W. Scott Haldeman

W. Scott Haldeman portait

W. Scott Haldeman

Associate Professor of Worship

[email protected]

Specializing in the history, theology and practice of US Protestant worship, Professor Haldeman is also interested in the less formal ways human beings ritualize themselves in relation to various categories of identity, such as race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality. His first book, Towards Liturgies of Reconciliation: Race and Rites among African American and European American Protestants (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2007), analyzes the role of racism in the development of US Protestant worship. In queer religious studies, examples of his work include: “A Queer Fidelity: Reinventing Christian Marriage” in Theology and Sexuality 13:2 (Spring 2007), 173-188.

“Worship provides Christians with an opportunity to leave behind – for momentary and fragile periods – the structures of inequality and violence that pervade our lives and to imagine – and, even more, to experience – an alternative mode of being, a place and time where justice and peace are known, where a communion of love is tasted, ingested and so … embodied. The fact that public prayer on most Sundays in most local Christian communities hardly resembles such an ideal may discourage many of us, but it does not negate the claim. The critical appraisal of the captivity of worship to modernist rationality and disempowering clericalism as well as its disengagement from the reality of daily life is required for effective ministry. In addition, it is crucial for religious leaders to be competent in preparing and leading authentic, just and transformative worship. Political organization, action, and protest will always be necessary if we desire to reform society, but we must pursue ritual action as well – where in an environment of beauty and abundance, in gathering with neighbors and strangers, in the encounter of the Holy, we know a joy that, to invoke poet warrior Audre Lorde, makes us dissatisfied with anything less in our every day lives.”


  • BA, Oberlin College, 1986
  • MDiv, PhD, Union Theological Seminary (NYC), 1990, 1998

Sample Courses:

  • Leading Worship: A Practicum in Presiding
  • Ritual Studies
  • Marriage Rites & Wrongs