Liturgical Studies

The PhD in Liturgical Studies (LS) program is designed for persons who seek advanced studies in Christian worship.   It enables students to become practical liturgical theologians who contribute to the ongoing reform and renewal of Christian worship.

The program seeks to provide a strong foundation through historical, theological, and pastoral study, including multi-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives, so that those who complete this degree will be prepared to contribute significantly to the study and practice of Christian worship as college and seminary professors and as leaders in the Church.


Admission Requirements:

    • Masters degree in religious or theological studies from an accredited college or university.
    • Proficiency in the English language. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to give evidence of such competence (demonstrated by a TOEFL score).

A completed application consists of:

  • Application
  • Research statement
  • Professional experience/Resume
  • Writing sample (15 pages)
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • $75 application fee
  • Background check (conducted by the seminary, may take up to two weeks to complete)
  • Additional financial and church documents are required of international students in order to satisfy interrnal and federal requirements.

The admissions committee reserves the right to determine in its sole judgment whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific concentration in the Ph.D. program.


PhD (LS) Degree - 40 semester hours
LS Degree Grid

  • 7 semester hours of core courses required of all PhD students
  • 24 semester hours in the major in Liturgical Studies
  • 9 hours in a minor field of study
  • At least two languages, ordinarily one from each of the following categories: 
    a) Latin, Greek, or Hebrew 
    b) French, German, or Spanish
  • 4 written qualifying examinations and an oral examination
    Among the three written exams in liturgical studies, there is at least one question on each of the following areas of study: History of Worship, Ritual Studies, Sacramental Theology, Eucharist, Baptism, Liturgical Theology.
  • Dissertation proposal
  • Dissertation


Program Goals

Program Goals:

In the Ph.D. program in Liturgical Studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, graduates will come to know in some breadth the history of Christian worship in its diverse theological and cultural settings. They will know in some depth the historical and theological development of the Christian practices of baptism and eucharist, as well as knowing in some depth the history and theology of liturgical practices in one's tradition and/or denomination.

In the course of the program, students will develop analytical tools and skills to evaluate and interpret Christian worship not only as it exists in official texts but especially in the practice of churches (in their ecumenical and cultural diversity), with particular attention to the contributions of practical theology, ritual studies, ethnography and congregational studies, and hermeneutics. They will engage in critical and constructive theological reflection on the churches' liturgical traditions and practices. They will prepare to participate in development, revision, and creative development of liturgical resources (liturgical texts, Christian education models, etc.) and worship services. They will prepare to encourage the church's critical and constructive reflection on its liturgical practices through teaching in the academy and the church.


Courses in the Concentration:

  • Worship and the Arts
  • Sacramental Theology
  • History of Christian Worship
  • Liturgies of Anointing & Reconciliation
  • Seminar in Liturgical Theology
  • Finding Words for Worship
  • Baptism and Reaffirmation
  • Eucharist
  • Cross Cultural Seminar in worship (immersion course)
  • History and Theology of Hymnody
  • Teaching Preaching
  • Seminar in Ritual Studies


Ron Anderson 

E. Byron (Ron) Anderson

Styberg Associate Professor of Worship

Select Bibliography
Taught by God: Teaching and Christian Spiritual Formation, Chalice, 2007.

Worship and Christian Identity, Liturgical Press, 2003.

Liturgy and the Moral Self, Liturgical Press, 1998.

 Gennifer Brooks

Gennifer Brooks

Ernest and Bernice Styberg Associate Professor of Preaching

Select Bibliography
“Preaching” in Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies, William J. Abraham and James E. Kirby, editors. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Praise the Lord, Lima, Ohio: C.S.S. Publications, 1996.

Good News Preaching, forthcoming from Pilgrim Press, 2009

 Ruth Duck

Ruth C. Duck

Professor of Worship

Select Bibliography
Worship for the Whole People of God (to be published by Westminster Knox, forthcoming).

Praising God: The Trinity in Christian Worship, Westminster Knox, 1999.

Welcome God's Tomorrow, (hymn text collection), G.I.A., 2005.

Finding Words for Worship, Westminster Knox, 1995.

 David Hogue

David A. Hogue

Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling (Ritual Studies) 

Select Bibliography
Remembering the Future, Imagining the Past: Story, Ritual, and the Human Brain,Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2003.

Promising Again, with Herbert Anderson and Marie McCarthy, Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.



Recent Graduates:

Tércio Junker (Brazil), 2003. Dissertation: "The Prophetic Dimension of Liturgy: Transforming Liturgy Seeking Social-Economic Justice." Assistant Professor of Worship and Director of Sweeney Chapel, Christian Theological Seminary, 2006-present.

Marlea Gilbert, 2006. Dissertation: "Incorporating a Rising Generation: A Study of Worship." Interim pastor, Burlington, Iowa.

Christopher Grundy 2006. Dissertation: "God's Resilient Table: Male Violence Against Women and the Embodied Logic of Holy Communion." Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship, Eden Theological Seminary. (music website)

Eric Myers, 2006. Dissertation: "The Place of the Eucharist in the Revised Funeral Rites of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)."  Pastor, Frederick Presbyterian Church (Frederick, MD);  Adjunct faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC; Member, Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., Hymnal Project Committee 2008.  Graduates Gilbert, Grundy, and Myers, and candidate Stephanie Perdew published The Work of the People: What We Do in Worship and Why (Herndon: Alban Institute, 2007).

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.