Sacred Music

SACRED MUSIC COURSE DESCRIPTIONS  (Four One-Semester Courses beginning Fall of  2018)  

Joshua Taylor, Instructor

SEMESTER 1 Foundations and the History of Sacred Music

An introduction to the contexts, theological and Biblical foundations of sacred music, including the history, contemporary manifestations, and critiques of worship. The class will also explore the use of the lectionary and church year in planning along with suggested repertoire and resources.

SEMESTER 2  Introduction to Congregational Song

This course will explore the theological foundations of congregational singing from ancient hymnody through contemporary, modern worship music, and songs of the global church. Additionally, students will practice song leading techniques.

SEMESTER 3   Music Ministry in the Post-Modern Context

What is the role of worship and music in the 21st Century? How will music ministry and the role of sacred music change with a changing church? This course will explore these subjects in addition to planning considerations for the church of today.

SEMESTER 4   Church Music Administration

This course will consider best practices in planning, professional concerns, denominational identity, clergy/musician relationships and budgeting for the professional church musician.

Summer 2018 - News

Dr. Jesse Eschbach announces the appointment of Josh Taylor as Instructor of Sacred Music Studies at the University of North Texas, effective August 2018. 


Joshua Taylor has served as the Director of Worship and Music at First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas since 2011. He previously served as the Director of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Denton, Texas and the Director of Choirs at Navo Middle School in Denton ISD. 

Taylor has led the FPC Chancel Choir and Chamber Choir in performances for the 2016 Southwest ACDA convention in Kansas City, the memorial service for fallen Dallas police officers with Presidents Obama and Bush in attendance, and numerous concerts for the First Concert Series including collaborations with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Winds, the South Dallas Concert Choir, and the Turtle Creek Chorale. The choir’s first recording under his direction, Sounds of the Season: Advent and Christmas at First Presbyterian, was released in November 2013. Additionally, he conducts the church’s youth choir, coordinates the monthly Taizé worship experiences, serves as the Artistic Director of the First Concert Series, and prepares liturgy for all worship services of the congregation.

Josh has presented interest sessions/webinars for the national ACDA conventions in Dallas, Texas (2013) and Minneapolis, Minnesota (2017) and the Texas Choral Directors Association, SWACDA, the Kansas Music Educators Association, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. He has published articles in the Choral Journal as well as Call to Worship, a publication of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Presbyterian Outlook. He was named the North Texas Children’s Choir Teacher of the Year in 2010.

Josh currently serves on the Executive Board of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and has directed that organization’s Mo-Ranch/PAM Worship & Music Conference in 2014 and 2019. He has also served as the Vice President for the Church Division of the Texas Choral Directors Association. He was a consulting member for the revision of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018) published by Westminster/John Knox Press.

Mr. Taylor holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Kansas State University, a Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of North Texas, and a Certificate in Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is a candidate in the Doctor of Pastoral Music program at Perkins School of Theology/Southern Methodist University.