoso Nick Parnell. As a performer and repetiteur, Graeme has worked with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Garden State Philharmonic, New Jersey Chamber Orchestra, Bucks County Playhouse, State Opera of South Australia, Cairn University, University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, and the Westminster Opera Theater. As a chorister, Graeme has performed with the Adelaide Chamber Singers, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.

Graeme is the Executive Director of Csehy Summer School of Music and serves on the music faculty of Cairn University, with previous teaching appointments at Moravian College, Tabor Adelaide, and Adelaide College of Ministries. He earned a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College in Piano Accompanying and Vocal Coaching and an Associate Diploma of Music in Piano Performance from the Australian Music Examinations Board. Additionally, he holds a Master of Science in Biblical Studies from Cairn University, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide.

Deion Payton web 400

Deion Payton

Director, Gospel Choir

Deion Payton is a native of Boston, MA, and grew up in Philadelphia, PA. He began singing at the age of four and continued, on to study at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts as a Vocal Major. While attending CAPA, he was afforded the opportunity to perform in such venues as The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Academy of Music and a host of other prestigious organizations. He has shared the stage with artists such as Paul Simon, Mali Music, Nick Jonas, Ruth Naomi Floyd, Jabari Johnson and Myron Butler among many others. He has even performed in the presence of former President, Barack Obama.

He studied at Cairn University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in voice. While at Cairn, Deion restored and led the Cairn Gospel Choir. Now an accredited course, Deion serves on Faculty as Director for the Gospel Choir. During his college career while singing and touring both in Europe and Hong Kong, Deion was afforded the opportunity to go into the schools and share on the origin and practice of Gospel Music and the technique of Gospel Singing.

Deion is most known for his distinguished ability to effortlessly sing many diverse genres. Committed to being a well-rounded musician and vocalist, Deion has studied intensely both African American Gospel Music and European Classical Music. He has done master classes with World Class Verdi Soprano, Sharon Sweet as well as other up and coming Opera Stars such as Sarah Shafer, Paul An and many others. As a teaching artist, Deion has taught pre-school to 12th grade in his career. Currently, he serves as Community Special Projects Manager for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

What Our Students Have To Say

DSC 0327.NEF
Eme Eskaros

One of my favorite parts about being a Worship & Music major at Cairn was how holistic and comprehensive my education was. Not only did I receive incredible technical training as a musician, my philosophy and theology as it pertains to the arts and worship was challenged and grown immensely. I also loved that this program equipped and encouraged me to use jazz, which is my ‘heart music’ as my offering of worship.

Cairn Online Frequently Asked Questions​

The tuition for post-secondary education has become expensive in general. However, Cairn Online programs rank amongst the most affordable online bachelor’s and master’s programs. While the tuition costs vary by program level, the rate is typically $425 per credit or 12K per year for A.A. and B.S. programs and $300-$725 per credit for graduate programs. 

The current tuition rates are available from this page. Scholarships and financial aid are also available. 

Currently there are over 6 million online learners in the United States, and those numbers are growing every day. Online degrees that have regional accreditation are held to the same standards as traditional universities, ensuring that students earn a valuable degree that will prepare them with the skills and credentials for their career. Do research to find an online degree that is accredited and reputable, such as those offered at Cairn University.

Cairn Online courses based on Cairn’s 100+ years tradition of excellence in biblical education. Our on faculty has carefully designed them taking into consideration what works best for the online learner. The modular design and asynchronous delivery enable you to complete your studies while you pursue your career, ministry and spend time with your family.

Courses typically contain seven units and are delivered in 7-week terms*. Each unit contains 5-7 modular activities. Each learning activity includes instructional videos accompanied by reflections, quizzes, discussion forums and other assessments. Courses also utilize adaptive learning technologies such as Cerego for long-term retention of concepts and VoiceThread for enhanced collaboration.

The asynchronous delivery provides flexibility around your daily busy schedule. In most courses, interactive activities are typically due by Wednesday while the rest of the unit’s work is due by Sunday night. The MBA, M.A. in Music and Criminal Justice programs use the 7RD2 process and require the completion of certain activities daily to optimize learning.

Our own Cairn faculty intentionally participate in the course throughout the week to provide you with an incarnational experience.

*Few capstone courses are intentionally offered in 14 weeks to optimize student learning.

A.A. programs usually take 2 years and B.S. and B.A. programs typically take 3-4 years to complete.

Graduate programs vary in length by program. As an example, Cairn’s traditional MBA typically takes 20 months to complete but then there is also the accelerated One-Year MBA that you can complete in 12 months.

If you are looking to complete your program sooner, you can consider taking more 7-week courses at a time. 

All courses are developed by one or more course developers and taught by our own faculty. The instructors are also intentionally involved in the course throughout the week by providing direction in the course activities, participating in the forum discussions, grading the student work and providing substantive feedback. Most courses also offer optional office hours weekly via Zoom or similar video conferencing tools.

Our instructional design team works very closely with the course developers and carefully plans the courses to balance the technology requirements. Most courses use the eLearning platform for hosting the course materials, Panopto for video capture and storage, VoiceThread for enhanced discussion forums, and Cerego for adaptive learning. Zoom is used at times for virtual office hours. These sessions are optional.

Except for the Hebrew and Greek language courses for the B.S. in Biblical Studies program, typically there are no required meeting times for the completing the course activities.  

The course transfer depends on where you are transferring from, and what program you are transferring to. If you are coming to Cairn Online from another institution, it is very likely you will have some credits that will transfer. Because there are so many options, we encourage you to talk to an enrollment counselor. If you are transferring out, Cairn is a regionally accredited school and some credits should transfer with relative ease. Each college sets their own transfer criteria, so be sure to check their policies for specifics.

Cairn Online offers a variety of options for prior learning and experience. You can receive up to 6 credits for prior learning for graduate programs. At the discretion of the program advisor, three to six credits for prior learning (CPL) can be awarded for students with extensive background in areas addressed by specific courses. Additionally, advance standing may be granted for Bible or theology credits earned at an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts college or university, or seminary. Credits will be granted on a course by course basis.

Cairn is approved to offer financial aid because of its regional accreditation. There are many options available and typically students qualify for at least one type of federal aid. Many students receive scholarships and grants that make earning their degree even more affordable. Cairn offers a variety of scholarships and discounts in addition to options for loans and grants. Please refer to this page for details. 

The requirements depend on the program you are considering. Please refer to this page for details. 

Apply Now

Ready to take the next step? You can apply today!