Sacred Music Bachelor's Degree Program Overview

Focus intensively on the Catholic Church’s rich musical tradition, including Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, and the great works of all ages through the sacred music bachelor’s program at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. Receive a thorough understanding of the history and tradition of sacred music as well as contemporary and secular music. With concentrations in voice or organ, this music major is designed for students who want to pursue graduate studies in music or pursue music jobs, such as Catholic church musicians, performers, or music ministers.

One-on-one advising from accomplished Catholic faculty

Your professors at Franciscan University will teach you how theological and philosophical truths can be revealed through music. These Catholic faith-filled mentors will also regularly meet with you to discuss careers in music so that you can accomplish what the Lord is calling you to do. As a music major at Franciscan, you’ll come to deeply know what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI meant when he said sacred music is “an audible and perceptible rendering of the truth of our faith. Listening to all of these great works … suddenly we feel: it is true!”

Explore More of the Sacred Music Bachelor’s Degree Program

Here are just a few other ways Franciscan’s sacred music bachelor’s degree program stands out from the rest:

  • Financial aid and scholarships: From explaining the cost of college tuition to helping you complete the FAFSA so you can secure financial aid and scholarships, the Franciscan Office of Financial Aid will help ensure your bachelor degree at Franciscan is as affordable as possible.
  • Degree concentrations: Prepare for music jobs inside and outside the Catholic Church by selecting a concentration in either voice or organ. You may also choose to learn skills to write beautiful, true music that inspires listeners to transform culture. Strengthen your degree and expand your options for music careers in the Catholic Church by adding another major (or two) in theology or catechetics.
  • Applied learning: Beyond gaining firsthand experience in sacred music by being part of the music ministry team at Franciscan, you’ll also have other opportunities to put your music studies to work in the real world through practicums. Vocal music students can take on private students in the Steubenville, Ohio, area, and then teach them for review in front of professors and peers. Organ music majors have opportunities to go into Pittsburgh and work with — and receive feedback — from performing musicians.
  • Experienced faculty: Your music professors at Franciscan are accomplished musicians with a wide range of performance experience on national and international stages. They also have active performing lives so they can share with you trends in the field. Thanks to the low student-to-teacher ratio at Franciscan, you’ll have the opportunity to work in close partnership with them — collaborating and performing together on and off the Franciscan campus in Ohio.
  • Music competitions: Gain musical excellence and performance experience through competitions, even as an undergraduate student in music. Competitions for organ students are offered through entities such as the American Guild of Organists. One of Franciscan’s voice students performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City after winning a major Tallis Scholars competition.
  • Attend professional productions: Join sacred music majors and others in the Franciscan community for outings to Pittsburgh for the ballet, theatre, and other performing arts. Visualize the future the Lord has planned for you while you witness God in action through these extraordinary performances.
  • Study abroad: Like all undergraduate students at Franciscan, you’ll have the opportunity to study abroad in Gaming, Austria, through the Austria Program. Walk where Mozart and Strauss walked and experience music performed in sacred spaces. Your music professors at Franciscan will work with you to make sure you make the most of your study abroad experience.
What Can You Do With a Sacred Music Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in sacred music from Franciscan University equips you with a thorough understanding of the history, theory, and tradition of sacred music, along with the performance background you need to continue on to graduate studies or pursue careers in music — both in the Catholic Church or wherever you choose to serve God in the world.

Graduate Programs for Sacred Music Majors

  • Master of Sacred Music
  • Master of Music
  • PhD in Music
  • Doctorate in Musical Arts

Potential Job Titles for Sacred Music Majors

  • Catholic School Music Teacher
  • Catholic Music Recording Artist
  • Director of Music at a Catholic Parish
  • Music/Sacred Music Professor
  • Music Theorist
  • Music Conductor
  • Soloist
  • Music Performer (Organ and Voice)
Academic Catalog

View the Sacred Music Program on the Undergraduate Catalog

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Alumni Profiles
Beyond the Classroom
Music Ministry

Use your talent as a musician to give glory to God and gain invaluable hands-on experience by being part of the music ministry team at Franciscan. You’ll have opportunities to provide music for the 20 masses held each week at Christ the King Chapel on the Franciscan University campus in Ohio as well as for Sunday Vespers, monthly Festivals of Praise, and other sacred occasions.

Performance Opportunities

As a music major at Franciscan, you’ll have an abundance of performance opportunities, from the Schola Cantorum Franciscana, which sings for liturgies in the Christ the King Chapel and gives concerts on campus and throughout Ohio and western Pennsylvania, including in nearby Pittsburgh, to the Franciscan Chamber Group and the Franciscan University Chorale. Through student-led recitals you can also transform culture through music.

Composition Workshops

Through composition workshops that form part of your theory and analysis coursework, you can compose new works of sacred music that communicate the good, the true, and the beautiful. You’ll then find and rehearse musicians who will perform your work for your Franciscan University professors and peers. You’ll learn from their feedback what you need to develop your work for possible publication one day.

Programs Related to the Bachelor’s in Sacred Music

Still undecided? You might also be interested in these other undergraduate degree programs at Franciscan.

Department Faculty
Dr. Monica Anderson

Dr. Monica Anderson

Department Chair

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Fr. Stephen Concordia

Visiting Assistant Professor

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Dr. Jessica Ewell

Dr. Jessica Ewell

Associate Professor

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Professor Linus Meldrum

Professor Linus Meldrum

Associate Professor

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Pr. John Haynes Walker

Prof. John Walker

Assistant Professor

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Professor Nicholas Will

Assistant Professor

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