Rev. Dr. Daniel Thornton

Rev. Dr. Daniel Thornton

Head of Arts

Daniel Thornton: accomplished and awarded songwriter, musician and worship leader, sought-after minister and educator.  He is one of the world's leading scholars on contemporary congregational songs.  He is Director of Learning and Teaching and Head of Arts at Alphacrucis College, and serves local churches and their worship teams around the globe as well as being engaged as a professional composer and performer.
From 2007 - 2010, Daniel served as the Music Pastor at Influencers Church (Adelaide, South Australia) and previously as the Worship and Associate Pastor at LifeSource Christian Church in Sydney Australia for over 8 years.
He regularly produces/records and releases Worship CDs/DVDs including Christmas Presence, For Worshipers, from Worshipers, Daniel|Piano|Worship Classics 2, It is Well - Instrumentals (2011)Worship Classics (2010), Above All Else (2010), One Heart (2009), Worship Always (2009), Paradise(2008), It is Well - Vol 2(2007), It is Well - Vol 1(2006), Beyond Words (2004), and many more. These recordings/performances have been featured on TV programs from LifeSource, Influencers, and Daystar.
His songs are sung in churches around the world including “Father”, “Come into the House” and “Presence Beautiful”. Daniel’s passion is to connect people with God and see the church fulfill its God-ordained potential.
Daniel has performed a starring role on in an Off-Broadway premiere at the Duke Theatre on 42nd Street, New York of the new musical "Angels".  His recent starring roles in musical theatre productions also include, Godspell, !Hero and The Prodigal.
Six years at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a music scholarship to London provided much of Daniel's formal training. During that time, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and other prestigious ensembles performed his compositions. After completing his studies, Daniel was appointed Music Director for Penrith Christian Fellowship Centre, then Penrith City Church and later Worship Pastor at C3 Mt Annan.
Daniel is an ordained minister with the Australian Christian Churches.  His formal qualifications include Ph.D., M.Music Technology (Distinction), A.Arts (Religious Studies), L.Mus.A. (Theory), Performers Certificate T.C.L. (Piano) and a Cert IV Training and Assessment.
He has owned and run two private music schools, and also lectured for many years at a number of colleges including Hillsong College and the Paradise College of Ministry.
Daniel and his wife Kris have been married for 26yrs and have 3 adult children.

Qualifications

L.Mus.A. (Theory) (Australian Music Examinations Board) 1994

Performer’s Certificate (Piano) (Trinity College of Music London) 1991

PhD (Macquarie University)
Dissertation Title Exploring the Contemporary Congregational Song Genre: Texts, Practice, and Industry 2016

M.Music Tech (Distinction) (University of Newcastle) 2012

B.Mus (Composition) (inc) (Sydney Conservatorium of Music) 1991

A.Arts in Religious Studies (Global University) 2002

Certificate IV - TAE (AWC Training, Adelaide) 2015

Research Interests

Online Education

Online Music Education

Popular Music Studies, Musicology, Theomusicology

Music and Worship in the context of the contemporary church

Book Chapter

  • 2019
    • Thornton, D (2019). A Match Made in Heaven: Why Popular Music is Central to the Growth in Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities In Hutchinson, M. and Rocha, C. (Eds.), Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities in Australia (pp. ). Brill.
  • 2018
    • Thornton, D (2018). Preaching and Worship In White, A. (Ed), The Power of a Good Story: Five Views on Pentecostal Preaching (pp. ). CTP Press.
  • 2015
    • Thornton, D., Evans, M. (2015). YouTube: a new mediator of Christian worship In Nekola, A. and Wager, T. (Eds.), Singing a New Song: Christian Congregational Music Making and Community in a Mediated Age (pp. 141-159). Ashgate Publishing.

Journal Article

  • 2019
    • Thornton, D (2019). Star Wars Soundtracks: The Worship Music of John Williams. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Star Wars Special Edition.
  • 2017
    • Thornton, D (2017). On Hillsong’s continued reign over the Australian contemporary congregational song genre. Perfect Beat, 17 (2) 164-182. | External link | AC Link
  • 2015
    • Thornton, D (2015). A lament for Pentecostal scholarship in contemporary congregational songs. Australasian Pentecostal Studies Journal, 17. | Link to journal
  • 2014
    • Thornton, D. (2014). What on earth are we singing? A series on the contemporary congregational song Part 5. Worship Leader Magazine, . | External link
    • Thornton, D. (2014). What on earth are we singing? A series on the contemporary congregational song Part 4. Worship Leader Magazine, . | External link
    • Thornton, D. (2014). What on earth are we singing? A series on the contemporary congregational song Part 3. , . | External link
    • Thornton, D. (2014). What on earth are we singing? A series on the contemporary congregational song.. , . | External link
    • Thornton, D. (2014). What on earth are we singing? A series on the contemporary congregational song Part 2. , . | External link

Scholarship Publications

Journal Article

  • 2018
    • Thornton, D (2018). Defining a ‘Sacrifice of Praise’ in the Contemporary Worship Context. , .
    • Thornton, D (2018). Worship in the Charts: How Contemporary Congregational Songs Engage the Secular Music Market. , .
  • 2017
    • Thornton, D (2017). Personal Jesus: Understanding contemporary congregational songs through the 'Magesteria-Ibiza Spectrum'. , . | AC Link
    • Thornton, D (2017). Generic Christianity: An exploration of contemporary congregational song lyrics and the global adoption of popular songs. , . | AC Link
    • Thornton, D (2017). It’s the end of the world as we know it: How authenticity and eschatology cohere in contemporary congregational song. , . | AC Link
  • 2016
    • Thornton, D (2016). Popular Music and Pentecostal Worship: A Match Made in Heaven?. , .
    • Thornton, D (2016). The rise and rise of global contemporary congregational songs. , .
    • Thornton, D (2016). At the nexus of Christian education, music, and young people. , .
  • 2015
    • Thornton, D (2015). Pentecostals, popular worship, and personal preferences. , . | External link
    • Thornton, D (2015). Ambivalent fame: Insights from the most sung composers of contemporary congregational songs. , . | External link
  • 2014
    • Thornton, D (2014). Contemporary Congregational Songs, YouTube and virtual Christian Communities. , . | External link
    • Thornton, D. (2014). Contemporary Congregational Songs, YouTube and virtual Christian Communities. , . | External link
  • 2013
    • Thornton, D (2013). Considerations leading to the implementation of Australia's first online delivery for the Certificate IV in Music. , .

Professional Memberships

APRA/AMCOS Full writers member (since 2000)

CCLI Asia Pacific Advisory Council member (since 2009)

CCLI Writer/Publisher member (since 1992)

Completed Supervision

  • 2018
    • Kylie Dragan, The Heartbeat of Pentecostalism: Exploring the Liturgical, Spiritual and Theological Significance of Drumming in Pentecostal Worship (Masters Project/Thesis), 2018
  • 2016
    • Harvey Neale, An Exploration of the Spirituality of Generation Y Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians (Masters Project/Thesis), 2016

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