Academic Division

The Academic Division of the Gospel Music Workshop of America has the primary responsibility for educational, curriculum development and general training within the organization. The organization is praised for its ability and commitment in putting together such a "giant" that meets the needs of the church, the community, corporate America and the high standards in education. GMWA is respected for how it gives back to its delegates.

Dr. Charles Reese, Dean


Many great recording artists, musicians, and leaders in the music industry have come from this established convention to go on and further study in higher education and other areas. Many have become some of the greatest and renowned artists and musicians in the world.

Through the Academic Division scholarships are offered  along with grants, foreign teaching opportunities, college credit and more.

The Academic Division is headed by a Dean, Dr. Charles Reese.  The Dean appoints persons to help carry out operations and developments within the Academic Division.  All appointments within the Academic Division are made by the Dean.

Education at the Gospel Music Workshop of America brings together:

  • The world of persons, events and ideas in African-American and Euro-American sacred music analysis, sharing and performance.

  • The heritage of Christian faith and practice

  • The given characteristics of an African-American and Euro-American sacred music community

  • Experiences that contribute to the learning process

The annual workshop would not be complete without the numerous workshops, seminars and business forums that occupy the key hours of each day at the convention.

GMWA has found its niche among the growing number of gospel conventions by providing an extensive and thorough academic curriculum designed to fine-tune virgin voices, sharpen entrepreneurial skills and offer trendy tricks to aspiring songwriters, musicians and producers, alike.

The expanding presence and curriculum of the Academic Division has given credence and legitimacy to the name 'workshop' in GMWA.

Under the loyal leadership of Dr. Charles Reese, the academic division has sent thousands of eager students back to their respective homes, more

Special Academic Program

The Board of Directors of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, via the Dean of the Academic Division, approved the development of various academic partnership arrangements between the Academic Division and various colleges/universities and corporations that can help promote and advance the overall purposes, objectives and goals of the Academic Division.  There are thirteen Special Academic Programs available.  They are:

  1. The University Consortia

  2. Graduate & Continuing Education

  3. GMWA Certification Program

  4. The Peer Matching Program

  5. The African-American Sacred Music Network

  6. The International Connection

  7. The Local Workshop Connection

  8.   Partnership Arrangements with Similar-Type Organizations

  9. Professional Development Credit

  10. The Seminary Connection

  11.  Integrated Music Technology & Concepts in the 21st Century (Corporate  sponsorship)

  12. GMWA Public Relations Internship Program

  13.  The Distance Learning Program

The Special Academic Programs Book of the Academic Division fully explains each program.  For a copy, please contact the Office of the Dean at 

From the beginning GMWA realized the need for a platform in which delegates could support post-secondary preparation in African-American Sacred Music. The inclusion of scholarship opportunities allowed for this platform. Scholarships help delegates realize their success potentials and provide financial assistance to those who qualify and pursue serious study within the African-American Religious Music Experience.

The scholarship programs are a commendable way GMWA has given back to its delegates. Presently GMWA makes available 3 different scholarship funds in African American and Sacred Music perspectives.

  • Thurston G. Frazier Memorial Scholarship Fund
    The Thurston G. Frazier Scholarship Fund was established in 1969 under the leadership of Rev. Cleveland. It was a way of recognizing the talents, efforts, and achievements of Mr. Thurston G. Frazier, a widely known and respected person in church music at the time.
    "There is a different contest held each year that is announced by the Academic Division."