NOBTS and Leavell College COVID-19 Information - Updated Statement Monday, April 6, 2020 11:30am

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. Jessica McMillan

DMA Coordinator
(504) 282-4455, ext. 3267


Dr. Jessica McMillan

Spring 2020 Semester Dates

Application Deadline for Fall 2020 Entrance March 15, 2020
Workshop Intensives for Spring 2020 Semester                           February 20-22, 2020
March 26-28, 2020                              
April 30-May 2, 2020
Registration for Fall 2020 Semester April 20-May 4, 2020

Spring 2020 Semester Courses

MUWM9303 Contextual Dimensions in Current Worship Research – Michael Sharp (W/H)
(Course meets Feb. 20-21, Mar 26-27 [CIV], and Apr. 30-May 1; Thursdays 1-7:30 p.m., Fridays 8-10:15 a.m.)

MUSR9301 Supervised Reading Colloquium 1: Worship in Ministry and Practice - Michael Sharp (W/H)
(Course meets Feb. 21, Mar. 27 [CIV], and May 1; Fridays 10:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.)

MUHI9401 Advanced Studies in Church Music History – Ed Steele (W/H and Applied)  
(Course meets Feb. 21-22, Mar. 27-28 [CIV], and May 1-2; Fridays 1:30-8:30 p.m. [with break], Saturdays 8-11 a.m

MUPA9300 Studies in Performing Arts Literature -- Faculty (Applied)

Private Lessons

Private lessons in Applied Concentrations are TBA between the applied professor and the DMA student.

MUCO9104 (1 hour) or MUCO9204 (2 hours) -- Private Conducting
MUOR9110 (1 hour), MUOR9210 (2 hours), or MUOR9310 (3 hours) -- Private Organ
MUPI9110 (1 hour), MUPI9210 (2 hours), or MUPI9310 (3 hours) -- Private Piano
MUVO9110 (1 hour), MUVO9210 (2 hours), or MUVO9310 (3 hours) -- Private Voice



DMA Program Overview

The DMA consists of the following elements:

  • Four core semester-length seminars
  • Three supervised reading colloquia
  • Introduction to Doctoral Research and Writing course
  • Additional 15 hours in a chosen concentration (divided between semester-length seminars, private study, and recitals)
  • Written comprehensive examination (upon completion of 38-41 hours)
  • Oral examination (at the completion of the written exam, Colloquium 3, proposal, and Prospectus Development course)
  • Lecture recital for applied students
  • Dissertation submission and defense

The student's program is guided by the DMA Coordinator during the residency stage and faculty advisor/guidance committee during the senior residency and candidacy stages. Faculty guidance assignments are made by the DMA Coordinator in consultation with the Division Chair.

The written comprehensive examination is administered after the student has completed approximately 40 hours and includes music history and literature, music theory, recognition of musical styles, and bibliography. The results of the comprehensive 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 examination is administered after the proposal has been approved by the committee, the prospectus course has been passed, and all appropriate corrections have been made. The oral exam is a defense of the completed prospectus before the music faculty. After submission of the dissertation, the candidate is given a final examination focusing on the dissertation. Applied students also must complete a lecture recital immediately prior to the dissertation defense. 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.

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