A Song Leader’s Introduction to Voices Together

Taught by Katie Graber, PhD, and Anneli Loepp Thiessen, MM

Dates: Feb. 9 – March 22, 2022

Early registration price extened until Feb. 2, 2022!

Do you know the stories behind the songs your church loves? Why is it important to learn new songs and stretch our comfort zones? What kinds of music are Anabaptists writing?  

This course, A Song Leader’s Introduction to Voices Together, explores how to effectively teach and lead a variety of music including intercultural and contemporary styles. Activities and optional assignments will include learning new songs and their stories, designing song sets and hymn sings, writing short songs for worship and making recordings of songs from the Voices Together hymnal. Reading assignments include information on designing song sets, assembling ensembles, and practical tips for leading. 

Participants will explore the histories and contexts of worship elements, as well as the artistic styles and traditions represented. They will discover how the Voices Together committee compiled resources with the intention of breaking down barriers and dismantling oppression. Participants will critically evaluate how new resources can nurture and stretch their communities. 

This course offers insights for all types of song leaders: new or experienced, band leader or conductor, organist or guitarist. Course content will focus on using the pew edition and Accompaniment Edition of the Voices Together hymnal.

This course will include synchronous sessions over Zoom that will be offered at two consistent time slots weekly. If students are unable to attend these sessions, recordings will be made available.

Textbooks: Voices Together Accompaniment Edition and Voices Together Pew Edition, available at voicestogetherhymnal.org/products/ordering-and-discounts.

Katie Graber, PhD, is an ethnomusicologist who studies race and ethnicity in a variety of contexts including Mennonite music, American music and European opera. Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a PhD student who studies gender and music, contemporary worship music and Anabaptist song. They are co-directors of the Anabaptist Worship Network.

How short courses work

Courses are offered online and last six weeks each. Short course students are expected to complete coursework on their own and post to an online forum weekly. These short courses also include optional, weekly, live video conversations which are typically recorded for class members who cannot attend.

Short courses explore topics like Anabaptist history, biblical study, spiritual and ethical issues, worship, and more. These non-credit courses involve readings from textbooks and online articles and include written forum discussion. You won’t receive a grade, but readings and discussion are comparable to seminary-level work, and professors assume you have critical thinking skills and some previous academic study.

More details

Find out more about how short courses work, how you can get CEUs, and what requirements you’ll need to participate in online short courses. 


  • Early registration: US $300 per course
  • Regular registration: US $350 per course
  • Anabaptist Short Course Bundle: US $995 total for four courses!*
  • Global South Scholarships are available.

*NOTE: Anabaptist Worship Network online short courses are not included in the Anabaptist Short Course Bundle. Learn more about the bundle.

Anabaptist Worship Network

The goal of the Anabaptist Worship Network is to connect leaders, resource congregations, and transform communities by cultivating vital worship practices that embody Christ’s call to radical hospitality. Serving Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite Church Canada, and other Anabaptist groups, the Anabaptist Worship Network offers education, leadership development, academic courses, and ongoing research related to worship. It aims to celebrate the broad diversity of Anabaptist worship by strengthening understandings of varying styles and practices.

Voices Together hymnal

Voices Together is a worship collection for individual and corporate use, made up of 775 songs and over 300 worship resources (including scripture passages, visual art, and additional words for worship). In addition to the Voices Together pew edition, the suite of publications includes a Worship Leader Edition and Accompaniment Edition that give contextual information and practical guidance for planning and leading worship. The collection includes songs and worship resources from the distant past to present day, emerging from traditions around the world.

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