Since the dawn of time, music and worship have gone hand in hand. So it makes sense that many musically gifted teens have aspirations to be
a worship leader or a writer, producer, or
performer of Christian music. But until not
too long ago, when it came to higher education, their choices were limited to a traditional music school or a Bible/Christian
college. That is, until Visible Music College
came along in 2000. The school was the
brainchild of the founding guitarist of the
Christian band Skillet, Dr. Ken Steorts, who
saw a need for a college with a mission to
“equip musicians, technicians, and business
professionals in craft and Christian character, for effective service in the music industry and in the Church.” We spoke to Ken
about why Visible Music College might be
right for your budding musician.
TOS: Tell me about Visible Music College.
Ken: Visible Music College is a response to
my belief that music is important and that
musicians can be leaders in and outside
the church. We train musicians, producers,
and managers for the music industry in the
context of a one-year certificate, a three- or
four-year bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
So, it’s higher-ed meets rock and roll meets
the church/discipleship in a unique way.
It’s a real accredited college education but
(also) a discipleship community and pro-
fessional development for the world.
TOS: What inspired you to found Visible?
Ken: I went to college for audio produc-
tion and classical guitar, became a Chris-
tian, then finished a master’s degree in
classical composition, and I realized how
behind the times higher-ed was. I was writ-
ing worship music and leading worship and
college groups when my band Skillet got
signed to a record deal. And I experienced
the behind the scenes of the Christian (mu-
sic) world and Dove Awards and radio, and
I thought a lot of bands being called upon
for discipleship and leadership weren’t
really equipped to do so. They (didn’t) really
have any industry guidance, and I thought .
. . colleges could do better than this. We can
do this the right way with a focus on wor-
ship and discipleship, and involve all styles
of music, and prepare people for the church
and industry. I foolishly thought I should
start a college because I didn’t know any
better. And I feel like we hit upon some-
thing pretty wonderful.
TOS: Tell me about the different campuses.
Ken: The concept was, when you get above
one hundred twenty students in one place,
you start losing the community. So when
we got to one hundred twenty, we knew
we should divide. We looked at where students were trying to come to Visible from
(but wouldn’t move to Memphis) and that
was from Chicago, Texas, and California.
So we looked in Lansing, Illinois . . . and
we got a building almost free and began
to rebuild it. That campus has twenty five
By Kathleen Conway Dr. Ken Steorts
Why Visible Music College Could Be a
Great Option for Homeschoolers
We train musicians, producers, and managers for the
music industry in the context of a one-year certificate, a
three- or four-year bachelor’s and a master’s degree.