The Hatfield Arts Centre presents a number of Worship Academies throughout the year. These Academies are grounded in a relational, mentoring journey and the aim is to grow worshippers of God in their calling, gifting and character. We believe in connecting with authentic people and encouraging an excellence of spirit.

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  Our story  

Worship Academy in South Africa was born in response to local and international requests for the equipping of lead worshipers. The first academy began in January 2008 when six full-time students journeyed with us till the end of June. Hosted by Hatfield Christian Church (HCC) in Pretoria East, Worship Academy's full-time students live in our vibrant onsite student village, Hatfield Community.

Over the years, Worship Academy has grown into the following initiatives:

  • a full-time, five-month academy

  • a five-month internship programme

  • a modular worship academy presented over five weekends – known as the Big Five

  • a partnership with UK music ministry and international Worship Academy pioneer Chris Bowater

  • a Worship Leaders Academy for those experienced in music ministry


  Our facilitators  

Gerben & Mieke Grooten

Worship Directors Hatfield Christian Church

Chris Matthews

Worship Leader and Assistant Director to Gerben Grooten

Dan Erickson (USA)

Missionary, writer and poet

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Luke van der Merwe

Worship leader, music director, arranger and freelance musician

Academic researcher, worship leader and songwriter (PhD in Practical Theology)

Mike Noviskie (USA)

Worship leader, Missionary & Song writer

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  Our founder  


Hi! I was born in the Netherlands in 1970 and have been involved in studying and playing music since the age of three. This led to completing three Master's degrees in orchestral percussion, orchestral conducting and music education. When I turned 25, I exchanged my playing career for arts education and became the Deputy Director and Project Co-ordinator at a creative arts institution in Holland. I enjoyed teaching orchestral percussion and conducting the orchestras and choirs while leading the 2000-strong institution. Ever since then I have worked with many ensembles, orchestras and bands, as both a conductor and musician. 

I became a Christian in 2000 and have had the privilege of working with many organisations, churches and universities. I came to South Africa in 2005 together with my wife Mieke, to head up the Worship Department of Hatfield Christian Church. Three years later I started the Hatfield Arts Centre and have been the Director ever since. Together with Chris Bowater I lead modular worship academies in Europe, Asia and Africa. Presently I am the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of both the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra and the Pretoria Bach Choir. Despite the real privilege of being in demand internationally as a conductor, I am certain of God’s calling on our lives to South Africa. My heart is to work with young musicians and singers and provide a safe environment for them to express life to the fullest. I am deeply moved by the people, potential and cultural diversity of this country: a powerful mix of 

ingredients for the arts, which could become a mirror to the world.


  What we offer  

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Directed at young people with a worship calling on their lives, the full-time academy is our flagship course offering. It covers the following topics:

  • worship theology

  • musical styles and interpretation

  • listening abilities

  • song writing and recording

  • rehearsal techniques

  • team dynamics

Over the years the full-time academy has attracted students from many vocations and many nations. Singers, musicians, painters, photographers, writers and graphic designers (to name but a few) have come from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini, Switzerland, South Korea, and the United States. All are welcome!

Application process

Please take careful note of the content required on the application form. After we have received your form you will be invited for an interview, which allows us to get to know one another and creates a personal point of connection to facilitate the application and intake process.

Next intake:

Date: 24 January - 26 June 2022

Cost: R18 000 excluding accommodation

Duration: 5 & half months

Class times: Monday - Thursday, 09:00 - 13:00

Download our application form

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Our Modular Worship Academy is a part-time discipleship course oriented around worship lifestyle. Suitable for young and old. Everyone with a heart for worship is welcome.

This Academy runs over five weekends and covers our "Big Five" topics:

  • the heritage of worship

  • the theology of worship

  • excellence

  • worship and the prophetic

  • worship in spirit and truth

We are also able to bring this academy to your area in South Africa, hosted by a local church. Contact us to discuss options. 

Next course:

Dates: to be determined

Time: Fridays 19:00 - 21:00, Saturdays 09:00 - 18:00

Cost: R450 per weekend (includes coffee, tea, lunch and snacks)

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Every year we select a handful of students from across all the academies who want a more personalised practical journey with the music ministry at Hatfield Christian Church and Hatfield Arts Centre. 

Next course

Date: to be determined

Cost: linked to the duration of the internship

Duration: determined in consultation with HCC and HAC

R800 per week

R1500 for 2 weeks

R2500 for a month

R6500 for 3 months

Housing and meals are available onsite for students doing any of the above courses. For more information, visit Hatfield Community.


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  Contact us  

Get in touch  


Tel:  +27 60 960 2191


General enquiries


Physical address:

551 January Masilela Drive, Pretoria, 0181

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