Rensselaer Program of Church Music & Liturgy

Summer Study in Rensselaer

The Rensselaer Program of Church Music and Liturgy, the country's longest-serving educational program of its kind, provides opportunities for study in liturgy and church music with outstanding faculty in a summers-only format on the campus of Saint Joseph's College in northwest Indiana.

conductingGrounded solidly in liturgical tradition, the program maintains a pastoral focus on liturgical celebration in local communities. Rather than teaching one canon of treasured musical works, our faculty train students to understand how music works in the treasured rites and devotions of the Church and its cultures. The program prepares students to promote quality liturgy in small rural communities as well as in large, urban and suburban churches. Liturgy is the "work of the people" and calls for full, conscious, and active participation in every kind of worshiping assembly--in every region and ethnic community.

The summers-only format of the Rensselaer Program is designed for those with full-time professional and/or family responsibilities. The format allows students to implement in their own ministerial settings what they learn as the program unfolds-and then to bring their experience to bear on further study. Saint Joseph's College grants two M.A. degrees: the Master of Arts in Music, and the Master of Arts in Pastoral Liturgy and Music.  Both degrees integrate liturgy and music courses in a balanced sequence. In addition to the degree programs, SJC also grants the Diploma in Pastoral Liturgy, as well as three-day opportunities for continuing education and enrichment. 

Because the Rensselaer Program convenes only during the summer, we are able to draw on the talents of outstanding scholars, liturgists, and musicians who teach and work at other locations during the year. The "Faculty" page lists those who will be teaching this summer. 


 Distinguished alumni of the Rensselaer Program include: 

  • Sr. Delores Dufner, OSB, hymn text writer
  • Rev. John Schiavone, composer
  • Kevin Keil, composer
  • Nancy Deacon, Director of Music, Catherdal of Immaculate Conception Memphis, TN


For more information 

For more information about the program, email Steve Janco, M,C.M., D. Min., Director:


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Gregorian Chant Institute

Advanced Seminar in Liturgy


See informational flyer

Liturgical Intensives

Ritual & Symbol - Dr. Richard McCarron

Liturgical Music - Dr. Steven Janco

Introduction to Sacraments Sr. Joyce Ann Zimmerman, C.PP.S., Ph.D.

Explore the Core
  • SJC Education Students in the field

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Professor Fred and Sally Berger at Graduation


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

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  • Visiting Chinese Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Hoop House student workers

    Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Images of Students

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Images of Students


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • Images of Students

    High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.


  • Images of Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Images of Students

    Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.