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Liturgical Studies

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This 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.

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.

Requirements: 40 semester hours

  • 7 semester hours of core courses required of all PhD students
    Biblical and Theological Hermeneutics (3 semester hours)
    Teaching Seminar (2 semester hours)
    Research Seminar (2 semester hours)
  • 24 semester hours in the major in Liturgical Studies
  • 9 hours in a minor field such as history, Bible, theology, ethics or another approved area
  • 6-9 hours in the major and/or minor must be taken at other approved schools
  • At least two languages, ordinarily one from each of the following categories:
    a) Latin, Greek, or Hebrew
    b) French, German, or Spanish
  • Qualifying examinations

Students will be examined for competency in the following areas: the histories, theologies and practices of worship (emphasizing baptism and eucharist), sacramental and liturgical theology, and ritual studies.  Recommended readings to help prepare for exams can be found below.

There are four written exams (four hours each), with two to three questions in each. Three of the exams are in liturgical studies and one in the minor area. There is also one oral exam (two hours), encompassing all of the above areas of study. 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. Students may elect, in consultation with their advisor, to be examined in such areas as the church year, liturgical preaching, church music, or liturgical arts.

The nature and content of the exam in the minor area is determined by the professor representing that area.

  • Dissertation proposal
  • Dissertation

Please consult the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Academic Handbook, for fuller details about the requirements for the Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies.

Courses in the Concentration:

(*indicates a required core course)

• 31-812 Worship and the Arts
• *31-815 Sacramental Theology
• 31-817 History of Christian Worship
• 31-834 Liturgies of Anointing & Reconciliation
• *31-835 Seminar in Liturgical Theology
• 31-837 Finding Words for Worship
• *31-838 Baptism and Reaffirmation
• *13/31-847 Eucharist
• 31-881 Cross Cultural Seminar in worship (immersion course)
•31-910 History and Theology of Hymnody
• 31-915 Teaching Preaching
• *90-910 Seminar in Ritual Studies


E. Byron (Ron) Anderson, Styberg Associate Professor of Worship (Liturgical and Sacramental Theology, Church Music)

Dr. Anderson received his PhD from Emory University in 1997. His research interests include the formational role of liturgy, liturgy and ecumenism, spiritual formation.  He is President of The Liturgical Conference, 2004-2010, and Editor of Doxology: A Journal of Worship, 2002-present.

Gennifer Brooks, Ernest and Bernice Styberg Associate Professor of Preaching (Homiletics)

Dr. Brooks received her PhD in Liturgical Studies (with an emphasis on homiletics) from Drew University School of Theology in 2005. Her primary research interests include the improvement of preaching in Protestant churches and the study of African American Christian worship.

Ruth C. Duck, Professor of Worship (Theology and Practice of Worship)

Dr. Duck received her ThD in Theology and Liturgy from Boston University School of Theology in 1989. Her primary research interests include baptism, liturgical healing, liturgy and culture, and feminist study of liturgy. She was the President of the North American Academy of Liturgy in 2007 and served on the Academy Committee, 2006-2009.  Her current project is a textbook on worship, Worship for the Whole People of God (to be published by Westminster Knox, forthcoming).

David A. Hogue, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling (Ritual Studies)

Dr. Hogue received his PhD in Religious Studies-Pastoral Psychology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern University in 1985. His research interests include marriage and family counseling, ritual studies, and the neurosciences, with a particular focus on the relationships between worship and pastoral care. He serves on two editorial boards, and on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Presbytery of Chicago.

Cooperating Faculty from other institutions include:
• Scott Haldeman (Worship, Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago)

Select Publications by Program Faculty in Liturgical Studies:

Anderson, Ron. Taught by God: Teaching and Christian Spiritual Formation (Chalice, 2007),

Anderson,  Ron. Worship and Christian Identity (Liturgical Press, 2003)

Anderron, Ron. Liturgy and the Moral Self (Liturgical Press, 1998). Brooks, Gennifer. Praise the Lord (Lima, Ohio: C.S.S. Publications, 1996)

Brooks, Gennifer.  Sermons and sermon reviews, as well as hymns and articles

Brooks, Gennifer.  Good News Preaching, forthcoming from Pilgrim Press, 2009

Duck, Ruth.  Praising God: The Trinity in Christian Worship (Westminster Knox, 1999)

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

Duck, Ruth. Finding Words for Worship (Westminster Knox, 1995).

Hogue, David. Remembering the Future, Imagining the Past: Story, Ritual, and the Human Brain (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2003)

Hogue, David. Promising Again, with Herbert Anderson, David Hogue, 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).


Students are encouraged to read the following before beginning classes in the doctoral program.

Adam, Adolf. Foundations of Liturgy: An Introduction to Its History and Practice. Collegeville: Pueblo, 1992.

Bradshaw, Paul, ed. The New Westminster Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

Costen, Melva Wilson. African American Christian Worship. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993.

Mitchell, Nathan. Liturgy and the Social Sciences. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999.

Procter-Smith, Marjorie. In Her Own Rite: Constructing Feminist Liturgical Tradition. Nashville: Abingdon, 1990.

Schmemann, Alexander. For the Life of the World. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Press, 1973.

Vogel, Dwight W. ed. Primary Sources of Liturgical Theology. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2000.

White, James F. Introduction to Christian Worship, Third Edition. Nashville: Abingdon, 2000.

________. Sacraments as God's Self Giving. Nashville: Abingdon, 1983.

Zimmerman, Joyce Ann. Liturgy and Hermeneutics. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999.


The faculty for the PhD concentration in liturgical studies considers the following readings to be important texts that together provide a comprehensive background in liturgical studies. They are consulted by faculty in course planning and by students in preparing for their comprehensive exams. Additional readings reflecting each student's focus and areas of interest will be determined by the student in consultation with the faculty.

Classics in Liturgical Studies

Casel, Odo. The Mystery of Christian Worship. Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1962.
Chupungco, Anscar. Cultural Adaptation of the Liturgy. New York: Paulist Press, 1982.
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy. Westminster, England: Dacre Press, 1945.
Forsyth, P. T. The Church and the Sacraments. London: Independent Press, 1917.
Guardini, Romano. The Spirit of the Liturgy. New York: Herder and Herder, 1930/1998.
Hoon, Paul Waitman. The Integrity of Worship. Nashville: Abingdon, 1971.
Jungmann, Joseph. The Mass of the Roman Rite, rev. ed. New York: Benziger, 1959.
Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969 (1950 ed.).
Schillebeeckx, Edward. Christ the Sacrament of the Encounter with God. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1963.
Thompson, Bard. Liturgies of the Western Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1980 (1961 edition).
Underhill, Evelyn. Worship. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1937.
Yarnold, Edward. The Awe-inspiring Rites of Christian Initiation. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1994.

Contexts and Issues in Contemporary Worship

Abbington, James, ed. Readings in African American Church Music and Worship. Chicago: G.I.A. Publications, 2001.
Benedict, Daniel T. and Craig Kennet Miller. Contemporary Worship for the 21st Century: Worship or Evangelism? Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1994.
Black, Kathy. Worship Across Cultures. Nashville: Abingdon, 1998.
Eiesland, Nancy and Don E. Saliers, eds. Human Disability and the Service of God. Nashville: Abingdon, 1998.
Empereur, James L. and Christopher G. Kiesling. The Liturgy that Does Justice. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1990.
González, Justo L. Alabadle! Hispanic Christian Worship. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.
Hawn, C. Michael. One Bread, One Body: Exploring Cultural Diversity in Worship. Washington, D.C.: Alban Institute, 2003.
_______. Gather Into One. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
Lumbala, Kabasele. Celebrating Jesus Christ in Africa. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1998.
Procter Smith, Marjorie. Praying with Our Eyes Open. Nashville: Abingdon, 1990.
Ramshaw, Gail. God Beyond Gender. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.
Tanner, Kathryn. Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.
White, Susan J. Christian Worship and Technological Change. Nashville: Abingdon, 1994.

History of Worship

Bradshaw, Paul F. The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Brilioth, Yngve. Eucharistic Faith and Practice, Evangelical and Catholic. Abridged and trans. A. G. Hebert. London: S.P.C.K., 1965 (first Eng. trans. 1930).
Mazza, Enrico. The Origins of the Eucharistic Prayer. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1995.
_____. The Celebration of the Eucharist: The Origin of the Rite and the Development of its Interpretation. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999.
Senn, Frank. Christian Liturgy, Catholic and Evangelical. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.
Vogel, Cyrille. Medieval Liturgy: An Introduction to the Sources. Rev. and trans. William G. Storey and Niels K. Rasmussen. Washington, DC: Pastoral Press, 1986.
Wainwright, Geoffery and Karen Westerfield Tucker. Oxford History of Christian Worship. Oxford: Oxford University, 2005.
White, James. Protestant Worship: Traditions in Transition. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989.

Recommended for United Methodists:
Borgen, Ole E. John Wesley on the Sacraments. Nashville: Abingdon, 1972.
Tucker, Karen Westerfield. American Methodist Worship. New York: Oxford, 2001.


Adam, Adolf. The Liturgical Year. Trans. Matthew J. O'Connell. New York: Pueblo Publishing Co., 1981.
Johnson, Maxwell, ed. Between Memory and Hope. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2000.
Rordorf, Willi. Sunday. London: SCM, 1968.
Stookey, Laurence H. Calendar: Christ's Time with the Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.
Talley, Thomas J. The Origins of the Liturgical Year. 2nd ed. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1991.

Liturgy of the Hours

Bradshaw, Paul F. Two Ways of Praying. Nashville: Abingdon, 1995.
Taft, Robert. The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West: The Origins of the Divine Office and Its Meaning for Today. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1986.

Ritual Studies

Bell, Catherine. Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
_____. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Connerton, Paul. How Societies Remember. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966.
_____. Natural Symbols. Rev. ed. New York: Pantheon, 1982.
Garrigan, Siobhán. Beyond Ritual: Sacramental Theology after Habermas. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004.
Geertz, Clifford. The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books, 1973.
Grimes, Ronald L. Beginnings in Ritual Studies. Rev. ed. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1994.
Pitts, Jr., Walter F. Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Rosaldo, Renato. Culture and Truth. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989.
Stringer, Martin. On the Perception of Worship. Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press, 1999.
Turner, Victor. Anthropology of Performance. New York: PAJ Publications, 1988.
_____. The Ritual Process. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969.
van Gennep, Arnold. The Rites of Passage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.
Whorf, Benjamin Lee. Language, Thought and Reality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1956.

Sacramental Theology

Baillie, John. A Theology of the Sacraments. New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, 1957.
Boff, Leonardo. Sacraments of Life; Life of the Sacraments. Washington, DC: Pastoral Press, 1987.
Chauvet, Louis-Marie. Symbol and Sacrament: A Sacramental Reinterpretation of Human Existence. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1995.
Cooke, Bernard. Sacraments and Sacramentality. Rev. ed. Mystic, CT: Twenty-third Publications, 1994.
Duffy, R., ed. Alternative Futures for Worship: Vol. 1: General Introduction. Collegeville; Liturgical Press.
Jenson, Robert. Visible Words. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978.
Kilmartin, Edward J. Christian Liturgy: Vol. 1 Theology. Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, 1988.
Power, David N. Sacrament: The Language of God's Giving. New York: Herder and Herder, 1999.
Rahner, Karl. The Church and the Sacraments. New York: Herder and Herder, 1963.
Segundo, Juan Luis. The Sacraments Today. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1974.
Uzukwu, Elochukwu. Worship as Body Language--Introduction to Christian Worship: An African Orientation. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1997.
Vorgrimler, Herbert. Sacramental Theology. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992.


Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics: IV.4 The Doctrine of Reconciliation. Edinburgh: T and T Clark, 1960.
Browning, Robert L. and Roy A. Reed. Models of Confirmation and Baptismal Affirmation: Liturgical and Educational Designs. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press, 1995.
Costen, Melva. "African Roots of Afro-American Baptismal Practices" in The Black Christian Worship Experience: A Consultation. Special issue of The Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Vol. XIV, Fall 1986 and Spring 1987, 23-42.
Johnson, Maxwell. The Rites of Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999.
Kavanagh, Aidan. The Shape of Baptism. New York: Pueblo Publishing Co., 1978.
Schmemann, Alexander. Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1974.
Stauffer, S. Anita, ed. Baptism, Rites of Passage, and Culture. Geneva: The Lutheran World Federation, 1998.
Stookey, Laurence Hull. Baptism: Christ's Act in the Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1982.
Turner, Paul. Ages of Initiation. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2000.
Whitaker, E.C. Revised and expanded by Maxwell E. Johnson. Documents of the Baptismal Liturgy. Third edition. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2003.

Recommended for United Methodists:
Felton, Gayle Carlton. This Gift of Water: The Practice and Theology of Baptism among Methodists in America. Nashville: Abingdon, 1992.


Bouyer, Louis. Eucharist. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1968.
Bradshaw, Paul. Eucharistic Origins. New York: Oxford, 2005.
Jasper, R. C. D. & G. J. Cumming. Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed. Third rev. ed. New York: Pueblo, 1987.
Jeremias, Joachim. The Eucharistic Words of Jesus. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966.
Leon-Dufour, Xavier, SJ. Sharing the Eucharistic Bread. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1987.
Power, David N. The Eucharistic Mystery: Revitalizing the Tradition. New York: Crossroad, 1992.
Schmemann, Alexander. The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1987.
Senn, Frank C., ed. New Eucharistic Prayers: An Ecumenical Study of Their Development and Structure. New York: Paulist Press, 1987.
Stookey, Laurence Hull. Eucharist: Christ's Feast with the Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993.
Wainwright, Geoffrey. Eucharist and Eschatology. Third edition. Akron, OH: OSL Publications, 2002.
_____. "Liturgies of the Eucharist" in Max Thurian and Geoffrey Wainwright, eds. Baptism and Eucharist: Ecumenical Convergence in Celebration. Geneva, Switzerland: World Council of Churches, 1983, 99-255.

Liturgical Theology

Collins, Mary. Worship: Renewal to Practice. Washington, DC: Pastoral Press, 1987.
Duck, Ruth and Patricia Wilson-Kastner. Praising God: The Trinity in Christian Worship. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1999.
Fagerberg, David. What is Liturgical Theology? Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992.
Hoffman, Lawrence. Beyond the Text: A Holistic Approach to Liturgy, reprint ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989.
Irwin, Kevin. Context and Text: Method in Liturgical Theology. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1994.
Kavanagh, Aidan. On Liturgical Theology. New York: Pueblo, 1984
Lathrop, Gordon W. Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
Power, David N. Unsearchable Riches: The Symbolic Nature of Liturgy. New York: Pueblo, 1984.
Ramshaw, Gail. Reviving Sacred Speech: The Meaning of Liturgical Language. Akron, Ohio: OSL Publications, 2000.
Saliers, Don E. Worship as Theology: A Foretaste of Glory Divine. Nashville: Abingdon, 1994.
Schmemann, Alexander. Introduction to Liturgical Theology. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1986.
Wainwright, Geoffrey. Doxology: The Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine, and Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.


Allen, Ronald J. Preaching is Believing: The Sermon as Theological Reflection. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.
Buttrick, David. Homiletic: Moves and Structures. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987.
Craddock, Fred. Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1985.
Edwards, O. C. A History of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 2004.
González, Justo L. and Pablo A. Jiménez. Púlpito: An Introduction to Hispanic Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 2005.
Kim, Eunjoo Mary. Preaching the Presence of God: A Homiletic from an Asian American Perspective. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1999.
Lee, Jung Young. Korean Preaching: An Interpretation. Nashville: Abingdon, 1997.
Lischer, Richard. Editor. The Company of Preachers: Wisdom on Preaching. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2002.
Long, Thomas G. The Witness of Preaching. 2nd ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2005.
Mitchell, Henry H. Celebration & Experience in Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1990.
Smith, Christine Marie, editor. Preaching Justice: Ethnic and Cultural Perspectives. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 1998.
Suchocki, Marjorie. The Whispered Word: A Theology of Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.


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