William S. Kervin

Bill Kervin 

Director of Basic Degree Studies
Associate Professor of Public Worship

B.Sc., Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB, 1981
M.Div., Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, NS,1984
Th.D., Emmanuel College, Victoria University, Toronto, ON, 1994


Office: Room 216
Tel: (416) 585-4546
Fax: (416) 585-4516
Email: w.kervin@utoronto.ca

Teaching & Research Interests

William (“Bill”) Kervin teaches worship and liturgy in both the Basic (Masters) and Advanced (doctoral) degree programmes and serves Director of Chapel for the worship life of the college. His research interests include liturgical history, United Church worship, Eucharistic theology and practice, Christian initiation, liturgical theology, worship and the arts, church architecture, liturgical inculturation, congregational song and ritual studies.

Bill was ordained to the ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care by the Maritime Conference of The United Church of Canada in 1984 and has served congregations in New Brunswick, Alberta, Papua New Guinea, Nova Scotia and Toronto. He has been active in the production of the United Church’s worship resources, Voices United, Celebrate God’s Presence and More Voices, as a liturgical consultant, committee member, writer and composer. A frequent guest preacher and workshop leader, he also regularly serves as a liturgical and architectural consultant to congregations.

Courses Taught

EMP 1101: Worship I

EMP 2103: Worship II

EMP 3100: Pilgrimage to Taizé

EMP 3104: Contemporary Issues in Worship

EMP 3106: Celebrate God’s Presence

EMP 3135: Pilgrimage to Iona

EMP 3881/6881: Worship and the Arts

EMP 5120: Liturgical Theology

EMP 5121: Liturgy as Ritual

Selected Publications

“Worship on the Way: The Dialectic of United Church Worship.” In The United Church of Canada: A History. Edited by Don Schweitzer. Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2012. pp. 185-201.

Ordered Liberty: Readings in the History of United Church Worship. Toronto: United Church Publishing House UCPH, 2010.

Gathered for Worship: A Sourcebook for Worship Committees, Leaders, and Teams. Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 2010.

“Beyond the Last Supper: The Institution Narrative Revisited.”  Touchstone. 27/2 (May 2009): 21-31.

“A Liturgy of Lament.” Touchstone (25/1) January 2007: 29-40.

The Language of Baptism: A Study of the Authorized Baptismal Liturgies of The United Church of Canada, 1925-1995. Drew University Studies in Liturgy. Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2003.

A Year of Grace: 365 Mealtime Prayers. European Edition: London, SPCK, 2003. American Edition: Peabody, Mass., Hendrickson, 2003.

“The Celtic Connection: The Iona Community and Contemporary Worship,” Touchstone. 21/2 (May 2003): 6-21.

“Canada, Worship in the United Church of,” New Westminster Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship. Edited by Paul Bradshaw. (London: SCM Press, 2002; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002).

“Forms of Service (1926): A Study in the Liturgical Ethos of The United Church of Canada,” Toronto Journal of Theology. 17/2 (Fall 2001): 315-229.

“Bearing Faithful Witness: A Service of Worship Celebrating United Church – Jewish Relations.” In Bearing Faithful Witness: Proposed Statement on United Church – Jewish Relations. (including “Bulletin format,” “Notes on the Service,” “Additional Resources”). Committee on Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Relations, The United Church of Canada. June 2001.

“The Three Hymn Books of The United Church of Canada: The Dialectic of a New Song,” Touchstone. 19/2 (May 2001): 6-21.


North American Academy of Liturgy

Societas Liturgica

International Academy of Practical Theology

Canadian Theological Society

The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada

Royal Canadian College of Organists

Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church

The United Church of Canada

Other Interests:

cooking, music (e.g., Irish trad.), percussion, travel, camping, art & architecture, movies


About Emmanuel