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

Spring 2018 Semester Dates

Application Deadline for Fall 2018 Entrance March 15, 2018
Workshop Intensives for Spring 2018 Semester                           February 22-24, 2018
April 5-7, 2018                              
May 3-5, 2018
Registration for Fall 2018 Semester April 16-30, 2018

Spring 2018 Semester Courses

MUWM 9302 Worship and the Task of Disciple Making – Michael Sharp
(Course meets Feb. 22-23, Apr. 5-6, and May 3-4. 1; Thursdays 1-9 p.m., Fridays 8-10:15 a.m.)

MUDC 9300 Introduction to Music Research and Writing – Greg Woodward
(Course meets Feb. 23, Apr. 6, and May 4; Fridays 10:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.)

MUHI9401 Advanced Studies in Church Music History – Ed Steele
(Course meets Feb. 23-24, Apr. 6-7, and May 4-5; 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 Fall 2018 semester. Application forms may be downloaded from the links below. All materials must be received by March 15, 2018 for qualified applicants to be considered for August 2018 entrance.

Completed forms and a $40 application fee should be mailed to

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Division of Church Music Ministries
3939 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70126

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 background check fee is payable online to CastleBranch.