Dean of Academic Affairs and Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics
B.S., Syracuse University
M.Div., Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
M.A., Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
A native of New Jersey, Ruth Meyers earned her undergraduate degree in special education at Syracuse University and taught at the elementary school level for five years. She earned her M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and her MA and Ph.D. in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame. She began teaching liturgy at CDSP in 2009 after 14 years on the faculty at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. In 2012 CDSP appointed her dean of academic affairs. Currently an assisting priest at All Souls Episcopal Parish in Berkeley, she has also served as a priest in the Dioceses of Western North Carolina, Western Michigan, and Chicago. In 2018 she was appointed to the General Convention Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision. She has also served as chair of the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (2009-2015), a member of Task Force on the Study of Marriage (2015-2018), and vice chair of the House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation and Convener of the subcommittee on theology and language (2018).
Why I Teach:
My earliest memories of worship are the early-morning midweek Lenten services I attended with my dad and older brother, and Saturdays in the church sacristy with my mother as she prepared for the next day’s liturgies. I am passionate about the power of worship to form and transform communities of faith. I chose liturgy as an academic discipline because I believed that studying worship would give me a window into what individuals and communities in different times and places believed about God. My doctoral work, a study of the development of the rites of baptism and confirmation in the 1979 Prayer Book, gave me an opportunity to explore the history of the Episcopal Church in the twentieth century. My greatest joy in teaching about liturgy is enabling students to see and understand the complex textures of worship. Many tell me at the end of their first course that they will never look at worship in the same way again. Engagement with Christians in the wider church, whether teaching a parish education program, leading a diocesan clergy day, or working with the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, enables me to understand worship ever more deeply.
- Introduction to Worship
- Praying Shapes Believing. Revised edition of Leonel Mitchell’s 1985 theological study of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (New York: Church Publishing, Inc., 2016)
- Missional Worship, Worshipful Mission: Gathering As God’s People, Going Out in God’s Name, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies series (Eerdmans, 2014)
- Continuing the Reformation: Re Visioning Baptism in the Episcopal Church (New York: Church Publishing, Inc., 1997)
- Worship-Shaped Life: Liturgical Formation and the People of God, Canterbury Studies in Anglicanism (editor and contributor) (Harrisburg: Canterbury Press & Morehouse Publishing, 2010)
Chapters and Journal Articles:
- Guest editor and contributor, “Weddings,” Liturgy (journal of the Liturgical Conference) 34, no 3 (2019).
- “Pastoral Offices: Looking Toward the Future,” Sewanee Theological Review 61:1 (Christmas 2017): 213-36.
- “Revising the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer (1979): Liturgical Theologians in Dialogue,” with Louis Weil and Scott MacDougall, Anglican Theological Review 99 (summer 2017): 499-518.
- “Liturgy and Justice: Ninety Years of Contributions of Orate Fratres and Worship,” Worship 90 (2016): 492-512.
- “Worship,” in Ecumenical Missiology: Changing Landscapes and New Conceptions of Mission, edited by Kenneth R. Ross, Jooseop Keum, Kyriaki Avtzi, Roderick R. Hewitt, Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series Vol. 35 (Regnum Books and World Council of Churches, 2016) pp. 180-91.
- “Who May Be Invited to the Table?” Anglican Theological Review 94 (Spring 2012): 233-44.
- “Worship and Mission,” in Alcuin Guide to the Study of Liturgy and Worship, ed. Ben Gordon-Taylor and Juliet Day (SPCK and Liturgical Press, 2013) pp. 202-11.
- “Christian Marriage and Funeral Services as Rites of Passage.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion (online)
- “Re-Imagining Confirmation,” in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Theologies of Confirmation for the 21st Century, compiled by Sharon Ely Pearson (Church Publishing, Inc., 2014) 33-52.
- “Pastoral Offices: Looking Toward the Future,” The Once and Future Prayer Book conference, Sewanee, October 8-10, 2017.
- “Missional Worship, Worshipful Mission,” Ministry Developer’s Collaborative, February 2-3, 2017.
- “Imagining a New Prayer Book,” CDSP Convocation keynote presentation, October 8, 2015.
- “The Beauty of Holiness: Weaving a New Tapestry of Liturgy and Mission,” Diocese of Oregon Clergy Conference, April 27-29, 2015.
- “For the Common Good: Weaving Together Liturgy and Mission,” and “Liturgy That Matters: Celebrating for the Sake of the World,” keynote addresses, “Weaving Strands: Liturgy for Living,” National Worship Conference, Anglican Church of Canada and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, July 21-22, 2014.
- “Baptism in Anglican Tradition,” Ming Hua Theological College, Hong Kong, January 16, 2014
- “An American Experience of Developing the 1979 BCP and the Recent Development of the BCP in the Episcopal Church,” Liturgical Commission, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, January 14, 2014
- Sheng Kung Hui, January 14, 2014