Matthew Westerholm, PhD, is a Christian pastor, composer, pianist, and educator. He believes that people are starving for the greatness of God, and has committed his life to meeting this greatest need.
Currently, Matthew serves as Pastor for Worship and Music at Bethlehem Baptist Church and Assistant Professor of Worship and Music at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis. There, he oversees the worship ministry for the church’s historic downtown campus and teaches in the seminary’s worship pastor track. Before moving to Minneapolis, he served at at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan as Dean of the Chapel and Director of Worship Arts and as a worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Matthew has also served as pianist and musical director for many conferences, events, and as ministry accompanist for singer Heather Headley (including arranging for Headley’s 2010 Grammy Award winning album, Audience of One).
As a composer, Mr. Westerholm’s songs are sung in churches throughout North America. His song, “The First Place,” has been published in several of collections, including the 2013 RCA/CRC hymnal, Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Other songs have appeared in Worship Leader Magazine’s SongSelect and a release by Vertical Church music on Provident Records.
With Dr. Joel Beeke, Matthew has co-written a chapter on the Lord’s Supper for A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapids: RHB, 2012). He has published in the Puritan Reformed Journal and Themelios. He has contributed articles for DesiringGOD, The Gospel Coalition, and Doxology and Theology. He has presented workshops on worship for the StraightUp Conference, Calvin’s Institute of Christian Worship symposium, the DesiringGod National Conference, the Canvas Conference, and the Doxology and Theology conference.
Mr. Westerholm received his BA (Music/Church Music) from Trinity International University, and his MA (systematic theology) from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and his PhD in Christian Worship at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His 2016 dissertation was entitled, “‘The Hour Is Coming and Is Now Here’: The Doctrine of Inaugurated Eschatology in Contemporary Evangelical Worship Music.”
Matthew loves classic and modern jazz, comic books, and Chicago sports. And while he feels comfortable behind a piano, he only feels at home with his wife Lisa and their three boys: Ethan, Owen, and Levi.
Biographical Q&A , October 5, 2013
Biographical article, 2010.
“Composer-teacher to present at Calvin Symposium on Worship” Grand Rapids Press. January 23, 2010