• Lee University


  • Jim Burns

    B.M., Lee College
    M.C.M., D.M.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


    Professor of Music

    Jim Burns, soloist, song-writer, clinician and worship leader, was for 10 years director of the internationally-acclaimed Lee University Singers. His choirs have concertized in East Asia, the former Soviet Union, throughout Western Europe, and in most of the United States, including Hawaii. He was coordinator of the graduate program of music and conductor of the concert choir at Oral Roberts University, and is currently the Director of Graduate Studies of Music at Lee University. Burns holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from Southwestern Baptist Seminary, where he was a student of James McKinney, late president of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

    As a soloist, Burns has recently performed the bass roles to Handel's Messiah at Valley Cathedral in Phoenix, Haydn's Creation at Appalachian State University, Brahms' Requiem with the Huntsville civic chorus and orchestra, Savior with the Ballet Magnificat at the Gammage Theater on the campus of Arizona State University, and at the Philharmonic Hall in Kaliningrad, Russia. His voice students have performed in opera, on Broadway, and with many contemporary gospel performing groups. He founded the Crusaders Choir at the North Cleveland Church of God while serving as minister of music for T.L. Lowery. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician at the local and national level for a number of organizations.

    Having taught at Lee University since 1967, and at ORU during a two-year hiatus, Burns has taught hundreds of students in his church music classes who are currently serving in churches across America. Burns and his wife, Doris, recently spent two summers teaching in Poltava, Ukraine, and two weeks teaching in Johannesburg and Soweto, South Africa, where they found that their music opened many doors for them. Both were supervising teachers for the semester in Germany in 2002, and Burns taught at the Conservatorio Ateneo in Asuncion, Paraguay in summer 2004. Burns has served as an interim worship leader in Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of God, and independent churches.

    Burns has been musical director for productions of Oliver, Godspell, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Annie, and A Fiddler on the Roof, and conducted the Lee University presentation of West Side Story. He and his wife Doris wrote, recorded and regularly perform their family musical, Seasons of Love. They are currently completing the manuscript of a "travelogue of music and worship experiences" entitled It Happened on a Sunday. Doris is a playwright and drama producer in her spare time. They recently completed the musical play The Circuit Rider’s Wife, commissioned at the 1902 Stock Exchange Dinner Theater in Georgia. It has been performed to acclaim dozens of times. For more information, visit

    Burns and his wife have three sons. Kevin (married to RaDonna) is lead trumpet for the Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C. Todd (married to Brenda) provides background music for several daytime TV talk shows. Ryan does Internet sales.

  • jm_burns