On January 28, 2013 Redeemer Seminary officially announced the appointment of Dr. Hannah Mowrey as Director of the seminary’s new Center for Worship and Music. Over 60 people attended the private reception at the home of Faye Briggs, where they enjoyed food, music, and conversation about the new Center. Joel and Brooke Howard, representatives of the Virginia Martin Howard Foundation, were also in attendance. The Foundation has generously provided a gift to begin the Redeemer Center for Worship and Music (RCWM).
After introductory remarks by seminary President Steve Vanderhill, Mowrey spoke about the Center’s vision, and the crucial need for musical training within the context of a seminary. “There is a 100% guarantee that every single pastor and church leader will be asked to address issues of music within the context of corporate worship, and it is absolutely vital to the life of the church that its leaders know how to think critically about music,” Mowrey said. She discussed the importance of the church’s song, arguing that the sounds of worship—whether word, song, or instrument—communicate to God, the body of Christ, and the watching world. “The music of a church is often the most audible and immediate sign of how a church worships—how the church approaches and comes before God. The church’s music is a powerful witness to the watching world about how we view and worship our Savior. Seminaries must train students in the area of music with the same care and diligence as with theology,” Mowrey said. RCWM Council member Stephen Nielson closed the evening by asking the audience to consider the significance of RCWM’s mission and vision, particularly in a culture that often devalues music.
The Redeemer Center for Worship and Music exists to advance worship of the triune God by providing training, resources, research, and edification in the principles, history, and practice of worship and music, all in accordance with Scripture. RCWM desires to train and equip seminarians, musicians, music directors, pastors, church leaders, and congregants to develop skill, wisdom, and discernment about music’s role in corporate worship. Through RCWM, students will eventually be able to earn a Certificate in Worship and Music (either independently of a degree program or concurrently with a Redeemer degree). In addition to classes, the Center will sponsor conferences, concerts, and other events for all who wish to grow in their understanding of the church’s music.