The 31st-annual Northcutt Lecture will present a talk by worship historian Lester Ruth on Tuesday, April 11, beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the McLean Foyer of Meditation of Armstrong Browning Library. His lecture is entitled “When the Music Fades: The Many Facets of Contemporary Worship’s Historical Development.”
For the past six years, Lester Ruth has served as Research Professor of Christian Worship at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. He began his career at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and its Divinity school in 1998, serving as the Americanist among those institution’s liturgical scholars. In 2000, he returned to his alma mater, Asbury Theological Seminary, where he spent the next eleven years, leaving as the Lilly May Jarvis Professor of Christian Worship.
Dr. Ruth has published articles on liturgical history in a variety of journals and magazines, both academic and pastoral. His pieces have appeared in Studia Liturgica, Worship, Ecclesia Orans, Methodist History, and Liturgy, as well as Worship Leader Magazine and Reformed Worship. He has authored or co-authored seven books. The most recent are Worshiping with the Anaheim Vineyard: The Emergence of Contemporary Worship (Eerdmans, 2017) and Lovin’ On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship (Abingdon, 2017). His most recent efforts seek to document the various dimensions of the history of contemporary worship. Over his career, the majority of his work has been in either the worship of the early church or of American evangelicals.
Since his earliest work in academia, Dr. Ruth’s passion has remained the same: careful research in the history of worship, in the hope of enriching the worship of Christians today.
The Northcutt Lecture, which brings nationally and internationally known scholars in church music to Baylor, is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.