The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship at Calvin University has awarded Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) a one-year $13,300 grant for the Gospel Choir. Through the grant, IWU plans to develop the Gospel Choir further and educate the campus community on the traditions of gospel music.
The IWU Gospel Choir was founded in Spring 2021 by a group of students to celebrate the biblical principle of unity in diversity and expand the genre of worship music in the Chapel to include gospel. Today, there are approximately 20 students in the choir.
One of the goals under the grant is to support strategic efforts to grow the Gospel Choir through continued recruitment on campus, weekly practices, and hiring a part-time choir director.
Additionally, the grant will support initiatives to equip chapel bands with gospel music training. To do so, the Gospel Choir will hold workshops annually to engage with the gospel genre and practice ways to incorporate it into Chapel worship services. These workshops, facilitated by experts in the field of gospel music, will focus on the following:
• Providing historical background of gospel music
• Understanding why gospel music is an important piece of the African-American Church and community
• Breaking down the sound of gospel music and holding vocal lessons for musicians to learn those techniques
IWU hopes this project will educate the campus community, particularly the student body, on the traditions of gospel music in an effort to diversify the Chapel worship experience. They believe expanding the genre of worship music in Chapel services will help these services become more reflective of the entire campus community, with students of color feeling like they belong and have ownership on campus.
To learn more about Chapel and spiritual life on campus, visit www.indwes.edu/undergraduate/life-at-iwu/spiritual-life/.
Indiana Wesleyan University celebrates 100 years as a Christian, global, comprehensive university providing liberal arts and professional education to approximately 10,000 students worldwide. IWU is one of the largest faith-based universities in America with rich undergraduate, graduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in highly acclaimed academic units such as the School of Nursing, School of Physical and Applied Sciences, College of Adult and Professional Studies, and School of Arts and Humanities.
An early leader in adult and online education, IWU is known for excellence in innovation. Students live and learn on the beautiful 350-acre IWU-Marion traditional campus and study through IWU-National & Global programs offered online and at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.
Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, founded by the Wesleyan Church denomination and IWU, prepares Christian leaders to engage in missional ministry locally and globally. Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit indwes.edu.