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Archbishop’s Certificate

Church Music Dublin offers a three-year course (with an optional introductory Foundation Course) leading to the Archbishop of Dublin’s Certificate in Church Music.

(Syllabi and resources may be found at the bottom of this page)

Please note: we are working on a new set of syllabi to be used from September 2021.  These will allow for a greater choice of repertoire and liturgical music.  This page will be updated soon.

Applications for the academic year 2021-22 must be submitted by 31 July 2021.

The purpose of the course is to ensure a continuing supply of trained musicians able to provide music regularly or occasionally for church services in local churches.

Normally you should be sponsored by a Church of Ireland parish (or your local church).
Acceptance on the course is by written application and interview.

The course covers:

  • organ playing, including accompaniment of hymns, psalms and liturgical music
  • leading and encouraging congregational singing
  • leadership of small groups such as choirs and music groups
  • familiarity with the Book of Common Prayer, the use of the Lectionary (list of Sunday-by-Sunday scripture readings) and an understanding of the role of music in the Sunday services.

You commit to the training for one year at a time.

To commence the ACCM Foundation Course it is recommended that you have reached Grade 4 piano (or equivalent). 

 Provided you have reached Grade 5 piano (or equivalent) at time of application, you may skip the Foundation Course and start ACCM Year 1.  

Once accepted, what is involved?

  • We arrange organ lessons for you with one of our organ tutors
  • We expect you to attend all sessions of our annual Living Worship course and any other short training events provided
  • We expect the sponsoring parish to encourage your involvement in the music at its services, as appropriate
  • In each year (except Foundation Course) you will be assigned to another church for a number of Sundays under the mentorship of the resident organist.  This is to ensure that choral and playing experience is gained in a supportive environment.

The cost is shared by the diocese, the parish and by each student. Students nominated by parishes in the dioceses of Meath / Kildare and certain other dioceses, will be accommodated.

While this training exists primarily for members of the Church of Ireland, those of other traditions may apply (subject to slightly different fee arrangements).

The organ playing syllabus gives considerable emphasis to skills in playing and accompanying hymns and worship songs.  Full details are below, with the appropriate resources. (NB. Minor changes may occur from time to time but will always be completed before the start of the academic year.)

Click here: Foundation Course syllabus with details of required resources

Click here: ACCM Year 1 syllabus

Click here: ACCM Year 2 syllabus

Click here: ACCM Year 3 syllabus

Click here: ACCM Year 1 Resources

Click here: ACCM Year 2 Resources

Click here: ACCM Year 3 Resources

Click here: to view the recommended reading list for students.

The course has been in place since 1991 and the first group of students completed the course in 1994. To date, 99 students have completed at least one year of the course;  60 students have successfully completed the full three years.

Click here to see a list of graduates since the course was established.  

Click here to view list of speakers and topics at previous years’ Living Worship seminars.

Fees: At present the student pays €350 and the parish pays €750 for each year. The rest of the cost is met by the diocese through Church Music Dublin. Students also pay for the cost of music and books and for travel if training takes place away from Dublin.

Application forms are available from the Hon. Secretary


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