Applications Open for Summer 2024 Graduate Certificate in Black Sacred Music

Applications Open for Summer 2024 Graduate Certificate in Black Sacred Music
Austin Brown

The Arkansas Center for Black Music and the Department of Music in the U of A's  Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences are now accepting applications for the Graduate Certificate in Black Sacred Music. This 16-hour graduate-level program, offered in the summer of 2024, will prepare students for top positions in fields related to Black sacred music and sacred music in general.

This program gives students the needed interdisciplinary training to thrive in industries that value traditional and non-traditional music literacy, creativity, communication, collaboration, technology, worship planning and other skills, according to Jeffrey Murdock, founding director of the Arkansas Center for Black Music and Grammy Award-winning educator.

The program also features world-class faculty members representing some of the finest artists and scholars in Black sacred music.

"The certificate in Black sacred music is a wonderful opportunity for those who engage in gospel music to do so at a higher level, studying with renowned researchers and scholars in the field," said Murdock, who is also the U of A's director of choral activities, a professor of music and conductor of the university's renowned Inspirational Chorale.

"Students in the program will have an accelerated, immersive experience on our campus, developing the skills to equip them for a competitive job market or to simply create Black music as a hobby," Murdock added.

The graduate certificate program in Black sacred music is the second Black sacred music program launched by the U of A in the past year. The Master of Music in Black sacred music degree welcomed its first cohort of students during the 2023 summer session.

The Arkansas Center for Black Music and the Graduate Certificate in Black Sacred Music were made possible through a gift of more than $848,000 from the Alice L. Walton Foundation to provide start-up costs for the center and its affiliated academic programs, including recruiting and retaining top teaching talent and prospective students. 

Students interested in the Graduate Certificate in Black Sacred Music can learn more on the Department of Music webpage and may apply for admission through the U of A Graduate School.


Jake Hertzog, assistant professor
Department of Music

Jeffrey A. Murdock, professor
Department of Music

Kaleb A. Turner, associate director of communications
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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