Past Worship Leader Conferences

Past Worship Leader Conferences

The Singing School runs Sunday through Friday and not everyone finds themselves able to commit to the entire week. For worship leaders like these and for our friends who want to touch base with us, we conduct a specialized weekend program on the Friday and Saturday before the week of the Singing School. These focused programs also welcome many of our students who will be sharing the week with us who choose to come early to participate.

2022 WLC – There will be no WLC in 2022

2021 WLC – Great Songs of the Church (D.J. Bulls, John Weigand, Jack Boyd)

2020 WLC – No WLC due to COVID-19

2019 WLC – Technology in Worship Ministry (Gary Moyers)

2018 WLC – Lost in Wonder, Love, and Praise (Daryl Tippens)

Dr. Tippens has been a professor and administrator at Oklahoma Christian University, Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University, and is now in his second term of service at ACU, this time as Distinguished Scholar of Faith, Learning, and Literature. He is an author of That’s Why We Sing: Reclaiming the Wonder of Congregational Singing (Abilene: Leafwood, 2007) and many other works.

Atkeson, Daw, Furr, Tackett, and Sisemore all serve on the faculty of the Texas Normal Singing School.

2017 WLC – The Hymnody of the Non-Institutional Churches of Christ (Steve Wolfgang)

This year we welcome Dr. Steve Wolfgang of Downers Grove, Illinois to speak on Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, a new hymnal published by the Sumphonia Foundation, and hymnology among the non-institutional churches of Christ, which has developed independently from mainline congregations.

This year’s program brings a noted historian, preacher, and hymnologist to Abilene, brother Steve Wolfgang, PhD. Steve comes to us from the non-institutional churches of Christ. Over the years of separation between mainline and non-institutional congregations, unique hymnals have been produced, different songs sung, and other methods forged for the shared goals of glorifying God and teaching one another in a cappella, congregational singing. We hope that Dr. Wolfgang’s preaching and presentation will give perspective and understanding for our history and hope for our future. Brother Wolfgang currently preaches for the church of Christ at Downers Grove, Illinois. He holds degrees from Florida College, Butler University, and Vanderbilt University. In addition to preaching and shepherding at Danville, Kentucky, Steve was a member of the history faculty at the University of Kentucky for 16 years. Steve is an expert in hymnody and served on the editorial board for Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, a hymnal recently published by the Sumphonia Foundation. He has appeared on numerous university lectureship programs and his articles have been published in many journals and magazines.

2016 WLC – Reunion: 70 Years, Still Singing (Ken Young)

Thousands of students have studied at The Singing School since 1946. We celebrate these seventy years that God has given us! Our 2016 Worship Leader’s Conference has the theme “Reunion” and will highlight where the School has been and our future goals. Singing School alumnus, Ken Young of Hallal Music, will be joining us for this special time of sharing.
Ken Young currently serves as the Senior Worship Minister at Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland, Texas. He is the founder and Director of Hallal Worship and has been an integral part of Streams in the Desert.
As an LCU student in the mid-1970s, he recruited for admissions as a member of the touring music group, Hard Travelers. Since that time, wherever Ken has found himself, he has served the body of Christ with music.

2015 WLC – Communication Matters (Joey Roberts)

Whether you are a full-time church employee or a volunteer, we probably all agree that communication is an important component of church work. Communication goes beyond the printed bulletin of old to the digital news of today. How a church communicates via printed material, projected material, or social media is important. From words to graphics to videos to websites, we must all continue to improve our skills. Our communication efforts matter to the first-time guest and the longtime member. Join us as we talk about the matters of communication because Communication Matters.

2014 WLC – The Timeless Psalter (Mark Shipp)

Mark Shipp brings years of experience of scholarly consideration of the Old Testament to our Worship Leaders Conference, as he discusses the role of the psalms in the church’s worship today and gives us an update on the Timeless project.

2013 WLC – Emotional Intelligence and the Ministry of Worship Leadership (Joe Ed Furr)

Leadership in worship is about so much more than being technically proficient in music. A worship leader must have a mind and heart for the people under his leadership, both in the assembly and at other times.

2012 WLC – Singing the Psalms (Jack Reese)

All of us know the melody and lyrics to a few of the psalms from the Old Testament. But most of us cannot boast that we can sing every psalm in the Bible. This condition may be about to change. There is a new psalm movement already at work among churches of Christ. This summer’s workshop will focus on the concept of singing the psalms.

We will present the history of the psalms in the Old Testament. We will review how Israel utilized the psalms in the age of the kings and then later in the age of the synagogue. We will briefly review the history of the “Psalter” among Protestants.

We will introduce the most recent movement to revive the psalms. We will introduce a few of the new psalms that are currently beginning to be published.

The new psalm movement will also be reflected in the singing school. The singer’s workshop will present some of the new psalms, and our sight-reading classes will learn to sing a few of the new psalms as a part of our effort to help all our students develop their ability to sight-read new songs.

We are truly blessed to be able to link The Singing School with recent trends in church music. This new psalm movement may prove to be a grand progression in the development of church music.

2011 WLC – A Weekend with a Hymnologist (Robert J. “Sonny” Taylor)

Sonny Taylor has become our Brotherhood’s premier hymnologist. He has spent the last 22 years of his life researching gospel singing in our Brotherhood. He has searched for many songwriters who have contributed to our repertory. He has interviewed them, photographed their world, and explored their adventures in church music.

Sonny has become an expert in copyright law as it is applied to church music. He has found a network of songwriters and agents. He has counseled extensively with people who want to publish songbooks. Now, he has produced three songbooks.

He has also become an album producer. He now works with some of the best singing groups in our Brotherhood.
We have invited him to be the central focus of our pre-Singing School workshop and, to our delight and excitement, he has accepted the invitation.

We have suggested that he bring to the event some of the presentations he has developed, introducing songwriters and other historical events relative to church music. He will bring his new songbooks, and he will talk with us about what is happening today in church music.

Sonny is one of our most up-to-date students of the trends in church music. In addition to surveying our Brotherhood, he has traveled abroad on hymn journeys.

We will give you time to interview and question him during the workshop.

To see more of Sonny Taylor’s products, visit