Meet Dr. Randall Downs, the new Worship Arts Coordinator at Grand Canyon University. He majored in Music and Christian Studies and got a Masters in Divinity. We got to interview him and find out about his journey to GCU and his advice for students.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Mobile, AL. My parents still live there and my brother, who is eight years older, lives in Atlanta, GA with his family. I double majored in Music and in Christian Studies with an emphasis on Worship Leadership at the University of Mobile, graduating in December 2005.
I moved to Memphis in 2008 to study at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, where I completed the Masters of Divinity program in 2011 and graduated with my PhD in Church History on May 11, 2018. I married my gorgeous wife, Ashley Downs, on May 26, 2018 and started my job as the Worship Arts Coordinator at GCU on June 11, 2018. It was a busy and wonderful month! As far as hobbies go, songwriting and performing with my band, Loser’s Way Home, is a blast, and I also enjoy catching movies with my wife and friends.
Tell us about your journey to Grand Canyon University. What encouraged you to work alongside the College of Theology with the Worship Arts Department at GCU?
I moved to Anthem, AZ in January 2016 to help start CrossLife Church. I serve as the music and missions minister there and we are slowly, but surely, growing. We meet in Canyon Springs School on Sunday mornings at 10:30 and we have seen God work since our launch in September 2018. My pastor, Ray Meadows, works as a full-time Christian worldview professor at GCU and he brought the Worship Arts Coordinator position to my attention. I had only heard positive feedback in regards to GCU prior to my employment, so I prayed through the process and submitted my resume and application.
Participating in multiple interviews, talking with Dean Hiles, Associate Dean Smith and the faculty, I was impressed with the College of Theology’s passion to equip students as ministers in their churches as well as ambassadors for the Gospel throughout the world. It is exciting to join the faculty of a university that stands on the Word of God and strives to exalt Jesus in everything they do!
What do you enjoy most about your ministry with the GCU Recording Studio and those in the Worship Arts Program?
I have had the privilege of meeting a few students this summer in the studio and have greatly enjoyed working with Eric Johnson, the GCU Recording Studio Manager. I am anxious to see the students grow both spiritually and musically throughout their time here. I can hardly wait!
In our newsletter this year, we are considering the topic of “A Daring Devotion” towards God. How do you find the concept to be relevant to a degree in Worship Arts?
A “Daring Devotion to God” is fitting for students within the Worship Arts Department because they are pursuing the call that God has placed on their lives. Each student has been blessed with certain talents and gifts and it takes great faith to know that God can and will, use those talents for His glory. One thing that I have learned as a worship leader is that God is the source of our talents. Fruitful worship leaders have to rely on Him, rather than on their own gifts. If the worship leader stays devoted to Christ and has the courage to follow His calling then God will do amazing things through the individual.
What advice would you provide to students that are seeking a career in Worship Arts?
I would encourage students to take advantage of the resources available within the Worship Arts program. God will use relationships with other students and professors, the course work and the experience gained at GCU to shape you into a faithful minister of the Gospel.
Above all else, cultivate your relationship with Christ. Spend time daily with the Lord. Pray, spend time in the Scriptures, serve in your local church and give 100% effort to your schooling. Do everything for the glory of God and He will use you greatly!
At Grand Canyon University, our faculty is committed to the success of all students. To learn more about our College of Theology, please visit our website or use the Request More Information button on this page.