Karen B. Westerfield Tucker

Professor of Worship
(617) 353-3054
B.A. Emory and Henry College
M.Div. Duke University
M.A. University of Notre Dame
Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

Karen Westerfield Tucker is a United Methodist elder (presbyter) affiliated with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.  She served a congregation in Rock Island, Illinois and the Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois (U-C) before pursuing the doctorate in liturgical studies at the University of Notre Dame.  She was on the faculty at Duke University for fifteen years, and has taught seminary and continuing education courses throughout the United States and Canada, and in Asia, Pacifica, and Europe.  Her academic and research interests include North American liturgical history and theology, Methodist/Wesleyan liturgical history and theology, liturgy and pastoral care, and hymnody.  In 2002-2003 she was selected as a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology to study the theological and cultural dynamics of hymnals.

Dr. Westerfield Tucker is the author of American Methodist Worship (Oxford University Press, 2001).  She conceived and edited The Sunday Service of the Methodists: Twentieth-century Worship in Worldwide Methodism (Abingdon/Kingswood, 1996), and with Geoffrey Wainwright edited The Oxford History of Christian Worship (Oxford University Press, 2006).  She is a writer for the Wesley Works Project (Abingdon Press), and is working on a book drawn from her research as a Luce Fellow.

A past president (2009-2011) of the international and ecumenical Societas Liturgica, Dr. Westerfield Tucker is the editor-in-chief of the society’s journal Studia Liturgica.  She serves on the Executive Committee of the World Methodist Council, relates to the Council’s Committee on Ecumenics and Dialogue, and is the co-secretary of the international dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Roman Catholic Church.

Westerfield Tucker 2015


(Editor with Martin Stuflesser and Patrick Prétot.) Die Taufe: Riten und christliches Leben. Theologie der Liturgie 2. Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, 2012.

(Editor with Geoffrey Wainwright.) The Oxford History of Christian Worship. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

American Methodist Worship. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

(Editor.) The Sunday Service of the Methodists: Twentieth-Century Worship in Worldwide Methodism. Studies in Honor of James F. White. Nashville: Abingdon/Kingswood, 1996.

Chapters in Books

“Sacraments and Life-Cycle Rituals.” In The Cambridge Companion to American Methodism, ed. Jason E. Vickers, pp. 138-155. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

“Methodist Liturgy and Worship.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to World Methodism, ed. William Gibson, Peter Forsaith, and Martin Wellings, 269-87. Farnham, Surry and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2013.

“Methodism’s ‘World Parish’: Liturgical and Hymnological Migrations in Three Ecclesiastical Generations.” In Liturgy in Migration: From the Upper Room to Cyberspace, ed. Teresa M. Berger, 131-54. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012.

“The Place of Scripture in Worship.” In Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture, ed. Joel B. Green and David F. Watson, 227-43. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2012.

“Taufe und Ökumene.” In Die Taufe: Riten und christliches Leben, ed. Martin Stuflesser, Karen Westerfield Tucker and Patrick Prétot, 21-33. Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 2012.

“Methodist Worship.” In T & T Clark Companion to Methodism, ed. Charles Yrigoyen, Jr., 240-56. London and New York: T & T Clark, 2010.

“The Collect in the United Methodist Church and its Antecedents.” In The Collect in the Churches of the Reformation, ed. Bridget Nichols, 83-105. SCM Studies in Worship and Liturgy. London: SCM, 2010.

“Wesley’s Emphases on Worship and the Means of Grace.” In The Cambridge Companion to John Wesley, ed. Randy L. Maddox and Jason E. Vickers, 225-41. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

“Mainstream Liturgical Developments.” In The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies, ed. William J. Abraham and James E. Kirby, 295-312. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

“Afterword.” In Christian Worship in Australia: Inculturating the Liturgical Tradition, ed. Stephen Burns and Anita Monro, 221-24. Strathfield, NSW: St. Paul’s Publications, 2009.

“The Initiatory Rites of the United Methodist Church” and “Convergence and Divergence: Baptism Today.” In Baptism Today: Understanding, Practice, Ecumenical Implications, Faith and Order Paper No. 207, ed. Tom Best, 99-107, 213-24. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press/World Council  of Churches Publications, 2008.

“‘But who do you say that I am?’: Christology in Recent Protestant Hymnals.” In The Place of Christ in Liturgical Prayer. Trinity, Christology and Liturgical Theology, ed. Bryan D. Spinks, 327-41. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.

“The Prayer Book and Other Traditions: John Wesley and the Methodists.” In The Oxford Guide to The Book of Common Prayer: A Worldwide Survey, ed. Charles Hefling and Cynthia Shattuck, 209-213. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

“North America” and “Retrospect and Prospect” (with Geoffrey Wainwright). In The Oxford History of Christian Worship, ed. Geoffrey Wainwright and Karen Westerfield Tucker, 586-632, 858-65. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

“The Liturgical Functioning of Orthodox Troparia and Wesleyan Hymns.” In Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural Understanding and Practice, ed. S T Kimbrough, Jr., 293-304. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2005.

(with Geoffrey Wainwright). “A Wesleyan Anaphora.” In Liturgia et Unitas. In honorem Bruno Bürki, ed. Martin Klöckener and Arnaud Join-Lambert, 145-59. Fribourg: Éditions universitaires, 2001 and Geneva: Labor et Fides, 2001.

“Lex credendi, lex canendi: Noting the Faith of the Church.” In Ecumenical Theology in Worship, Doctrine and Life: Essays Presented to Geoffrey Wainwright on his Sixtieth Birthday, ed. David S. Cunningham, Ralph Del Colle, and Lucas Lamadrid, 40-54. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

“‘Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow’: Trinitarian Euchology in the Churches of the Reformation.” In Source and Summit: Commemorating Josef A. Jungmann, S.J., ed. Joanne M. Pierce and Michael Downey, 109-120. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1999.

“Family and Midweek Worship: Private and Public Devotion in the Methodist Tradition.” In Doctrines and Discipline: Methodist Theology and Practice, ed. Dennis M. Campbell, William B. Lawrence, and Russell E. Richey, 161-78. Nashville: Abingdon, 1999.

“Form and Freedom: John Wesley’s Legacy for Methodist Worship” and “Observations: Sunday Worship in the World Parish.” In The Sunday Service of the Methodists: Twentieth-Century Worship in Worldwide Methodism. Studies in Honor of James F. White, ed. Karen B. Westerfield Tucker, 17-30, 323-32, 354-57, 390-91. Nashville: Abingdon/Kingswood, 1996.

“Christian Rituals Surrounding Sickness” and “Christian Rituals Surrounding Death.” In Life Cycles in Jewish and Christian Worship, ed. Paul F. Bradshaw and Lawrence A. Hoffman, 154-72, 196-213. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996.

“Benedictines and Methodists in Liturgical Renewal: Currents and Cross-Currents.” The Asbury Theological Journal50-51 (1995-96) 211-22; also as “Benedettini e Metodisti nel rinnovamento liturgico: tendenze e confluenze.” In La santificazione nelle tradizioni Benedettina e Metodista, ed. Bruno Corsani, Réginald Grégoire, and Febe Cavazzutti
Rossi, 477-92. Verona: Il Segna dei Gabrielli, 1998.

Scholarly Articles

“The Ecumenical Legacy of the Second Vatican Council: Reflections of an Accidental Ecumenist.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 48 (2013) 151-65.

“Scriptural Typology and Allegory in Liturgical Prayer.” Liturgy 28.2 (2013) 4-13.

“Baptism and Ecumenism: Agreements and Problems on the Journey Towards Mutual Recognition. Presidential Address.” Studia Liturgica 42 (2012) 1-12.

“Le baptême, fondement de l’unité des chrétiens.” La Documentation catholique no. 2476 (16 Octobre 2011) 885-892.

“North American Methodism’s Engagement with Liturgical Renewal.” Liturgy 26.4 (2011) 57-66.

“Music Wars: A New Conflict?” Liturgy 24.4 (2009) 3-9.

“Creating Liturgies ‘in the Gaps.’” Liturgy 22.3 (2007) 65-71.

“The State of North American Liturgical Scholarship: A Report Card.” Doxology 23 (2006) 81-104; also in Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy (2007) 118-36.

“Music for Christian Funerals: Theological and Pastoral Reflections.” Liturgy 21 (2006) 55-62.

“Back to the Future: The Relevance of John Wesley for Today.” Sacramental Life 17 (Winter 2004/2005) 37-55.

“‘This Holy Mystery’ and the Eucharistic Theology and Practice of the Wesleys.” Sacramental Life 16 (Fall 2004) 793-802.

“Music as a Language of Faith.” Notre Dame Center for Liturgy website:http://liturgy.nd.edu/education-formation/past-conferences/32nd-annual-conference/; also revised in Ecclesia Orans 23 (2006) 81-98.

“‘On the Occasion’: Charles Wesley’s Hymns on the London Earthquakes of 1750.” Methodist History 42 (2004) 197-221.

“Charles Wesley on Worship.” Proceedings of the Charles Wesley Society 9 (2003-2004) 83-94.

“John Wesley and the Book of Common Prayer.” Australian Journal of Liturgy 9 (2004) 115-33.

“Children of God by Faith.” Ministry & Liturgy 31 (2004) 9-10.

“‘Knowledge and Vital Piety’: The Wesleys and Christian Education.” In Queen’s College Friends of the Library Occasional Paper 14 (September 2003) 1-11; edited version also in Aedificamus 2 (2003) 154-64.

“The Trinitarian Character of Methodist Anaphoras.” Doxology 20 (2003) 1-19.

“When the Cradle is Empty: Rites Acknowledging Stillbirth, Miscarriage, and Infertility.” Worship 76 (2002) 482-502.

“The Lectionary Our Common Table? A Protestant View.” One in Christ 37 (2002) 55-62.

“‘Let Us Thy Mercy Prove’: A United Methodist Understanding of the Eucharist.” Quarterly Review 22 (2002) 234-47.

“A Decade of Christian Song: Observations on Recent Hymnals and Songbooks.” Studia Liturgica 31 (2001) 193-210.

“The Liturgical Ministries of the United Methodist Deacon: Continuity and Change.” Methodist History 39 (2001) 82-98.

“Liturgical Perspectives on Changes in North American Hymnody in the Past Twenty-Five Years.” The Hymn 52 (2001) 22-27; also in Open: Journal of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission 46 (Summer 2000) 9-11 and (Fall 2000) 4-6.

“Congregational Song as Liturgical Ordo and Proper: The Case of English-Language Hymns and Hymnals.” Studia Liturgica 28 (1998) 102-20.

“‘In Thankful Verse Proclaim’: English Eucharistic Hymns of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” Studia Liturgica 26 (1996) 237-52.

“The Eucharist in the Book of Common Worship (1993).” The Princeton Seminary Bulletin 16 (1995) 138-49.

“Liturgical Expressions of Care for the Poor in the Wesleyan Tradition: A Case Study for the Ecumenical Church.”Worship 69 (1995) 51-64.

“John Wesley’s Prayer Book Revision: The Text in Context.” Proceedings of the Charles Wesley Society 1 (1994) 119-35; also in Methodist History 34 (1996) 230-47.

“‘Plain and Decent’: Octagonal Space and Methodist Worship.” Studia Liturgica 24 (1994) 129-44.

Dictionary, Encyclopedia and other Articles

“Methodism.” In Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed., ed. Charles Hiroshi Garrett, vol. 5, 464-68. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

“Worship 6: United States and Canada.” In The Encyclopedia of Christianity, ed. Erwin Fahlbusch, et al., vol. 5. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans/Brill, 2008.

“Buxtehude, Dietrich,” “Divorce,” “Methodism, Global,” “Worship.” In Encyclopedia of Protestantism, ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand, 326, 602-607, 1220-223, 2057-2062. New York: Routledge, 2004.

“Baptism 9: Methodist,” “Books, Liturgical 9: Methodist,” “Camp Meeting,” “Funerals 9: Methodist,” “Marriage 9: Methodist,” “Methodist Worship 2: USA,” “Ordination 9: Methodist,” “Sick, Liturgical Ministry to the,” and “Word, Services of the, 9: Methodist.” In The New SCM Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship, ed. Paul F. Bradshaw, 47-48, 81-
82, 90, 223-24, 305-306, 317-18, 352-53, 436-38, 487-88. London: SCM Press, 2002. Also as The New Westminster Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

“Advent,” “Calendar,” “Christmas,” “Easter,” “Epiphany,” “Lent,” “Pentecost,” and “Sunday.” In The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, ed. Adrian Hastings, 7, 89-90, 113-14, 184, 203, 384-85, 529-30, 690. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

“Chinese Palings.” Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society 50 (1995) 30-31.

“Lectionary Preaching.” In Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching, ed. William Willimon and Richard Lischer, 305-307. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 1995.

Ecclesiastical Articles, Essays, Resources and Services of Worship

“The Means of Grace.” In 44 Sermons to Serve the Present Age, ed. Angela Shier-Jones and Kimberly D. Reisman, 73-78. Peterborough: Epworth, 2007.

“Mysterious Bread, Mysterious Love.” In Charles Wesley’s Hymns: “Prints” and Practices of Love Divine, ed. Maxine Walker, 47-53. San Diego: Point Loma Press, 2007.

“‘Bless Thee, that I e’er was Born”: Worship Resources for the Charles Wesley Tercentenary.” Circuit Rider 30.5 (September-October 2006) 20-22.

“Freedom, Order, and Connection: A Call for Recovery.” 30.4 Circuit Rider (July-August 2006) 7-9.

“Table Etiquette: Means and Manners.” http://www.gbod.org/worship/articles/table.html.

“The American Flag in Methodist Worship: A Historical Look at Practice.”http://www.gbod.org/worship/default_body.asp?act=reader&item_id=3888.

“United Methodist Worship: Back to the Future.” Circuit Rider 22 (September/October 1999) 10-11.

“Worship and Culture: Inculturating the Good News.” In Worship Matters: A United Methodist Guide to Ways to Worship, vol. 1, ed. E. Byron Anderson, 73-79. Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1999.

“The Centrality of Christian Worship” and “Advent: Between the Times.” In Standing at the Door: Millennial-Change Worship Resources, ed. Roger C. Dowdy, 9-11, 27-28. Nashville: General Board of Discipleship, United Methodist Church, 1999.

“More than Words: Grace-ful Gestures at the Table.” Reformed Worship 48 (June 1998) 34-36.

“Suggested Worship Resources for Heritage Sunday 1997.” In “United Methodist Witnesses for Jesus Christ: The Witness of Women.” Madison, NJ: General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church, 1997.

“Nicholas Ferrar,” “George Herbert,” “Harry Hosier,” “St. Michael and All Angels,” and “Peter and Paul, Apostles.” In For All the Saints: A Calendar of Commemorations for United Methodists, ed. Clifton F. Guthrie, 23, 76, 122, 146, 198. Cleveland, OH: Order of St. Luke Publications, 1995.

“A Look at the Christian Year.” Jubilate! A Newsletter for United Methodist Musicians (May 1993) 1-2, 6.

“An Order for Commissioning to Short-Term Christian Service,” “A Service of Hope after Loss of Pregnancy,” and “A Service of Farewell to a Bishop or District Superintendent.” In The United Methodist Book of Worship, 592-93, 623-26, 730-34. Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1992.

Interviewed respondent for the video “Sacrament and Worship Series,” United Methodist Church. Nashville: Graded Press, 1990.

“The Water Image in the Gospel of John.” Adult Bible Studies Teaching Helps (December 1989-February 1990). Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1989.

“John: The Gospel of Life and Light.” Thirteen lessons in Adult Bible Studies Teaching Helps (December 1989-February 1990). Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1989.

“A Pastoral Response to a Silent Tragedy.” The Christian Ministry 20 (January-February 1989) 11-13.

“Dedication Service for a Youth Work Project.” The Church School 14 (October 1981) 12.