Worship Leadership | Cincinnati Christian University

Worship Leadership

Come spend some time with us and learn to become an artistic leader who is spiritually strong and musically excellent.

Program Description

Do you have a passion for art and ministry?

At CCU, we will challenge and equip you to find your calling and fulfill your potential. Our mission is simple: We want to help you become who God wants you to become, so you can do the things He wants you to do.



The oxymoron with a promise: that you will not be held accountable to learn anything that you
do not need to know in your job.

You learn how to sing, how to play guitar, keyboard and drums, and you learn how to teach
others to do the same.

After you have developed basic musical skills, we invite you to take private music lessons in whatever areas you want. Hack your own education by learning from whoever is the best in the city at doing what combinations of skills you want to have.

We meet every week to worship as a department, leading one another to the heart of God. All music ensembles are worship ensembles, and our chapels, outreach and concerts are all worship events

Our placement rate of graduates is nearly 100%. We are constantly getting requests from churches for our students to apply for job openings! If you make it through our rigorous program, there are churches in this city and beyond who will want to hire you.

Students are saturated in an environment of technology. We use iPads or iPhones with apps in most classes (reducing the number of textbooks to buy), and have many options in technical arts training and experience.

We commit ourselves to shepherd well, to speak into your life, to serve as advisor and coach,
and to partner you with mentors along the way.

We cover both theology and practice, both Bible and music, so that you need not simply follow
the crowd, but know your reason for every choice you make.

This is the best part of all! Our program is built around experts who are doing the things we talk about in the classroom. When you join the teaching church program, you will visit multiple churches and then settle in at one of them, being mentored and discipled by someone who is doing what you want to become. For 3 years, you do a residency under that person and in that church, and you will even get paid for part of that time.

Meet Our Team

Bobby Jackson

Russell School of Ministry / Music & Worship

Bobby Jackson

Russell School of Ministry / Music & Worship [email protected]

Bobby Jackson graduated from CCU and entered full-time ministry, experiencing a variety of settings in churches from small to mega, from established to new multi-site plants. In them, he has served as worship leader, disciple-maker, preacher and teacher. Here at CCU, his focus is on coordinating the spiritual life on campus through chapel and other gatherings, and overseeing the Teaching Church program. Mr. Jackson teaches Calling and Spiritual Formation, Music Team Leadership, Worship Leadership, and directs Fusion Worship Ensemble.


Assistant Professor of Music & Worship (2016). BM, MAR, Cincinnati Christian University.

Melinda Hickman

Music & Worship

Melinda Hickman

Music & Worship [email protected]

Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Melinda Hickman’s pre-college piano teacher was Audrey Brown. As a teenager, she was a soloist several times with the Las Cruces Civic Symphony. She began her own piano teaching studio at the age of 14. She won a full-tuition scholarship to Arizona State University, then later transferred to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she was also awarded a full-tuition scholarship. She continued on at the College-Conservatory of Music through Master’s and Doctoral degrees. Her major piano teachers include James Ruccolo, Eugene Pridonoff, Elizabeth Pridonoff, and Frank Weinstock. During her college years, Dr. Hickman won many scholarships and awards, including first prize in the Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn Piano Competition in Cincinnati. Upon completion of her Bachelor’s degree, she also won the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for graduating with the highest G.P.A. in the College-Conservatory of Music. She was chosen twice to perform live on Cincinnati’s classical radio station, WGUC. She also performed in summer festivals including the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska, and the Academie de Musique de Sion in Switzerland. Since 1997, Dr. Hickman has been an adjunct faculty member at Cincinnati Christian University, where she enjoys teaching several classes including applied piano, music pedagogy, music in world cultures, and music history. As master teacher, she oversees all types of applied lessons at CCU. She also adjudicates competitions and performs solo and chamber repertoire. Melinda Hickman was the founder and director of the New Horizons Piano Competition for high school students. Each year from 2010-2014, top students competed for $1600 in cash prizes as well as scholarships to CCU. Dr. Hickman is involved in missions, music ministry, and adoptive families ministry at Lifespring Christian Church. She loves to travel, and has been blessed to be able to travel to Europe, the Philippines, Kenya, and India. She lives with her husband and four children in Cincinnati, Ohio.


DMA (Piano Performance with cognate in Music History) University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. MM (Piano Performance) University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. BM (Piano Performance) University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Piano study: Frank Weinstock, eugene Pridonoff, Elizabeth Pridonoff, Richard Fields, James Ruccolo Piano Pedagogy study: Michelle Conda, Cleveland Page

Ken Read

Russell School of Ministry/Music & Worship

Ken Read

Russell School of Ministry/Music & Worship 513.244.8195 [email protected]

If you ask Ken Read about himself, he would likely say that he is a highly-dysfunctional follower of Jesus who has discovered that he is not as talented as he had imagined and has better friends than he deserves. Then he would likely talk about his family and his ministry. Most people who know him would describe him as a creative. Dr. Read grew up in Cincinnati and has lived here most of his life, with the exception of ministries in Illinois and Kentucky. He and Ellen are parents to eight children and grandparents to about twenty (the number changes). Professionally, he has been a worshiper and a worship leader, a church planter, and a teacher. Ken is a published songwriter, and a member of ASCAP. His books include **Created to Worship** (College Press), and books on Christian living. Dr. Read teaches courses that are near the intersection of the subjects of music, worship, culture and creativity.


University of Kentucky School of Fine Arts D.M.A. (Composition) project: “The King’s New Clothes” (opera and defense) Cincinnati Christian University M.Min. (Church Music Emphasis) Miami University (Oxford OH) M.M. (theory/composition) thesis: “The Harmonies of Michael W. Smith: Changes in Gospel Music in the 1980s” Cincinnati Christian University M.A. (practical theology) thesis: “An Analysis of Person and Number in Selected Hymnals in Light of the Psalms” University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music B.M. (music theory major; secondary piano/ voice/ composition); summa cum laude; member, Pi Kappa Lambda