New program will focus on the study and preservation of gospel music and the industry
RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Union University (VUU) will launch the Hezekiah Walker Center for Gospel Music at Virginia Union University. The academic center is the first of its kind in the United States. It will provide education and resources to help musicians and budding gospel artists to learn the cultural and business aspects of gospel music and the industry. Courses will be available to all VUU students and a variety of certification courses related to work in the industry will also be available to the general public.
Walker, a second-year student of the Virginia Union University’s Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology said, “the strong theological training I’ve received here at Virginia Union during the past two years has helped to shape my ministry.” He continued, “My goal is to give back to the school that has poured so much into me, by helping emerging gospel artists learn the business, as well as theological aspects of the gospel music industry.”
“Gospel music is an important part of our culture and VUU is honored to partner with Walker to create a central hub for the study, writing, and preservation of gospel music. Walker has poured his spiritual gift and innovative ideas into the development of courses and events planned for the Center,” said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO of Virginia Union University. “VUU is growing to meet the changing career interests of our students by creating academic programs where the workforce demand is high or where students can explore opportunities in STEM, history, or the arts.”
The primary purpose is for the Hezekiah Walker Center for Gospel Music at Virginia Union University is for all components of gospel music to work cohesively to blend our vast areas of ability and excellence in the knowledge of the arts. Students will learn through the study of sacred arts and how it relates to African heritage; explore music and worship traditions that promote understanding of biblical texts in faith-building; and participate in several planned live recordings to be produced under the direction of Walker and VUU Choir director and award-winning gospel producer, Elder J. David Bratton.
The Center will launch in June 2021 and is an extension of Walker’s mantra, “And Because God is the greatest power, we will not be defeated!” Click here to watch Walker’s official announcement.
About Virginia Union University
Virginia Union University is a premier liberal arts urban institution of higher education and Center of excellence for the preparation of students and the development of leaders for tomorrow’s world. It was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. Virginia Union University offers a broad range of educational opportunities that advance liberal arts education, teaching, research, science, technology, continuing education, civic engagement, and international experiences. Visit https://www.vuu.edu/ for more information.