Don Saliers

Don E. Saliers

William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theology and Worship


PhD, Yale University, 1967
BD, Yale University, 1962
BA, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1959


(404) 493-2370


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 Singa 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.


Themes and Variations: Music and ImaginationGIA 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


“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

Heilbrun Award, Emory University

Distinguished Emeriti of Emory University, Emeritus College of Emory University

In the media

April 6, 2023

Service of Word and Table

February 27, 2018

Service of Word and Table

April 13, 2017

Maundy Thursday Service

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