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PHOENIX -- A Grammy-nominated rock star will direct a new program at Grand Canyon University in the fall.

"(The program will) give students, especially those that have a passion for worship and music, a place to come and prepare what they're doing and to get a bachelor's [degree] in the meantime," said Bart Millard, lead singer of Christian rock band MercyMe.

Millard will serve as the new director for GCU's Center for Worship Arts program in the university's College of Theology.

"There are a lot of places trying to do similar stuff but more or less for a certificate," he said. "It's not really a real degree."

The worship-meets-the-arts program will make worship music an academic focus for students. The program's first freshman class begins this fall.

For more information on the program, visit www.GCU.edu.

MercyMe's new album, "Welcome to the New," recently debuted at No. 4 on Billboard.

Corbin Carson,

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