Initially, Pedde will be giving leadership to the Chapel worship program, mentoring students, recruiting for the University, and resourcing area churches. He comes to Bluefield with 30-plus years of teaching, worship leading, songwriting, and studio experience. His students have gone on to play with legendary worship artists such as Michael W. Smith and Paul Baloche, singer-songwriter Sara Groves, be featured on The Tonight Show, and become worship pastors in many of America’s leading churches.
“No one is better at pulling out talent and character from a student’s life than Dave Pedde,” said Michael White, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Development. “Having Dave join the BU team is a game changer for the college. I believe we are entering a renaissance of songwriting and worship leading. The Center for Worship Arts at Bluefield University will help raise up the next generation of worshippers in the area and beyond.”
Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Pedde has served as a worship pastor in seven churches in Canada and the United States and worked as a composer in residence. Pedde also worked as assistant professor of music at North Central University in Minneapolis for 18 years where worship theology and practices and songwriting were among his academic specialties. He travels frequently leading worship and teaching, and he has extensive studio experience, having produced 32 albums to date. Pedde has more than 100 published worship songs, with his most recent recordings being “Windows Vol. 1” and “The Planting,” and he has authored two books, Prayer Primer: Morning or Anytime Prayers (2015) and Worship Songwriting Tips (2017). Pedde enjoys global connections with students and colleagues (former and current) and serves a large interdenominational network of pastors, worship leaders, and songwriters.
Pedde earned his Bachelor of Sacred Music degree at North Central University in 1985 and a master’s degree in worship studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in 2006. He founded Sanctus School for Worshippers, a discipleship and worship college in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2010, where he served as president and executive director until 2015. Since then, Pedde’s travels have taken him around North America leading worship, teaching, and speaking, while coaching worship leaders and teams, and teaching songwriting live and online.
“We are blessed to have someone of Dave’s talents coming to lead in this important area of worship arts at the college,” said BU President David Olive. “Students who train under him will grow in their faith and will hone their talents to become the next generation of worship leaders.”
Pedde believes in “whole-life education,” and a “heart-soul-mind-strength” approach to learning. “I am excited and honored to partner with an institution whose administrators, faculty, and staff all affirm its commitment to paying determined attention to every aspect of a student’s development into transformational leaders,” said Pedde. “I’m also excited to see what God might continue to build in us and through us as we impact our community, our region, our nation, and the world.”
Pedde and his wife, Debbie, have been married for 37 years and have five grown children.