Teaching music and worship leadership in the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile is about so much more than preparing students to earn a college degree, says Dr. Steve Bowersox.
“We are building an army of worshipers that will serve the church and extend His kingdom. They will be world changers!” says the chair of Worship Leadership and Production Technologies at the Christ-centered university in Alabama.
In preparing UM students to pursue God’s calling for their lives, Bowersox is following God’s calling for his own.
“I am passionate about what God is doing in the students. It is a deep and amazing work. It challenges me and stirs my soul,” he says.
Whether it is directing the university’s Ignite Worship student ensemble or connecting students and graduates to the many career opportunities available to them, Bowersox uses his vast experience and professional network for a Great Commission purpose.
We asked the professor for an inside look at the Alabama School of the Arts (ASOTA) and what it’s like to teach and learn at the University of Mobile.
Q. Why should someone choose to study worship leadership or production technologies at UM?
A. We have a great reputation in producing outstanding worship leaders and AVL (Audio Visual Lighting) technicians. They know the subject areas, they are hard workers, they are strong believers and committed Christians. Every year I have 25-40 more jobs than I have graduates.
Our students are in demand around the world. We have a diverse, progressive contemporary program that builds on the classic fundamentals that prepares the student for the 21st century. Plus, ASOTA offers more than $800,000 each year in audition scholarships, so the combination of opportunities for experience and the affordability makes our program a great value.
Q. Why do you choose to teach at UM?
A. The University of Mobile is a special place. It is a positive, Christ-centered school of excellence. I love the life-long relationships that I develop with our students. It is a thrill to see them grow in their calling and gifts. There is no place like it!
Q. You direct Ignite Worship, a student ensemble in the Roger Breland Center for Performing Arts at ASOTA. Tell us about that.
A. I love our ensembles that travel and record in our Fisher-Brewer Recording Studio on campus. We have over 17 ensembles in the Roger Breland Center for Performing Arts, so students have many ways to gain practical experiences that make them especially valuable once they graduate.
I work closely with Ignite Worship, a contemporary praise and worship group that travels to churches and events in the southeast to lead worship and lift up the name of Jesus. They also lead worship in Chapel and produce an environment of worship for our campus. Alumni from this group are currently serving as lead worship pastors in churches across America. They are also recording artists, songwriters and members of groups such as Building 429 and Vertical Worship Band.
Q. The experiences you gained throughout your career give you a unique perspective in preparing students for their calling in this field. What are some highlights?
A. I have an undergraduate degree in music education-instrumental, Master of Music Education – choral and a PhD in religious philosophy (media and the arts). I have traveled as a music director with Ron Kenoly, Don Moen, Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Pat Boone, Barbara Mandrell and Dolly Parton. I play the woodwinds, bass, guitar, keys and sing. I have served and still serve as worship pastor. I have written a successful theory book and vocal exercise program that is sold around the world. And, I am also a pilot and flew to my classes for 9 years.
Q. What are some other interests or hobbies?
A. I love my family and I love the life the Lord has given us here in Saraland. It is a very family-oriented and biblically poised community. When I’m not full throttle with my family, I enjoy my hobbies which include racing cars, flying planes, shooting guns, working in my shop and reading good books.