Chazzan Certification

Music Note SwooshIn Judaism, a chazzan is a congregational cantor or cantoress, i.e. one who leads the congregation in chants or cantillations as well as more contemporary arrangements of prayers, songs, and liturgies.  This program does not  include certification to work as a mohel.

To enroll in our chazzan certification program, you must submit the following via the contact form:

  • 1500-2000 word essay on why you are seeking a Messianic chazzan certification.
  • Transcript of any coursework completed in Messianic Rabbinics, Messianic Jewish Studies, cantillation, or vocal music.  Also include coursework completed at mainstream Jewish or Christian institutions, as this may be deemed of value as well and considered in our decision.  Note: if no formal education in this area has been completed, we can offer unaccredited courses to you toward this end at $140/3-credit course or direct you to accredited courses (which can run upwards $450/3-credit course).
  • The following information:  [1] full name as you wish it to appear on card and documents, [2] date of birth, [3] skype handle (for examination if not local to SW Michigan), [4] requested dates for examination (provide at least two, as exams 1-5 will be handled separately from exams 6-7), and [5] preferred style of cantillation (Sephardic, Ashkenazi, or Mizrahi) if applicable.

You must also have sent to 2 recommendation letters.  One should be from a Messianic rabbi, zaqen, or moreh.  The other may be from anyone who knows you and your personal halakha well (non-relative preferred).  Letters must contain the referent’s contact information.

You will be provided with payment instructions upon receipt of your email.  The fees at this time are as follows:

    • $25 non-refundable application and materials fee made payable to your supervising rabbi.
    • $100 examination fee (refundable only if program is dropped prior to completion and within 14 days of receipt), payable to your supervising rabbi.

Alternatively, you may pay via paypal


All 7 exams must be passed at 80% or higher for chazzan certification to be granted.  The process will involve examinations in 8 areas:

  1. Torah Cantillation
  2. Haftarah Cantillation
  3. Megillah Cantillation
  4. Liturgical Melodies & Background
  5. Utilization of Alternative Melodies
  6. Music Basics
  7. Music Re-Arrangement
  8. Personal Halakha

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