interior top image

Ambassadors Program Applications Now Open

Become a Center for Congregational Song Ambassador

Applications are now being accepted for the next class of Deborah Carlton Loftis Ambassadors. Ambassador Programs are free church music workshops for students at universities, colleges, seminaries and/or online groups on behalf of The Center for Congregational Song (CCS). The workshops are ideally free and open to the broader community, but the primary goal is to reach students.

To Apply Click Here

(Application Deadline is April 30th, 2021)

The Ambassadors Program seeks to achieve two primary goals:

  1. Provide non-church music students (Music Majors, Music Education Majors, and/or Seminarians) an opportunity to learn basic church music skills, inviting them to think more deeply about the importance of congregational song in the life of the church, and connecting them to church music organizations as resources.
  2. Provide young professionals in church music an opportunity for leadership.

Chosen candidates will covenant to:

  1. Attend the Ambassadors Program Training Session with the Director of The Center for Congregational Song. Training sessions are held in conjunction with the Annual Hymn Society Conference in July.
  2. Develop their own “unit” to teach – Click Here for current ambassador unit examples.
  3. Serve a four-year term in which they will contribute to two (hopefully in-person) workshops and one final webinar.

Qualified candidates will:

  • Normally hold a Master’s degree or higher (Current Master’s students or candidates with other qualifications are still eligible, but will be subject to tougher scrutiny.)
  • Be at least 23 years old and no older than 35.
  • Submit the online application that includes
    • Curriculum vitae and educational history
    • A short essay (500 – 1,000 words) on their calling/vocation and career goals
    • Recommendation by a congregational song mentor that includes examples of the applicant’s leadership and/or teaching skills in the area of congregational song.

Selection of Ambassadors will be by committee and specifically consider each candidate’s:

  • Unique skill set applied to congregational song (e.g., singer, instrumentalist, researcher, etc.), and whether this person will add something unique or particularly useful to the Ambassadors team.
  • Teaching ability.
  • Representation from disadvantaged or historically marginalized groups.
  • Optimum potential to represent CCS in public appearances
  • Candidate’s personal and/or professional benefit from the experience of serving as an Ambassador.


For questions about this program or application, please email:

To Apply Click Here

(Application Deadline is April 30th, 2021)



Singing the Welcome of God: Strategies for Expansive Worship Language

Join pastor, musician, and author Slats Toole for a workshop on best practices and new ideas for incorporating expansive worship language into your ministry setting. Having worked with national organizations as well as congregations of ten, Slats is a skilled presenter with experience, knowledge, and passion for this subject. We hope you’ll be there!


Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

7PM to 8:30PM

Saint Andrew’s United Church
6036 Coburg Rd
Halifax, NS B3H 1Y9, Canada

Free and Open to the Public


Featuring: Slats Toole

Center for Congregational Song, Princeton, Presbyterian, Coleen Toole, Theatre

Slats Toole is a musician, writer, educator, preacher and theater director/sound designer based in New Jersey. They are an inquirer for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and have had formative experience in Baptist (CBF and Alliance), United Methodist, Episcopal, and Reformed churches.  They hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Master of Divinity and Certificate in Theology, Women and Gender from Princeton Theological Seminary.  They serve on the Advisory Team for NEXT Church, and are the resident sound designer for the In[heir]itance project.
Slats’ Lenten poetry series has been compiled in the collection Queering Lent, and their work has also been published in “History of Hymns”, Call to Worship, and Sacramental Life.  Slats has led workshops on expansive language and queer theology (with a particular emphasis on gender identity) at Princeton Theological Seminary, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, Montreat Conference Center, and the NEXT Church National Gathering.  Slats’ work centers around creating space in the church where all are welcomed, embraced, and loved.


Free and Open to the Public
For questions about this event, email:

Join two of our Ambassadors, Joslyn Henderson and Jonathan Hehn, as they teach a free workshop on church music. The sessions are designed for the students of the Nebraska Wesleyan, however it is free and open to the public. Come sing and learn with us!

Jonathan Hehn


Joslyn Henderson



Workshops include:

Breaking Through the “Traditional/Contemporary” Divide – A session that offers a new way forward rather than continuing to use the false dichotomy of traditional  and contemporary

“Black Hymnody Matters: The Music of Charles A. Tindley, C.P. Jones, and Margaret Pleasant-Douroux” – A historical session led by Joslyn Henderson

“Auditions and Interviews: what musicians ought to know and what pastors ought to ask” – A practical session aimed both at helping new graduates ace their first interviews and current church leadership make good hires. Led by Jonathan Hehn

Choral Reading Session – Choristers Guild literature that works well for congregational participation.


Students in Attendance Receive:

Choral Reading Packet

Free 1-year Membership to The Hymn Society

Free 1-year Membership to Choristers Guild


Workshop Location:

Music Building

Nebraska Wesleyan University

5000 Saint Paul Avenue

Lincoln, NE 68504-2794

The Center for Congregational Song staff is working hard along with volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada to put together the final details for the “Centered In Song” launch events for 2018. Spring 2018 events include two February events in Chicago (Wheaton & Park Ridge), an April event in Washington D.C., and a Canadian event in Ottawa, Ontario. Clinicians will include some of the most talented song leaders and influential worship leaders from across the U.S. and Canada.

Along with the “Centered In Song” launch events, there are also other opportunities to learn about The Center and to sing with us. A January Ambassadors Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, our display booth at the Calvin Worship Symposium, multiple ACDA Divisional Conferences where we’ll present interest sessions, and the Montreat Music and Worship Conference in June.

While all this is happening, we’re also planning many exciting updates and improvements to our Resource Connection Tool, continuing to write challenging blog posts, and launching our podcast!

With so many appearances and initiatives, it’s going to take a village to accomplish everything! We’re so grateful for everyone who’s chipping in to present for us, plan these gatherings, and for the generous financial support of the Christ Is Our Salvation (CIOS) foundation that is making this all possible. We’ll see you in 2018!