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Introduction to Hymnology

The primary goal of this course is to honor the work of the Holy Spirit in over three thousand years of congregational song. The secondary goals are to help all of us to grow as worshippers and to be able to select appropriate songs in a number of settings. To do this, we will explore the history, theological themes, and literary structure of hymns, especially focusing on the interaction of text and tune. Students will be expected to memorize the first stanza of an assigned hymn each week, to form a base of historical referents.


Required texts include Austin Lovelace’s The Anatomy of Hymnody (Chicago: G.I.A. Publishing, 1965) and James Rawlings Sydney’s Hymns: A Congregational Study (Carol Stream, IL: Agape, 1983; student edition).

Taught by Dr. Rebecca Abbott.

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