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Associate Professor of Public Worship

BSc     Mount Allison University
MDiv   Atlantic School of Theology.
ThD     Emmanuel College, Victoria University, Toronto School of Theology, UofT


Tel:      (416) 585-4546


Teaching & Research Interests
William (“Bill”) Kervin teaches worship and liturgy in both the Basic (Masters) and Graduate (doctoral) degree programmes. His research interests include: the history theology and practice of United Church worship; liturgical theology; sacramental theology and practice; church architecture; liturgy and culture; congregational song; 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 UnitedCelebrate God’s Presence and More Voices, as a liturgical consultant, committee member, writer and composer. In 2008 he was awarded the Davidson Trust Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship in Theological Education in The United Church of Canada.

He enjoys cooking, movies, playing traditional Irish music, and camping in his VW camper van.


Selected Publications


Ordered Liberty: Readings in the History of United Church Worship. Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 2010. [author and editor]

Gathered for Worship: A Sourcebook for Worship Committees, Leaders, and Teams. Toronto: UCPH, 2010.

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. London: SPCK, 2003 (European Edition); Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003 (North American Edition). [author and editor]


Selected Articles, Book Chapters, etc.

“The Lord's Supper according to the Order of The United Church of Canada.” In Sacrum Convivium: Die Eucharistiefeier der westlichen Kirchen im 20. und frühen 21. Jahrhundert.  Edited by Irmgard Pahl. Frieborg: Academic Press (forthcoming).

 “Dimensions of Worship in the Shema: Resources for Christian Liturgical Theology,” Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 48:1 (March 2019): 115-137.

“Sacraments and Sacramentality in The United Church of Canada.” In The Theology of The United Church of Canada. Edited by Don Schweitzer, Robert C. Fennell, Michael Bourgeois, 223-250. Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2019.

“Cross and Circle (A Thin Place)” [hymn] Words by William S. Kervin; Music by Lim Swee Hong. In LIM, Swee Hong, Faith Hope, and Love: Songs for the Church. Carol Stream, IL: Hope Publishing Company, 2017.

“Facing Infinity: Hodler’s Lakes and Mountains.” In Mystical Landscapes: From Vincent van Gogh to Emily Carr. Edited by Katharine Lochnan, with Roald Nasgaard and Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov, 236-239. New York: Art Gallery of Ontario & Musée d’Orsay, DelMonico Books, Pretel, 2016.

“Ten Commandments for Worship Leadership Today: A Liturgical Decalogue.” Touchstone (33:3) October 2015: 11-19.

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

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

“Canada, Worship in the United Church of,” The 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. 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.


Memberships & Ecclesial Affiliations

Ordained Order of Ministry in The United Church of Canada

North American Academy of Liturgy

Societas Liturgica

Canadian Theological Society

The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada


Selected Courses

Courses Taught

EMP 1101: Worship I: Foundations of Christian Public Worship

EMP 5120: Liturgical Theology

EMP 5121: Liturgy as Ritual