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NPM-Director of Music Ministries
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Below are the specific portfolio requirements for the specialization administered by NPM followed by their specialized competencies.  To download the specialized competencies as a pdf click here.

Portfolio Requirements for Director of Music Ministries (DMM)

  1. A cover letter in which the applicant formally requests certification.
  2. All initial materials for admission to the certification process.
  3. Written assessments by the candidate supervisor, peer or colleague and subordinate.
  4. Minimum 120 clock hours or 12 credits in four core disciplines, with the remainder totaling no fewer than 240 hours to be completed before the first renewal of certification. Equivalency may be demonstrated by a paper, examination, lecture or other approved method.
  5. Preferably a master’s degree in liturgical music or related disciplines. Minimum of 18 graduate hours of musical study. Equivalency may be demonstrated by examination, paper, lecture or other approved method.
  6. Four to six items of evidence for each core standard and the specialized competencies.
  7. Evidence of successful completion of a juried recital or concert in one’s area of musical concentration.


NPM / Director of Music Ministries (DMM) Specialized Competencies


The parish or (arch)diocesan director of music ministries is the person who organizes and directs the program of sacred music for the liturgical and devotional life of the parish or (arch)diocese under the direction of the pastor or (arch)bishop and in collaboration with the pastoral staff.


In addition to the competencies and standards listed above, the director will be well formed in the art of music and study of liturgy.


A director of music ministries will:


DMM 1  Demonstrate knowledge of music theory and harmony, including basic understandings of orchestration, counterpoint, and harmonic analysis.

DMM 2 Have knowledge of and competency in the historical treasury, contemporary body, and multicultural expressions of church music and demonstrate skills to use these effectively within the worship life of the parish or diocesan community.

DMM 3 Demonstrate knowledge of liturgical history, legislation, documentation, and current pastoral and cultural practices in order to prepare liturgical rites and celebrations.

 DMM 4 Demonstrate knowledge of the rites of the Church and their theological underpinnings for preparing and planning parish and diocesan prayer and liturgical celebrations.

DMM 5 Promote and develop the art of music as an integral and necessary part of the sacred liturgy and as a constitutive element of the Catholic faith experience.

DMM 6 Demonstrate skills in leading congregational song, choral conducting, and at least one other musical specialization (organ, piano, guitar, voice).

DMM 7 Develop parish music and liturgy guidelines and policies in accord with universal and (arch)diocesan norms.

DMM 8 Develop a comprehensive and long-range vision for the parish music and liturgical life based on Church documents and directives and sensitivity to intercultural needs in order to promote full, conscious, and active participation of all the people.

DMM 9 Recognize, motivate, and empower musical talent and skills from the parish community with special attention to children, youth, and young adults.




You do not need them all upon initial registration. You will be able to log on and upload at anytime after your register on the site.

  • Evidence of pastoral ministry experience (minimum 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time)-Resume
  • Official educational and formation program transcripts
  • Reference letter from supervising pastor (forms available in application)
  • Reference letters from two colleagues who have observed you in ministry (forms available)
  • Baptismal certificate/Evidence of full communion with the Catholic Church
  • Ministerial autobiography (instructions in application)
  • Signed and dated Code of Ethics (form in application)
  • Evidence of compliance with diocesan safe environment policies and background checks
  • Application fee $95 mailed to your partner organization