Career Development & Support

pdf-large-type Model Contract Provisions for Church/Temple Musicians

pdf-large-typeAnnual Employment Review Procedures & Form

pdf-large-typeTime Requirements Worksheet

pdf-large-type Mentor Program

Seminary & Denominational Relations Resources

pdf-large-typeThe American Guild of Organists – Your Musical Partner in Worship

pdf-large-typeGraduate Programs in Sacred/Church Music

pdf-large-typeTeaching Your Congregation About the Church’s Music

pdf-large-typeSyllabus for a Foundational Church Music Course for Seminary or Continuing Education Use

pdf-large-typeTrends in Worship Today: Various Liturgical Views. A Report on a Workshop Offered at the American Guild of Organists Washington, D.C. Convention, July 5, 2010

pdf-large-typeDenominational Music Associations

Institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools that offer master’s degrees in music

Sermons & Homilies

Institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools that offer master’s degrees in music

Committee on Career Development and Support

David Rhody, ESQ, SPC Director
First Presbyterian Church
315 Reillywood Ave.
Haddonfield, NJ 08033-2205
C: 856-429-1960
H: 856-795-6735

Tamara M. Albrecht, DWS
2392 Sagamore Hills Dr.
Decatur, GA 30033
W: 404-727-5208
Cell: 404-374-2722

Carol Feather Martin
1927 Hawthorne Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22311-1614
W: 703-536-5600 ext. 117
H: 703-931-7937

Michael Morgan, CCM
7310 Hobgood Rd.
Fairburn, GA 30213
W: 678-557-6341
Fax: 404-377-9696
H: 770-964-0085

The Committee on Career Development and Support develops national compensation guidelines for musicians employed by religious institutions. This committee, primarily concerned with the professional lives of AGO members, also:

Periodically reviews AGO Code of Ethics and discipline, Procedures for Dealing with Complaints about Termination, and Code of Professional Standards.
Assists chapters, regional councillors, and the national Councillor for Professional Development in dealing with grievance and Code of Ethics cases.
Produces AGO resources such as model contracts and the annual directory of chapter placement services.
Each year, AGO members report sudden terminations that leave them humiliated, confused, and financially vulnerable. In the majority of cases brought to the attention of the Councillor for Professional Development, there is no agreement that explains how either party may terminate the relationship. Under this arrangement, termed “employment at will,” musicians may simply walk out the door and not return, and churches may announce they have hired a new organist – starting next week.

Any employee can be released from employment, just as any employee can choose to accept a better position and work elsewhere. But one important reason for having a written agreement is to ensure that neither party is left adrift with no warning, recourse, or financial assistance.

A contract is not a tenure document. Contracts do not guarantee employment. What a contract does is outline the mutual expectations of both parties for a stated period of time, the compensation arrangements, and termination guidelines. We have frequently heard the comment, “Even if I don’t have a written contract, there is still a verbal agreement that can be recognized as a contract.” For clarification of this issue, we refer you to Mark Stoner’s explanation of “employment at will” in the Guild’s Professional Development Handbook. Stoner’s writing will also assist members in assessing their individual contract needs and broaching the idea of a written agreement with an employer. No model contract is “one size fits all.” We encourage members to use these models by tailoring them to individual situations.

Updated February 7, 2012