Don E. Saliers

Don E. Saliers
Phone: 404.493.2370
    • PhD, Yale University, 1967
    • BD, Yale University, 1962
    • BA, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1959

    Dr. Don E. Saliers returned to Candler in 2014 as Theologian-in-Residence after retiring in 2007 as the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship. For many years he directed the Master of Sacred Music program at Emory, and was an organist and choirmaster at Cannon Chapel for 35 years. Before joining the Candler faculty in 1974, Saliers taught at Yale Divinity School, and has taught in summer programs at Notre Dame, Boston College, Vancouver School of Theology, St. John’s University, and Boston University School of Theology.

    An accomplished musician, theologian and scholar of liturgics, Saliers is the author of 15 books on the relationship between theology and worship practices, as well as more than 150 articles, essays, chapters in books and book reviews. He co-authored A Song to Sing, a Life to Live with his daughter Emily Saliers, a member of the Indigo Girls.

    Saliers sits on the editorial board of Worship, Weavings, and Spiritus journals, and is involved in the development of United Methodist worship resources. He has served as president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and the Society for the Study of Christian Religion, and helped found the Academy for Spiritual Formation.

    Recognized for his dedication to teaching, Saliers was inducted into the Emeritus College of Emory University in 2010, and honored as one of the year’s Distinguished Emeriti of Emory University. In 2011, he won Emory University’s Heilbrun Award. Named in honor of Alfred Heilbrun Jr., professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology, the yearlong fellowship reflects the Emeritus College’s mission to strengthen the ties between Emory and retired faculty members.

    Saliers is ordained in The United Methodist Church and has served churches in rural Ohio and New Haven, Connecticut. He continues to preach, lead retreats and lecture widely.

    Selected publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication


    Themes and Variations: Music and Imagination, GIA Publications, 2020

    Music and Theology, translation into Italian. Queriniana, 2017

    Music and Theology. Abingdon Press, 2007

    Co-author,A Song to Sing, a Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice. Wiley, 2006

    Co-author,The Conversation Matters. Abingdon Press, 1999

    Co-author,Human Disability and the Service of God: Reassessing Religious Practice. Abingdon Press, 1998

    Worship Come To Its Senses. Abingdon Press, 1996

    Worship As Theology: Foretaste of Glory Divine. Abingdon Press, 1994

    Co-editor,Christian Spirituality: Post-Reformation and Modern. Crossroad, 1989

    Co-author,Handbook For the Christian Year, Second Edition. Abingdon Press, 1992

    Co-editor,Prayer, Second Edition. Westminster John Knox Press, 1985

    Worship and Spirituality. OSL Publications, 1984

    Chapters and Articles

    "Psalms to Hymns and Back Again," in The Hymn, Vol. 71, No. 2, Spring, 2020

    "The Sound of Reform and Renewal," in The American Organist, May, 2000

    "Music and Tears," in The American Organist, June 2020

    Selected awards

    Heilbrun Award, Emory University

    Distinguished Emeriti of Emory University, Emeritus College of Emory University

    "Advent: Shaping Our Eschatological Imagination" - Candler Practical Ministry Webinars, October 12, 2016

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, March 29, 2016

    Dr. Fred Craddock Candler Memorial Service, Cannon Chapel, Candler School of Theology, April 9, 2015

    "Creativity in Later Life" - Sheth Distinguished Lecture, Emory University, April 9, 2014

    "The Psalms of Lament" - Candler Practical Ministry Webinars, February 19, 2014

    Creativity Conversation with Emily and Don Saliers, Cannon Chapel, Emory University, September 9, 2010