Pastoral Music

Singing at worship

Certificate in Pastoral Music

This six-month, introductory program is designed for professionals and volunteers with responsibility for music ministry in a parish, and those interested in learning more about liturgical music in the Catholic tradition. Classes will meet in person beginning November 28. An early registration discount is available through November 18. Details are below under General Information.

Instructor John Flaherty introduces the program

‌‌‌Since the reforms of the liturgy at Vatican II, music has played an important role in inspiring the full, conscious, and active participation of the community in liturgical worship. With the successful collaboration of musicians, liturgical ministers and clergy, worship can continue to be a rich, spiritual, and transformative communal exercise of the Church.

The Pastoral Music professional certificate program seeks to inform and deepen the experience of music in Catholic worship through formation and education of the whole minister. It does this by giving students in-depth exposure to music's important place and function within the theology and praxis of Catholic prayer through readings, study of Church documents, written assignments, demonstrations, practice, and discussions.

Who Should Participate

This program is suitable for those who have a professional or personal investment in music ministry, especially cantors, music directors, ensemble directors, instrumentalists and choir members, as well as those interested in learning more about liturgical music within the Church.

Program Benefits

The goal of this program is to form students to better serve their own faith communities as effective musicians and pastoral leaders. Those who successfully complete the program will:

  • Know the liturgical theology that informs music ministry in the parish
  • Be able to collaborate with parish clergy and ministers in shaping the worship experience that invites the full community into prayer
  • Value the musicality of the Catholic tradition and pastoral liturgy, especially in diverse communities

Credit from this program may be applicable to catechist certification at the discretion of the certifying diocese. Please be sure to check with the appropriate diocesan office to confirm that this program qualifies for credit towards certification or recertification. 

General Information

Course and program requirements, schedules and tuition are subject to change; and additional fees may be incurred for books and materials. Click here to review all policies prior to enrollment. For additional information, contact the Center at (310) 338-2799 or

  • Course is not being scheduled at this time

  • Course is not scheduled at this time.

  • Students must complete a total of 2.5 semester hours in coursework with a letter grade of 'B-' or higher in each course to receive a certificate of completion. Please refer to the course catalog for required text, class meeting location, and other general information.

    Coursework: PMXX 900

  • PMXX 900
    Pastoral Music
    2.5 Semester Hours

    In this course, students will examine music's place and function within the theology and praxis of Catholic prayer. Through readings, study of Church documents, written assignments, demonstrations, practice, and discussions, those involved in music ministry and others interested in this program of study will become more effective liturgical and pastoral leaders within their own faith community.