Worship Arts Lab

The Worship Arts Lab is a space and time for teenage worship leaders and their adult mentors. This program includes a variety of opportunities for students to rethink and reimagine worship, including a number of breakout sessions on musicianship and craftsmanship, a holistic spiritual formation component, and mentoring by leaders and experts within lab groups.

Join this year’s Worship Arts Lab for an interactive experience where students and adult mentors can grow together by learning from one another in this creative process of worship design and innovation.

Learn more:

Event Dates: June 21-25, 2021

Event Times: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Friday)

Ages: 13 and up

Cost: $50


To ensure your care package arrives prior to the beginning of Worship Arts Lab, please register by June 10, 2021. If you would like to attend with a group of 5 or more, contact us at awi@apu.edu for more information.

Guest Artists and Speakers

  • Casey J


  • John Sutton, DMA


  • Christy Semsen


  • Helena Mayer

    Spoken Word

  • Jean Killam

    Visual Arts

  • Chris Neal

    Adult Mentor Track

Breakout Sessions


Learn valuable singing tips and vocal techniques, from vocal warm-ups to singing harmony, to add to your worship leadership toolbox for leading vocally in a team setting. For the beginner and advanced singers, this session provides important training and practices for using your voice for worship.


Join this breakout session to get practical hands-on training and musical tips on playing keys, individually and in worship team settings, for church worship services. All ages and levels are welcome to attend.


For the beginner and the advanced, attend this session to learn fundamental guitar techniques, chords and voicings, and new tools for improving your skills and for leading and playing for worship in your local ministry. Make sure to have your guitar or bass guitar ready for this session.


Come to this breakout and learn how to play the drums for worship. This session covers musical techniques, terminology, and helpful practices for how to be a better musician and leader as a drummer.


Join this breakout session and learn from Christy Semsen, Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter, about some of her practical tools and songwriting techniques to equip you with a helpful framework for writing your own songs.

Graphic Design

Learn practical guidelines and principles for creating your own graphic design work for worship and church services that can be applied to all kinds of media, including slides, worship videos, brochures, and more. Have a laptop or computer ready to participate in this hands-on breakout session.

Spoken Word

Hear an artist share her experiences creating spoken-word pieces, as well as helpful tips and guidelines on how to write and perform spoken-word pieces. Have a notebook and pencil ready to create your own creative spoken-word piece.

Visual Arts

For the visual artist, this session provides space and time for students to create art as an expression of faith through visual arts, along with time to delve into theological reflection on how visual arts is an important expression of worship.

Audio and Visual Technical Arts

Join this breakout session to learn more about using the technical arts—audio and visual aspects—to enhance worship. The session includes a fundamental overview of tech systems and tools, covers best practices for handling worship tech, and also features a question-and-answer time to help provide possible solutions and ideas for improving tech for your worship team.

Adult Mentor Track

Learning to think liturgically about the lived experience of high school students is powerful for helping us cultivate an imagination for how the Gospel speaks to young people in their everyday lives. COVID-19 has created the greatest disruption to the cultural liturgy of “high school” in our lifetime. How can thinking liturgically about our current moment inspire us toward good and faithful youth ministry in this time?

What Will We Do?

Worship Together

Meet for virtual worship with like-minded individuals who are interested in serving the Church with their artistic gifts, and hear from guest speakers who are leaders and experts in worship ministry.


Hear from leaders and experts in the field. These are wise and gifted individuals who love to share what they have learned along the way. And, they are just fun people to hang out with.


Gain theological tools for reflection and personal formation. The program is full of opportunity for developing artistic imagination, biblical literacy, and meaningful community.


Take an active role in worship leadership by participating in the program’s concluding event: Worship Showcase. Students design and lead a 15-minute worship gathering, gain valuable feedback, and participate in a special collective showcase in celebration of our time together.

Who Can Attend?

Youth in grades 7-12 and their adult mentors are invited to attend. This experience is designed to support and develop young artists and adult mentors who are interested in developing their craft and learning more about worship leadership.

Why the Worship Arts Lab?

Empowering Young Artists

We believe in the tremendous creativity and leadership ability of youth. We also understand that worship can be meaningful and powerful. In light of this, there is a great need for thoughtful, discerning young leaders who are willing to bring imagination and artistic skill to worship.

Theological Reflection

The Worship Arts Lab is designed to provide the space and time needed to hone artistic abilities and develop theological perspective. Through Worship Arts Lab, youth develop a richer imagination for worship while gaining deeper insights into the nature of God and the worshiping community.

Practical Training for Individuals and Teams

By engaging in thoughtful worship design, participating in various styles of worship, and increasing biblical literacy, teenagers are given new tools that can be taken home to their local churches.

Innovating for the Future of Worship and the Arts

We desire to see the flourishing of young worship artists and those who mentor them. As a result, mentoring young worship leaders and artists lies at the heart of our mission. Join us as we innovate the future of worship and the arts.

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