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New College Unites Music and the Arts

by University Relations

Joining strengths, three of APU’s most popular and influential disciplines converge to form the new College of Music and the Arts slated to launch in fall 2013. The School of Music teams with the Departments of Art and Design, and Theater, Film, and Television to offer a comprehensive grouping of creative fields of study.

The restructuring unites areas that engage creative, artistic, and talented scholars from around the world. “Musicians and artists have a unique ability to capture the human condition and the full range of human experience, connecting academic rigor with artistic expression,” said Provost Mark Stanton, Ph.D. Marrying these disciplines enables them to collaborate more freely and spurs innovation and effectiveness.

The yearlong process of exploring the proposed merger involved a task force representing all three areas proportionally. The team considered the unique attributes of each discipline as well as the needs of faculty and students. The School of Music brings a reputation for musical mastery familiar to millions, while the Department of Art and Design fosters spiritual and artistic expression that speaks to society, and the Department of Theater, Film, and Television engages the culture through a Christian worldview. Together, they create a strategic alliance with complementary attributes.

“We are excited about the continued growth of the School of Music as a major part of the university and valued our first collaborative effort with our colleagues in the new College of Music and the Arts held in late October. We look forward to working with them in this new college to train Christian musicians and artists who will have a positive impact on the entertainment and art cultures of our society,” said Don Neufeld, dean of the School of Music.

“This commitment to the arts is exceptional among Christian universities,” said Monica Ganas, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Theater, Film, and Television. “APU is unusually responsive to its students, and this new college will create many important opportunities for them. The three areas already benefit one another when the music students and theater majors perform together in musicals on sets created by art and design students. Our closer association will be highly productive.”

The dean of the new college must exhibit sensibilities and credentials commensurate with the energy, expertise, and scholarship of the students and faculty in each of these areas. The successful candidate will maximize the unique qualities of the individual disciplines while synthesizing them in a way that will impact the culture and the Kingdom. This fall, the search committee launched its rigorous, nationwide search for a dynamic and gifted Christian leader with the competencies to guide the college forward, and intends to recommend a candidate to the president and provost so that the new dean assumes the helm in July 2013.

“As a university community intentionally engaged in culture and committed to all of God’s people around the globe, we aspire to be that ‘city on a hill that reflects the life of Christ and shines the light of Truth,’” said Stanton. “We seek to be difference makers, equipped, enabled, and empowered to affect our world. The new College of Music and the Arts reflects the university’s vision for the future—an alignment of resources, creative synergy, and sheer academic vitality in a new organizational structure to advance our mission and purpose.”

Originally published in the Winter '12 issue of APU Life. Download the full issue (PDF).