Karen Westerfield Tucker

Professor of Worship

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.