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 Director of Master of Sacred Music

Program Director, Master of Sacred Music
Deer Park Associate Professor of Sacred Music

BCM Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, Manila

MSM Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Texas

MPhil Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Drew University, New Jersey

PhD Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Drew University, New Jersey


Tel.: 416-585-4543

Teaching and Research Interests

Dr. Lim, Swee Hong is the Deer Park Associate Professor of Sacred Music at Emmanuel College, and the Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program. Before joining Emmanuel on July 1, 2012, Swee Hong served as an Assistant Professor of Church Music at Baylor University, Texas. Prior to his work at Baylor, he served as a Lecturer of Worship, Liturgy, and Music at Trinity Theological College in Singapore.

Swee Hong is widely utilized as a leader for global seminars and conferences dealing with worship and sacred music. He served as the Director of Music for the 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches convened in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2022, and the Director of Research for the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada (2014 -2020). In 2013 he served as the Co-Moderator of the Worship Committee for the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches for its meeting in Busan, South Korea and was a member of the Worship Planning Committee for the 2011 Ecumenical Peace Convocation sponsored by the World Council held in Jamaica. From 2006 - 2011, he chaired the Committee on Worship and Liturgy for the World Methodist Council, designed and supervised the worship services of the 20th World Methodist Conference in Durban, South Africa

Swee Hong holds a PhD in Liturgical Studies from Drew University, where his dissertation won the Helen LePage and William Hale Chamberlain Prize for Outstanding Dissertation. He also holds a Master of Arts in Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology. He completed his undergraduate work in Church Music at the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music in the Philippines. Swee Hong is well-published in global music, with his monograph, Giving Voice to Asian Christians, especially known among global musicians. He is also a prolific composer of congregational songs.

Swee Hong’s research area is in Postcolonial Contextual worship music practices, particularly in Asia, and Contemporary Praise & Worship music-making in North America. In this area, he examines how worship music-making is shaping Christian identity and spirituality. In his teaching, Swee Hong is passionate in helping students understand the context of worship music making and being equipped with the necessary skill set to carry out their pastoral music leadership responsibilities. To that end, he encourages students to participate in academic conferences and submit their research efforts for publication.

Selected Publications

Books/Editorial Work

Emmanuel College Music Series



Liturgy: Global & Local Issues in Liturgy. Vol. 37:1 (The Liturgical Conference, 2021 – 2022)

A History of Contemporary Praise & Worship: Understanding the Ideas That Reshaped the Protestant Church. Coauthored with Lester Ruth. (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakers Academic, 2021).

Sing a New Song to the Lord: Works by Lim Swee Hong (Hong Kong: Alpha & Omega Arts Management Ltd., 2019).

Faith, Hope, and Love: Songs for the Church (Carol Stream, IL: Hope Publishing Company, 2017).

Lovin’ on Jesus: A History of Contemporary Worship. Coauthored with Lester Ruth (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2017).

Music Compositions


Let Us Sing Our Own Songs to God: Songs by Lim Swee Hong (Tokyo: The Hymn Society in Japan, 2023)

“In a Deep, Unbounded Darkness” (CIAI 慈爱)

in Unbound Music Series. (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2024)

“When We Strive and We Strain: You Are Enough” (CHUKUP)

"Jesus Entered Egypt" (AL-MANSURIYYAH)

in Unbound Music Series (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2023).

“For the Faithful Who Have Answered” (FAITHFUL)

“How Deep the Silence of the Soul” (DEEP SILENCE)

in Unbound Music Series. (Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, 2022)

“Seek Good, Not Evil” (MAULE)

in Unbound Music Series. (Carol Stream: Hope Publishing Company, 2021)

“Father, to Him We Turn Our Face” (MISERERE)

“How Glorious Is the Life Above” (GLORIOUS LIFE)

in A Theology of the Sacraments Interpreted by John and Charles Wesley (Eugene: Resource Publications, 2021)         

“Come, Holy Visitor” (HOLY VISITOR).
“For Everyone Born, A Place at the Table” (KARIBU).
“This was the Moment” (KARANGA).

“Sing for Me When I Cannot Sing” (BERNYANYI).

  • Pulse and Breath: Hymn Texts by Adam Tice. (Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, Inc., 2019)

“Advent Wreath Hymn” (YOUR CHURCH AWAITS).

“Breath of Christ” (BREATH OF CHRIST).

  • Breath of Christ: Hymn Texts by Alan Hommerding. (Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications, 2019) 

Deep in the Human Heart” (NGAKAU NIWHA). WLP Choral Series. 009449. (Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications, 2018)

“In the Stillness of this Hour” (AMAITI).
“Justice Like a River” (EIRENE).
“Planter of Gardens, Sender of Rain” (SEONGJANG).
“We Give You Thanks for Every Faith” (GANEN).

Love Consecrates the Humblest Act.” Parish Choral Series. MSM-50-3103. (St. Louis, MO: Morningstar Music Publishers, 2017)



"Let Us Sing to God: The Value of Asian Congregational Songs for Liturgy and Mission." Transformation, 41: 2 (March 2024), 145-159.

“A Prophetic Voice” Peace is Her Song: The Life and Work of Hymnist Shirley Erena Murray. Ann Manchester, ed. (Auckland: Presbyterian Church in New Zealand, 2024), 227-231.

“Why So Many Hallelujahs? Appreciating the Use of Congregational Song at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Karlsruhe, Germany” The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song, Vol. 74:4 (Autumn, 2023), 11-19.

“The Use of Music of the Contemporary Era Serves to Express the Action of the Spirit Today” Living the Church’s Song (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2023).

“Reconciliation and Song: Being God’s Message to the World,” Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching and the Arts, 55:4 (Louisville: Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), March 2022)

"Potting Christianity: Ecumenical Worship in Its Multicultural and Multi-Ethnic Context." Religions. 13, no. 1: 73, January 2022.

“Reconciliation and Song: Being God’s Message to the World,” Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching and the Arts, 55:4 (Louisville: Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), March 2022)

“Nashville and Sydney Are Not the World: The Transnational Migration of Sources for Chinese Contemporary Worship Songs,” in Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship. Lester Ruth, ed. (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2019)

“We’re all 'Bananas and Coconuts': Congregational Song in the Global South.” International Journal of Practical Theology. 23:1, 2019, 136–156. DOI:

“Postcolonial Congregational Song.” Hymnists and Liturgists: Historical and Theological Introductions. Mark Lamport, Benjamin Forrest, and Vernon Whaley, eds. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publishers, 2019)

““Where is our song going” vis a vis “Where should our song be going?”: The Trajectory of “Global Song” in North America.” The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song. 69:2, 2018, 8-11.

Blessed Are the Poor: Lessons from the Music of the Global South.” The Yale ISM Review. Vol. 4: No. 2 (2018), Article 4.

History of Praise and Worship Music.” Voices United. Season 1 Episode 3. Podcast, Ben Brody, ed. (Dallas, TX: The Center for Congregational Song, 2018)

“Just Call Me by My Name: Worship Music in Asian Ecumenism.” The Ecumenical Review. 60:4, 2017, 502-515. DOI: 10.1111/erev.12317

“What is the Right Kind of Worship … If You Want North American Congregations to Sing Global Songs?” Global Forum on Arts and Christian Faith. 5:1, 2017, 48-57.

“Forming Christians through Musicking in China.” Religions. 8:50, April 2017


Memberships & Ecclesial Affiliations

Member, United Methodist Church, USA

Member, Methodist Church in Singapore


Hymn Society in the United States and Canada

International Academy of Practical Theology

North American Academy of Liturgy

Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada

Societas Liturgica

Selected Courses

EMP 2861 HF Songs of the Church (Hymnology)

EMP 2875 HY Toronto School of Theology Choir

EMP 3145 HS Practicum with Integrative Project

EMP 3855/6855 HS Global and Contemporary Worship Song Leadership

EMP 3858 HS Sacred Music in Christian History

Other Information

Director of Music, 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches

Member, The Foundation on Theological Education in Southeast Asia

Editor, Emmanuel College Music Series

Fellow, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada