Current Instructors

Accredited Online Learning for Worship



School Director and Instructor

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Dr. Joe Cruse began his musical career in Odessa, Texas at the age of 8, when he was selected to be a part of the Odessa Boys Choir under the direction of Dr. George Peck. Being part of a musical family, The Cruse Family, he was involved in Christian music most of his school days. His Junior/Senior year of high school, he was selected as UIL All State First Tenor along with numerous other awards. Joe and his family were recipients of two GMA Dove Awards for their Contemporary Album of the Year, “Transformation”. Dr. Cruse’s family recorded 35 albums over the span of their ministry. He has led worship for some of the largest ministries in the US and abroad.

In 2002, Joe and Becky founded Institute for the Arts, in Austin, Texas. They received both their honorary Masters and Doctorates through The River Bible Institute and Life Christian University, Tampa FL in Sacred Music and have ministered over 40 years together leading people in worship and ministering the gospel in over twenty countries and on every continent.

Dr. Joe Cruse is the primary instructor for MUAP 1401/1402 – Vocals, THEO 1406 – Essential Elements of Worship I, and THEO 1407/ 1408 – Principles of Leadership IA/ IB.


School Director and Instructor

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Dr. Becky Cruse’s love for piano began at the early age of 3, sitting next to her sister as she played piano for church. Becky began studying piano at the age of 5 and was encouraged by her piano teacher to pursue a classical music career. At the age of 8, she was invited to be a part of the Guild Auditions hosted by the National Guild of Piano Teachers, and the National Fraternity of Student Musicians. Scoring very high in these competitions every year, Becky was offered a full scholarship to the University of Corpus Christi, TX; however, Becky met her future husband and family, The Cruse Family in 1970, and in 1972, the Cruses invited her to travel as their accompanist. In 1973, Becky, Cindy Cruse and Nancy Cruse, were awarded the ASCAP award as songwriters of the year for their #1 single, “Bless Your Name”. In 1976, she married, Joe, the love of her life, and together with his family, went on to serve the Lord in a full time capacity.

In 2002, Joe and Becky founded Institute for the Arts, in Austin, Texas. They received both their honorary Masters and Doctorates through The River Bible Institute and Life Christian University, Tampa FL in Sacred Music and have ministered over 40 years together leading people in worship and ministering the gospel in over twenty countries and on every continent.

Dr Becky Cruse is the primary instructor for: MUAP 1411/1412 – Piano/ Keyboards and THEO 2401 – Biblical Finance.


Academic Dean

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Glenna Morrison is the Academic Dean of Cruse Institute for the Arts. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas in 1978 and her Master of Education degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce in 1986.

After a 24-year career in the public school systems of Texas as a teacher and academic counselor, Glenna was offered the opportunity to help build and develop the programs and curriculum for Institute for the Arts. Developing a program to train excellent worship leaders and musicians for ministry has been one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of her career.

In addition to teaching/ administration, Glenna enjoys a variety of past-times such as genealogy research, photography, gardening, needlework and music. She also volunteers at one of the local arts venues in Austin, Texas where she currently resides. She can be contacted at [email protected].

Glenna will be the coordinator for all courses in affiliate churches. These courses include MNPR 1201/1202 – Ministry Practicum IA/IB, MUEN 1201/1202 – Basics in Worship Lab IA/IB and WPVA 1201/1202 – The Creative Element IA/IB.


Consulting Clinician

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Jody Cruse in a consulting clinician for MUAP 1441/1442 – Drums.


Consulting Clinician

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Ryan is a consulting clinician for MUAP 1421/1422 – Bass Guitar.


Assistant Instructor

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Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, just outside of Tyler, Texas, Cindy was constantly surrounded by talented people who loved the Lord. One of five children, her journey of music began very early as she traveled alongside her family, “The Cruse Family”, a vibrant, evangelistic ministry of music and preaching, traveling and ministering throughout the world. Traveling day after day, singing night after night, this became the norm for Cindy.

Throughout her childhood, Cindy’s family gained popularity as they traveled and ministered full time, recording 23 albums and winning multiple nominations and two awards, one of which was the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award, for “Contemporary Album of the Year”. At the age of 6, she recorded in her first recording studio, and by the age of 9, she became the youngest licensed ASCAP songwriter. At 19, Cindy signed as a solo artist with CBS Records. During her tenure with CBS, she earned a nomination from the Gospel Music Association for Song of the Year and also Songwriter of the Year. Soon after that, she launched her own studio and production company to help other artists fulfill their dreams and visions.

During the next four years, Cindy launched a career ministering and leading worship for a series of different churches. Then, Cindy became the Director of Music and Worship at Lakewood Church. Through the support of her pastor, Joel Osteen, and family, Cindy oversaw every aspect of the music ministry. She spearheaded the production and recording of multiple albums. Under her leadership, Lakewood recorded three “Lakewood LIVE” CD’s, entitled, “ We Speak to Nations”, “Cover the Earth” and “Free to Worship”, each of which sold in excess of 100,000 units. Last year, Cindy recorded her highly anticipated solo album entitled, “Twenty-Three” This album is a unique mixture of genres blended to create an album expressing the faithfulness of God and the promises He has made to His children. This year, Cindy began her 6th year on tour with Joel Osteen to sold out arenas and stadiums throughout the US and the world.

Cindy is an assistant instructor for MUAP 1401/1402 – Vocals.


Music Instructor

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Jonny Hale is an Oklahoma-born and Georgia-grown minister and singer/songwriter who worships in spirit and Truth. He is the husband of Aaron Hale and father of two girls, Eden and Isla. Jonny travels all over the United States training and mentoring worship teams as well as ministering through music and preaching the gospel. He is also the Worship Music Coordinator for Ft. Benning (One of the largest military installations in the world). Jonny and his team of worship leaders minister to thousands of America’s finest every week.

The call of God on his life is to train up worshippers who are musically excellent and, more importantly, let the Word of God dwell in them richly.

In live worship with Jonny, there is an abundance of depth in the spirit. The anointing and call on his life to prophesy on the strings and bring people to true worship is obvious from beginning to end. Psalm 33:3 describes it best: A new song played loud, proud, and skillfully.

Jonny had this to say of his approach to worship, “Tozer said, ‘Worship is no longer worship when it reflects the culture around us more than the Christ within us.’ The Father is seeking people to worship Him in spirit and with the truth of the word of God. I’m here to bring the will of heaven to earth and show people who God is and who they are in Christ. God doesn’t just inhabit the praises of His people anymore. He also inhabits the people that praise. There has never been a more exciting time than now to get in the presence of God. In His presence is healing, peace, joy, mercy, hope, faith, and everything else you need. There is nowhere else I would rather be.”

Jonny is the primary instructor for MUAP 1431/1432 – Guitar and the assistant instructor for MUSI 1401/ 1402 – Technical Production IA/ IB.


Music Instructor

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Neville LGreen was involved in the music department of Christian City Church in Sydney Australia for many years, has been living and working in NYC since 2000 after playing in many different musical situations in Australia, and several locations around the world, and is an in-demand bass player in New York.

He has performed and / or recorded with many great musicians including Gloria Gaynor, Michael Pollack, Bobby Paltauf, Ann-Sophie Duermeyer, Julienne Dweck, Tommy Emanuel (Virtuoso Guitarist), Richie Cannata (Saxophone for Billy Joel, Beach Boys and many more) Liberty DeVitto (Drums Billy Joel, Carly Simon and many others), Dominic James (Guitar for Paul Simon, Angelique Kujo and more), Julio Fernandez (Guitarist in Spyro Gyra) The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and in the house band on several live TV shows (Letterman style tonight shows etc in Australia). He is one of the house bass players at Cove City Sound Studios in New York.

He will be teaching Electric Bass and Theory classes for Cruse Institute for the Arts (online college), and has taught electric bass in the Australian Institute of Music and The School of Creative Arts in Sydney, and taught as a clinician for Maranatha Music (California) all over the United States. Other teaching includes various clinics and workshops in Hong Kong, several parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.


Music Instructor

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Mr. Joshua Spitsbergen (b.1986) is a composer and guitarist whose works demonstrate his passion to explore the evocative capabilities of music from the Western Classical tradition, while infusing modern techniques, styles, and electronic technologies into them. His works aim at expressing drama, and he enjoys bringing images to life through music by collaborating on visual multimedia projects. He is also greatly interested in and influenced by the ceremonial and celebratory music of Ireland, Spain, and Mongolia. He has been involved extensively in the performance of sacred music, and composing music for liturgical function.

Mr. Spitsbergen holds a Masters in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego where he studied composition with Lei Liang, Chinary Ung, and Philippe Manoury. He also holds a Doctorate in Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has received consultations by composers that include: Roger Reynolds, Katharina Rosenberger, and Rand Steiger.

Mr. Spitsbergen is the primary instructor for MUTH 1411 – Sight Singing/ Ear Training IA and MUSI 1411/1412 – Intro to Comp/ Songwriting IA/ IB.


Music Instructor

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Anna Park grew up on the mission field in Central and South America with her parents and 7 siblings. She attended Institute for the Arts from 2002-2005, majoring in piano and minoring in vocal, and graduated with a degree in Music Ministry in 2005.

After graduation, she moved to Shreveport, Louisiana to help start and direct a music school at Word of Life Center. She taught piano, voice, music theory, sight singing and ear training, as well as various worship ministry classes for 11 years.

She is still actively involved in ministry at WOLC and continues to serve as part of the worship band.

Anna Park is the primary instructor for MUTH 1412 – Sight Singing & Ear Training IB, MUTH 2411 – Sight Singing & Ear Training IIA, MUTH 2412 – Sight Singing & Ear Training IIB, MUTH 3411 – Sight Singing & Ear Training IIIA and MUTH 3412 – Sight Singing & Ear Training IIIB.


Music Instructor

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With over 25 years experience in the music industry, Joel has performed with independent and major label artists extensively, both nationally and internationally. As much as is his love for performing and creating, his desire for excellence in areas of worship and teaching abound even greater. For this reason, Joel has an intense passion to see, and facilitate, the restoration of the arts back to the church through his God-given talents, desires and experience.

Prior to his current position at Fellowship Bible Dallas, where he resides as the bassist and music director for the last 6 years, Joel has filled many roles in ministry including, youth pastor, youth praise band director at a private University Model School (UMS), music director, worship leader, associate pastor and elder. In 2007, he founded Spirit Groove Ministries, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which he used as a platform to raise up inexperienced musicians and leaders, develop church leaderships and teach/preach kingdom principals while breaking down denominational walls.

Joel Tolley is the primary instructor for MUSI 3401 – Studio Concepts IIA, MUSI 3402 – Studio Concepts IIB and MUSI 3422 – Arranging Techniques for Music Ensembles.


Music Instructor

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Austin graduated from Cruse Institute for the Arts in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Ministry and an Associate’s degree in Theology. He’s been playing guitar since 2002 and leading Worship since 2008. He currently serves as Associate Pastor over the Creative Arts Ministry at the Crossing Church in The Woodlands, TX. He resides in Houston, TX with his wife, Allison, and their two sons, Judah and Zion.

Austin Vespa is the primary instructor for MUSI 2402 – Studio Concepts IB


Music Instructor

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With a love of music, performance and entertainment, Nate Ziehm was always looking to develop, create, and share his music and art with the world. Nate started playing at a young age and acquired experience inside and outside of the recording studio. It wasn’t until high school that Nate knew for sure he wanted to play the drums for a living. After high school, he studied music in college and graduated from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, earning a Bachelor’s in Music Performance, with an emphasis in percussion. While in college, Nate was lucky enough to study with drummer extraordinaire Tim Pope, one of the drummers for the great Ray Charles.

Currently, Nate is a freelance musician and drum instructor and resides in Dallas/ Fort Worth Texas. We are blessed to have him as our Drum/Percussion Instructor at Cruse Institute.  Welcome aboard dear friend!


Music Instructor

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Alexa Tannehill is a Songwriter and Creative whose journey has lead her from the city of Los Angeles, California where she earned a degree in Visual Communications, to the hills of Nashville, Tennessee to earn a Bachelor’s of Arts in Songwriting at Belmont University.

Alexa has worked on music industry hallowed ground like BMI and interned in publishing houses like Creative Nation, known for its Songwriters who have penned hits for everyone from Harry Styles to Kacey Musgraves. Whether behind the scenes in Music Business logistics, to hearing her songs sung in churches across America and even places like Carnegie Hall, Alexa has seen the fine balance between working hard to see dreams come true and letting God open the door.

Alexa considers her greatest songwriting honor as launching a monthly “Writer’s Night” at the Nashville Mercy Multiplied House where she paired Songwriters and Poets with Mercy residents to write their stories and empower them to create and be brave!

Alexa and her husband Caleb currently reside in Fort Worth, Texas.

Student Handbook

Information for students and those interested in finding out more about this Christian fine arts institution.

Application for Admission

Do you have a sincere desire to pursue training as a Christian worship leader, artist and musician? If so, apply today!

Course Catalog

See the accredited degree programs and descriptions of the courses we offer at Cruse Institute for the Arts!


PO BOX 92737
Austin TX 78709

Transworld Accrediting Commission International
231 E Alessandro Blvd., Suite A-210
Riverside, CA 92508
(951) 901-5586

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