GCU’s Canyon Christian Worship Process

People at a Christian concert

Canyon Worship is an annual GCU project involving original, Christian worship songs. GCU’s Center for Worship Arts releases new, original music every year, written by our Worship Arts students. GCU is releasing singles from its eighth full-length album, "Canyon Worship 2024." The aim of this blog is to give the reader insight into our purpose, process and plans.

In This Article:

Purpose of Canyon Worship

The purpose of Canyon Worship is to give students an outlet to write and release their original Christian music, to glorify God and to encourage the church. In addition to streaming Canyon Worship songs on all major music platforms, the Center for Worship Arts offers access to chord charts, lyric sheets and lyric videos with the intent of accessibility and use within local churches. These resources are available on our Canyon Worship website. God-honoring Christian worship songs can benefit the edification and encouragement of the body of Christ. 

Canyon Christian Worship Process

The Canyon Worship process begins with a call for students to write original songs, particularly Christian praise and worship music. The Center for Worship Arts hosts a Songwriters Showcase every semester. Worship Arts majors and minors can submit one or two original songs in consideration for the Songwriters Showcase. A panel of judges listens through and scores the song submissions, and then the top-rated songs are invited to perform at the event. The Songwriters Showcases occur on campus at the end of each semester, and the Worship Arts community supports the various student artists.

The Center for Worship Arts partners with industry producers to develop and produce the Canyon Worship albums. Geoff Hunker and Dave Willey, of the Christian band Satellites & Sirens, produced “Canyon Worship 2024,” and Joel Vaughn is producing next year’s project. The producers work with the Center for Worship Arts leadership to identify 10 songs from the spring (previous year) and fall Songwriters Showcase submissions. After the songs are selected and approved, the student artists are invited to participate in the upcoming Canyon Worship album. 

The production phase begins after students agree to record their songs on the Canyon Worship project. The producer(s) record all 10 songs at the GCU Recording Studio between January and April. Students instrumentally and vocally perform their songs, and often additional worship arts students participate in the recording process. After the tracking phase of recording is completed, the producer is responsible for mixing each song. After reviewing the mixes and completing revisions, the songs are delivered for mastering. The Canyon Worship albums sound excellent because of the students’ recording performances, and the attention to detail within the mixing and mastering process. 

Along with the excellent recording quality, the Center for Worship Arts is proud of the artwork for each Canyon Worship album. The artwork helps reinforce the messaging behind the Christian worship songs. Every year, after hearing the students’ stories behind the songs, GCU’s marketing department creates and presents various Canyon Worship artwork designs to the Center for Worship Arts leadership. The leadership team considers each design, hearing the rationale behind the artwork, and then selects the artwork for the upcoming Canyon Worship album. The collaborative process helps ensure a high-quality level in the Canyon Worship artwork designs.


The Center for Worship Arts has worked with a Christian marketing agency, Marketing with Wisdom, for numerous years. Marketing with Wisdom helps to identify songs from the album for promotional purposes. The songs are then pitched to various Christian worship playlists, media outlets and worship resource sites. Working with this agency has generated higher levels of traffic and streaming on all music platforms. 

The Center for Worship Arts has implemented a new music distribution strategy for the “Canyon Worship 2024.” For the first time since the start of Canyon Worship, we are releasing nine singles prior to the release of “Canyon Worship 2024.” As the tenth single, “My Every Minute,” is promoted, it will be released on the full-length album with the other nine songs. The purpose behind releasing singles, as opposed to a one-time, full-length album, is to create a constant stream of Canyon Worship listeners. As new music releases, listeners will continue visiting the streaming platforms to hear the new releases. As a result, the Canyon Worship Library (new and previous projects) remain actively engaged.

Release Schedule

The release schedule for "Canyon Worship 2024" is as follows:

  • “Just One Look” on Sept. 8, 2023
  • “Song of Moses” on Oct. 13, 2023
  • “My Surrender” on Nov. 10, 2023
  • “You Are Good” on Jan. 12, 2024
  • “Home” on Feb. 9, 2024
  • “Down to the River” on March 15, 2024
  • “Surrendering” on April 12, 2024
  • “Wait” on May 10, 2024
  • “My Heart Belongs to You” on June 14, 2024
  • “My Every Minute” on July 12, 2024

The complete release of “Canyon Worship 2024” will be July 12, 2024. We are so proud of the students and producers, as this album is a powerful compilation of Christian praise and worship music.

Canyon Worship Live

The Center for Worship Arts currently hosts one Canyon Worship concert per year, and the event is called Canyon Worship Live. The concert is hosted on GCU’s campus at the end of each October. A house band of professional musicians, who serve in local churches, is assembled and they accompany the student artists as they perform through the songs on the album. In addition, different local worship pastors are invited to lead in a time of corporate worship. We look forward to Canyon Worship Live each year and invite you to join us in the future.

The purpose of Canyon Worship is to release Christian worship songs that glorify God and encourage the church. To learn more about the Canyon Worship albums, check out our music on the Canyon Worship website. The worship arts students at GCU are incredibly gifted, but beyond that, their desire is to glorify God through the talents he has given them. It is an amazing group of students, and we hope you enjoy their music!

Approved by faculty for the College of Theology on Dec. 1, 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.