Exploring sung theology

Southern Wesleyan University professors, student analyze hymns and contemporary worship songs

CENTRAL — Every Sunday, Christians gather in churches across America and make a heartfelt connection to God through musical worship. Two Southern Wesleyan University professors and a student released a new study looks at how the songs we sing align with theology in evangelical Christian churches.

Dr. Mike Tapper, chair of Southern Wesleyan’s Division of Religion, along with Dr. Britt Terry, associate professor of English and Jacob Clapp, a Religion major, performed a lyrical analysis of the 30 most commonly sung hymns and 30 of the most commonly sung contemporary worship songs over the past five years.

Their findings were published this month in Worship Leader Magazine, the Wesleyan Church website, and more of a brief article was published by Christianity Today magazine in June.

The Worship Leader magazine article concludes by saying “Sung lyrics are one of the primary ways many of us connect of God. For some, this article might raise dismissiveness, anger or defensiveness;

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