What is the Worship Academy?

Why is it different from other courses? 

The Worship Academy is a 20+ hour per week discipleship/mentoring program delivered over 40 weeks (one year), offering a combination of practical training and formal study. Students can study either online, face to face or a combination of both, through Newlife College on the Gold Coast, Qld Australia. The curriculum is specifically designed to further develop a Worship Leader’s ability to lead vibrant, contemporary worship expressions in the local church, whilst at the same time building their biblical, theological and musical foundations.

Successful graduates of the Worship Academy will be awarded the nationally accredited 10434NAT Diploma of Christian Ministry & Theology (RTO 45384).

We believe those who lead worship in their local churches need to be Christ centred, theologically minded, pastorally hearted, spiritually disciplined and musically skilled leaders at a personal, team and corporate level. Our desire is to develop graduates to this end.

Worship Academy students will combine mentoring, practical training & experience in the local church with foundational biblical study over one year to complete the course.

In most cases, students wishing to pursue a formal training in Worship Ministry or seek to develop their skills in worship leadership have had to do this within the Pentecostal tradition. Whilst the education and experience is amazing, it may be harder for students to draw connections and apply what they are learning to a more traditional denominational background.

Newlife is a regional church community of about 2500 people that has transitioned from a traditional to contemporary expression of corporate worship over nearly a decade. Our Pastors and leaders have experienced first hand the unique challenges faced by many mainline churches leading their church communities through this transition well – honouring and celebrating one generation whilst embracing and championing the next.

We welcome students from all denominations and believe we present an exciting new option for those from mainline traditions who wish to develop a contemporary worship ministry in their local church context.

What will I learn?

Practical training, biblical study and spiritual formation.

Students of the Worship Academy will:

  • Develop the spiritual disciplines essential for effective worship ministry
  • Grow and nurture their personal worship of God as the foundation for all other expressions of worship
  • Learn the essential skills required to lead worship teams and congregations in engaging, contemporary worship experiences
  • Learn how to sensitively and effectively transition traditional worship services into vibrant, contemporary, multi-generational worship services
  • Be an important part of the worship team at Newlife Uniting Church and have the opportunity to serve in weekend services, missional outreach, conferences, special events and other projects throughout the year
  • Engage in intentional, weekly discipleship and mentoring relationships with key leaders
  • Attend selected worship conferences and workshops throughout the year
  • Be able to apply what they are learning to their local church context
Graduates of the Worship Academy will:

  • Be able to more confidently and effectively lead congregations in engaging, God-honouring and Holy Spirit led worship experiences
  • Be able to more confidently and effectively lead and develop healthy worship teams both spiritually and musically
  • Be equipped to aid in the transition from traditional worship experiences to contemporary, multi-generational worship experiences
  • Have established strong spiritual disciplines, mentoring relationships and accountability frameworks
  • Understand the implementation and use of technology to assist in congregational worship
  • Receive a personalised letter of reference from Newlife College for those seeking placement as a worship leader in the local church.

What subjects will I study?

Music Theory & Performance. Leadership. Theology. Discipleship. Spiritual Discipline. Technology. Ministry Practice. Pastoral Care.

Scripture & Theology
Develop the foundational biblical knowledge and theological framework that is essential to lead God-honouring worship in the church. Learn how to anchor your worship in biblical truth and understand the WHY of worship.

Spiritual Health & Discipline
Nurturing your personal and private heart for worship is the most important first step in preparing to lead others in worship. This area focuses on maintaining and protecting your spiritual health through spiritual disciplines and mutual accountability.

The Art of Worship Leading
Learn and develop the essential skills needed to effectively lead teams & congregations, recruit and develop team members, choose and arrange music for your worship context as well as planning and executing events effectively.

Contemporary Worship in the Church
Understand the unique challenges of introducing contemporary worship expressions in traditional church contexts. Leading change, contemporary worship in the western church, current trends in worship expression in contemporary churches, embracing tradition in a contemporary context and more.

Professional Development
Develop your skills in a variety of areas to enhance your leadership in the local church context. Learn music theory, embrace technology in worship, train your ear, develop better competency on your instrument or voice, explore songwriting and upskill through special interest masterclasses throughout the year.

Discipleship & Pastoral Care
Healthy relationships are critical to the role of worship leading. Investing in your own discipleship and mentoring relationships as well as in the lives of others is a primary focus of worship ministry. Your spiritual pulse will affect your team, and your team’s spiritual pulse will affect your congregation.

Worship Ministry Practice
Serve as part of the Newlife worship team or in your local church context, applying the skills and knowledge you are learning throughout the year. Lead weekend services, midweek chapel services, missional outreach opportunities, conferences, special events and projects. Developing practical competency is at the heart of the Worship Academy’s objective.

Ministry-focussed Field Trips
Throughout the year, students will attend selected conferences, events and seminars that champion and support Worship Ministry and Leadership in the local church.

How much will it cost?

Course Fees & Payment Options


Students will pay a $1,500 upon enrolment and then be able to make equal weekly automated payments for the remainder of the course fees over the span of the 40 week program.


Field trips will be organised throughout the course year and the best possible prices will be negotiated to keep costs down. They may include Hillsong Conference in Sydney, team retreats, or other field trip opportunities as they present themselves. Students studying online will be required to attend 2 one week intensives on the Gold Coast.

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