May 22, 2014
On June 19,2014, Dr. Merril Smoak, the dean of Olivet University's Jubilee College of Music will lead an open discussion session with the JCM students. Dr. Smoak has selected the topic "Theology and Worship Music" for this discussion session.
"Our worship music is Christian music not because of the style of music, but because of the words," states Dr. Smoak. "The words that we sing in worship must be theologically correct, that is, Bible-based."
This has always been a theme of Dean Smoak's teaching at JCM. He begins each class with a brief Bible study, usually a Psalm. Meeting with JCM students for informal discussion sessions have been a common practice each Quarter during Smoak’s nine years of teaching at the Jubilee College of Music. Students are encouraged to ask any questions concerning music, worship, or the Christian life during these sessions. Dr. Smoak considers these sessions to be an important part of mentoring students to become mature and well-trained Christian musicians.
"Students need the opportunity to dialogue with their professors on topics related to classroom materials and ministry situations," says Dr. Smoak. "These discussions session provide that opportunity."
Dr. Merril Smoak is professor and dean of the Jubilee College of Music. He is also Associate Pastor of Music & Worship at Trinity Church, Livermore, CA., where he has served for over 35 years. Each Sunday he leads the music for three worship services. His most recent article on using the Psalms in worship entitled "Ancient Words for Today’s Worshiper" was published in LifeWay’s LET’S WORSHIP magazine, Summer 2014.