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Certification

Professional Certification for Church Musicians

Certification is an important step in professional development and recognition within the church. The Presbyterian Association of Musicians hopes that all pastors and sessions will encourage musicians to work toward achieving this goal.

PAM offers three levels of certification for professional church musicians:

Certified Colleague in Church Music (CCCM)

No degree requirement.

Certified Associate Church Musician (CACM)

A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college with a major in music is required.

Certified Church Musician (CCM)

A Master's or Doctor's degree in music is required.

The vision is that musicians will work toward obtaining certification that they might be recognized personally, professionally and as an integral voice in the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.

The Presbyterian Association of Musicians is extremely proud of those of you who are certified and those who are in the process of obtaining certification; and willing to provide encouragement along the way. If you have questions or concerns our certification committee will gladly address them. Without sacrificing the standards of certification we want the process to be workable.

For those that have already achieved certfication we recommend the following services to be held in recognition of this achievement.

  Certified Recognition Service for Churches

  Certified Recognition Service for Presbytery

 

Credit Verification Form

CERTIFICATION PROCESS:

  1. Submit application with $35 application fee
  2. The National Office will acknowledge the application.
  3. The Membership Development Committee will assign a mentor to work with the applicant through the process.
  4. Complete the activities required for the appropriate level of certification, and gather appropriate documentation.
  5. Submit a completed application with documentation of activities and written work
  6. Application will be evaluated
  7. Applicant, pastor, Clerk of Session, and Presbytery will be informed of successful completion.

 

CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

 

Certified Colleague in Church Music [CCCM]

 
PROCEDURE for candidates to initiate certification process

  1. Complete the application form (available online or from PAM National Office).
  2. Submit application and fee of $35.00 (U.S. funds) to PAM office.
  3. LPM candidates submit Certificate of Completion for LPM two-year course to PAM office.

    There is a five year deadline to complete the certification process
    after it has been initiated.

CCCM Requirements:

  • Must be working for a Presbyterian Church
  • Must be a member of PAM
  • Must show a commitment to church’s total ministry and total mission
  • Four years work experience in PC(USA)
  • Committed to continuing education [participation in professional, community denominational and/or ecumenical groups and events]
  • Submit a 10 minute video or recording demonstrating your ability to play a hymn, anthem, prelude or postlude. If a choral director, submit a video demonstrating your ability to rehearse and conduct an anthem and submit a list of repertoire selections of various genres and historical eras that you have prepared.
  • Complete Sections I - IV below

SECTION I          The Bible and Reformed Worship:

  1. Participation in at least 30 hours of workshops or classes that deal with aspects of creative worship planning and leadership.
    • No more than 15 class hours may be accumulated at one conference
    • Topics studied should include: Hymnology/Psalmody; Book of Common Worship, The Psalter, The Presbyterian Hymnals, and use of the lectionary in planning worship
  2. Attendance at worship services and worship discussion sessions at PAM-related conferences.
  3. Participation in a local Bible survey course. Disciple Bible Study or Kerygma is highly recommended.
  4. An essay on the subject of “The Role of Music and the Scripture in Reformed Worship”.

SECTION II         Human Faith and Development

  1. Participation in at least five hours or workshops or classes that deal with aspects of staff relationship, ministry of music and professional concerns issues.
  2. Read at least one book in the area of music ministry selected from “Suggested Resources in Church Music and Related Fields” (available from the PAM national Office) and write an essay on the content of the book selected.
  3. Write an essay describing your role as a church musician as it relates to the wider ministry of the church.

SECTION III         Polity of the Presbyterian Church, USA

  1. Read the Book of Confessions and the Book of Order, particularly the Form of Government (G) and the Directory for Worship (W).
  2. Write an essay expressing your understanding of the Presbyterian form of government, of the organization of the local congregation and the lines of authority as your role relates to the particular church.

SECTION IV          Continuing Education in Your Area of Expertise

(organists, choral directors, pianists, guitarists, vocalists)

  1. Participate in at least 15 class hours of workshops in your area.
  2. Participate in conference activities in your area.
  3. If possible, participate in a local ensemble.
  4. Take one year of private instruction or coaching.

Alternative Option for Certified Colleague in Church Music [CCCM]

  • Completion of two-year Leadership Program for Musicians [LPM]
    Presbyterian- specific course work.
    Details can be viewed on the website lpm-online.org
  • Must be a member of Presbyterian Church
  • Must be a member of PAM
  • Must show a commitment to church’s total ministry and total mission
  • Must show commitment to continuing education [participation in professional, community denominational and/or ecumenical groups and events]

Certified Associate in Church Music [CACM]

 

PROCEDURE for candidates to initiate certification process

  1. Complete the application form (available online or from PAM National Office).
  2. Submit application and fee of $35.00 (U.S. funds) to PAM office.
  3. LPM candidates submit Certificate of Completion for LPM two-year course to PAM office.

    There is a five year deadline to complete the certification process
    after it has been initiated.

CACM Requirements:

  • Must be working for a Presbyterian Church
  • Must be a member of PAM
  • Must show a commitment to church’s total ministry and total mission
  • Four years work experience in PC(USA)
  • Committed to continuing education [participation in professional, community denominational and/or ecumenical groups and events]
  • Bachelor’s degree in music or ten years experience as church musician
  • Submit a 10 minute video or recording demonstrating your ability to play a hymn, anthem, prelude or postlude. If a choral director, submit a video demonstrating your ability to rehearse and conduct an anthem and submit a list of repertoire selections of various genres and historical eras that you have prepared.
  • Complete Sections I - IV below

SECTION I             The Bible and Reformed Worship:

  1. Participation in at least 30 hours of workshops or classes that deal with aspects of creative worship planning and leadership.
    • No more than 15 class hours may be accumulated on one conference
    • Topics studied should include: Hymnology/Psalmody; Book of Common Worship, The Psalter, The Presbyterian Hymnals, and use of the lectionary in planning worship.
  2. Attendance at worship services and worship discussion sessions at PAM-related conferences.
  3. Participation in a local Bible survey course. Disciple Bible Study or Kerygma is highly recommended.
  4. An essay on the subject of “The Role of Music and the Scripture in Reformed Worship”.

SECTION II          Human Faith and Development

  1. Participation in at least five hours or workshops or classes that deal with aspects of staff relationship, ministry of music and professional concerns issues.
  2. Read at least one book in the area of music ministry selected from “Suggested Resources in Church Music and Related Fields” (available from the PAM national Office) and write an essay on the content of the book selected.
  3. Write an essay describing your role as a church musician as it relates to the wider ministry of the church.

SECTION III       Polity of the Presbyterian Church, USA

  1. Read the Book of Confessions and the Book of Order, particularly the Form of Government (G) and the Directory for Worship (W).
  2. Write an essay expressing your understanding of the Presbyterian form of government, of the organization of the local congregation and the lines of authority as your role relates to the particular church.

SECTION IV        Continuing Education in Your Area of Expertise

(organists, choral directors, pianists, guitarists, vocalists)

  1. Participate in at least 15 class hours of workshops in your area.
  2. Participate in conference activities in your area.
  3. If possible, participate in a local ensemble.

Certified Church Musician [CCM]
 

PROCEDURE for candidates to initiate certification process

  1. Complete the application form (available online or from PAM National Office).
  2. Submit application and fee of $35.00 (U.S. funds) to PAM office.
  3. LPM candidates submit Certificate of Completion for LPM two-year course to PAM office.

    There is a five year deadline to complete the certification process
    after it has been initiated.

CCM Requirements:

  • Must be working for a Presbyterian Church
  • Must be a member of PAM
  • Must show a commitment to church’s total ministry and total mission
  • Four years work experience in PC(USA)
  • Committed to continuing education [participation in professional, community denominational and/or ecumenical groups and events]
  • Master’s or Doctorate degree in music or twenty years experience as church musician
  • Submit a 10 minute video or recording demonstrating your ability to play a hymn, anthem, prelude or postlude. If a choral director, submit a video demonstrating your ability to rehearse and conduct an anthem and submit a list of repertoire selections of various genres and historical eras that you have prepared.
  • Complete Sections I - IV below

SECTION I             The Bible and Reformed Worship:

  1. Participation in at least 30 hours of workshops or classes that deal with aspects of creative worship planning and leadership.
    • No more than 15 class hours may be accumulated on one conference
    • Topics studied should include: Hymnology/Psalmody; Book of Common Worship, The Psalter, The Presbyterian Hymnals, and use of the lectionary in planning worship.
  2. Attendance at worship services and worship discussion sessions at PAM-related conferences.
  3. Participation in a local Bible survey course. Disciple Bible Study or Kerygma is highly recommended.
  4. An essay on the subject of “The Role of Music and the Scripture in Reformed Worship”.

SECTION II          Human Faith and Development

  1. Participation in at least five hours or workshops or classes that deal with aspects of staff relationship, ministry of music and professional concerns issues.
  2. Read at least one book in the area of music ministry selected from Suggested “Resources in Church Music and Related Fields” (available from the PAM national Office) and write an essay on the content of the book selected.
  3. Write an essay describing your role as a church musician as it relates to the wider ministry of the church.

SECTION III       Polity of the Presbyterian Church, USA

  1. Read the Book of Confessions and the Book of Order, particularly the Form of Government (G) and the Directory for Worship (W).
  2. Write an essay expressing your understanding of the Presbyterian form of government, of the organization of the local congregation and the lines of authority as your role relates to the particular church.

SECTION IV        Continuing Education in Your Area of Expertise

(organists, choral directors, pianists, guitarists, vocalists)

  1. Participate in at least 15 class hours of workshops in your area.
  2. Participate in conference activities in your area.
  3. If possible, participate in a local ensemble.

 

 
PROCEDURE for all candidates to complete certification process

  1. Obtain letters verifying degrees and courses attained or transcripts from colleges, universities or seminaries.
  2. Complete PAM certification verification forms from each conference, listing and validating courses attended.
  3. Send CD or DVD [only if applying for Certified Colleague in Church Music; LPM candidates are exempt from this procedure]
  4. Complete the four essay questions. (LPM candidates are exempt).
  5. Submit items #1-4 above, when completed, to the PAM office.

Presbyterian Association of Musicians
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

All Items should be submitted together at the time of application.

The PAM Certification Committee will recommend the applicant for final approval to the Executive Board of PAM. A successful candidate will be presented with a CCM, CACM or CCCM certificate.

Certification Renewal

Renewal will be required every five years. You will be notified by mail in January to submit an essay which will be due by August 1. The essay should reflect your recent activity in continuing education and involvement in church music.

From the PC(USA) Form of Government, adopted in July 2011

G-­2.11   CERTIFIED CHURCH SERVICE

G-­2.1101   Forms of Certified Church Service

Persons may be certified and called to service within congregations, councils, and church-related entities, serving in staff positions.  These individuals endeavor to reflect their faith through their work and to strengthen the church through their dedication. They should be encouraged by their session and presbytery to meet, or be prepared to meet, the certification requirements in a handbook provided by a national certifying body approved by the General Assembly. Names of those who have earned certification through a national certifying body shall be transmitted to the appropriate body of the General Assembly, which will forward them to the stated clerk of the presbyteries in which those persons labor.

G-­2.1102   Presbytery and Certified Church Service
The presbytery shall encourage sessions to make continuing education funds and time available to those seeking certification, and shall affirm the skill and dedication of these certified persons by providing a service of recognition at the time of certification. The presbytery may grant the privilege of voice at all its meetings to persons in certified church service.

 
PAM will notify your Pastor, Clerk of Session and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery when certification and renewal are granted.

Certification Questions & Comments

If you have questions regarding certification that are not addressed on this page and the Certification Application pages, please send us your question/comment in the form below.

To contact us by phone call the PAM National Office at 1-888-728-7228 xt. 5288.

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