School of Worship Leading Internship

Certificate in Christian Ministry

The School of Worship Leading Internship (SOWL) gives current worship leaders the opportunity to invest in a year of developing and refining your skills.

This programme aims to take someone with a great heart and musical ability and mould you into a fully competent, trained and equipped worship leader for your church context. You will be trained by great worship leaders all around NZ in areas of leadership, song writing, music performance, team building, technical, planning, confidence and spiritual development.

If you have a passion for Worship Leading and want to further your ability then this could be for you. 

Who is it for?

The School of Worship Leading is for people who are currently worship leading or heading up worship/music teams in their church. To enrol in this programme, you will need to have the full backing of your church leadership to support and encourage you through the year as you learn new ideas and concepts that you may want to introduce.

What is it?

This NZQA accredited qualification is 50% practical and 50% theoretical, giving good framework to both practicing and studying what worship leading is. The School has lecturers from different denominations to show our students that although we may differ on style, we still have the same purpose as worship leaders;

"A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God's Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God's presence, and to live for God"- Bob Kauflin

We believe a great unity can happen when our differences are unified in the Spirit, and churches around New Zealand are seeing the same purpose outworking for the Glory of God.

What does the year look like?

The programme is a 38 week part-time (16 hours a week) internship that allows you to remain based in your local church. You will be required to find a mentor in your church community who will be trained by us to oversee you in your internship.

The 16 hours per week is split into 8 hours of the practical ministry side (which you are already probably doing e.g. 4 hours on a Sunday, and 3-4 hour practice/admin) and 8 hours devoted to study and practical learning time, e.g. assignment work and instrument practice.

There will be two 1 day courses throughout the year which you will be required to attend. During these sessions all the SOWL students gather together to learn about the What, How and Why of worship from some of NZ's Top Worship Leaders. 

What will I learn?

The teaching will be delivered primarily online with quality video training from some of New Zealand's key worship leaders. There is also a workbook to will be completed weekly as well as course reading and discussion groups. This course endeavours to be a tool to up skill a person in the area of worship leading and to strengthen their local church in worship of God in a real and engaging way.

What does it cost?

Download the PDF below for more information about fees and costs associated with this programme. 


Supervised Ministry Training:

This course gives framework to the practical ministry component of the course. It is designed to establish a good balance between ministry, academics and spiritual formation with the student covering aspects of supervision practices, goal setting and reflection processes.

Worship Leading Workbook:

Each week you will complete sections from this worship leading workbook, written and delivered by key worship leaders from around New Zealand. Each section is a 2-3 page worksheet accompanied by a 10-20 minute video, which is available online.

Worship Ministry Elective:

This covers the history of music and worship in the Old Testament, New Testament and the Church. The goal is to apply the lessons of history and look forward to how we can encourage worship in our church setting. Through this course, different approaches to leading, rehearsing and writing music will be discussed and applied.

Interpreting the Bible: 

Through lectures and readings the student will learn how to competently interpret different passages throughout the Bible. The focus will be on worship topics that will be interpreted for the student to apply in their ministry.

Systematic Theology 1: 

Students will be introduced to a range of theological concepts from the character of God to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, from eschatology to what it means to live in Christ. The student will learn how to use different sources like scripture, reason, tradition, the Spirit and experience to formulate theology into application. There will be a clear emphasis on the theological issues that relate to worship.


Our students are required to meet with between one and three mentors for 90 minutes each fortnight. These mentors will focus on the areas of the Academics, Ministry and Spiritual development of the student.

Questions to ask before you apply:

  • Do I feel God calling me to step up practically and spiritually in worship leading?
  • Can I give up 8-10 hours a week and also four days during the year for training and learning?
  • Am I willing to be open to new ideas and concepts of worship?
  • Do I have the total support of my church family?

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