Nancy Hall

Associate Professor Emeritus of Ministry & Congregational Music / Director of Contextual Education
  • DMin, San Francisco Theological Seminary
  • MDiv, American Baptist Seminary of the West
  • BA, San Diego State University


My teaching is informed by many streams of experiences; primary among these is a lifetime of worship and service within small churches. I cherish the opportunity to be a professor, a pastor, and a church musician because these three roles inform and enhance each other so richly. First Baptist Church of Berkeley (, where I’ve served as pastor and musician since 2009, is my “living lab.” ABSW, where I’ve been a faculty member since 1989, is my place of engagement with students about the unique challenges we face as planners and leaders of “the work of the people,” i.e., worship.

And as a faculty member who helps guide our students toward internships in churches and other community settings, the whole array of “ministries,” broadly defined, is ours to explore. Whether we are studying the pastoral arts of baptism, weddings, and funerals, or discussing the details of music and worship planning for our churches and communities, I am ever more convinced that my calling, our calling, is to “free our hearts to sing God’s praises, while God’s music shapes our souls,” (to quote one of my favorite current hymn writers, Jacque B. Jones).

For three years I was editor of The Hymn – A Journal of Congregational Song. This work with The Hymn Society ( has helped shape my teaching focus on the vast diversity of music — both classic and contemporary — that is the people’s song to God. These words we sing must be in harmony with our convictions about God, Christ, and the justice demands of the Gospel. I invite my students to explore, wrestle with, and be transformed by studying and practicing the arts of worship planning, preaching, theological reflection, and musical leadership. Service to God and with God’s people is our highest calling and privilege!


The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada

The Ministers Council of the Greater Bay Area

Association of Theological Field Educators

  • Current hymnody (global music, social justice, new trends) as integral to pastoral ministry and worship
  • Music and worship planning for the Christian year
  • Worship in free-church traditions: pastoral arts
  • Innovative internships for ABSW MDiv and MCL students

“Singing Through the Church Year” (Spring 2018, taught with Dan Damon)

“A Cry for Justice in Hymnody” (Fall 2016, taught with Dan Damon)

For a copy of my article in Review & Expositor, Vol. 114 (3) 2017: “Singing our way to justice: A conversation with Dan Damon — hymn writer, composer, and pastor,” please e-mail me

“How Hymns Shape Worship and Faith”(Spring 2015)

“Planning Congregational Music” (Fall 2013 & Spring 2014)

ABSW Middler Colloquium: planning and oversight of student internships; pastoral arts (taught annually)


The New Manual of Worship, Judson Press (released April 2018) New Manual of Worshipo PR edit-1

Contributor, Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBQTI Christians (Praeger/ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2013).

“A Heart to Praise Our God: Celebrating Lesbian and Gay Poets and Composers” – a hymn festival (provided additional research), The Hymn, Autumn 2011.


Book reviews in Reflective Practice, Formation, and Supervision in Ministry:

Performing Pastoral Care: Music as a Framework for Exploring Pastoral Care, by Gregory Clifton-Smith (2018 issue of Reflective Practice)

Opening the Field of Practical Theology,  by Kathleen A. Cahalan and Gordon S. Mikoski (2016 issue of Reflective Practice)

Welcome to Theological Education, by  Reflective Practice, Formation, and Supervision in Ministry (2018 issue of Reflective Practice)

“In Memoriam — Robert H. Mitchell,” published in The Hymn, Summer 2003.

A Manual of Worship, (with John Skoglund) Judson Press, 1993.


Advisory Board and Vice President: CARe, Center for the Arts and Religion

Chair: Professional Advisory Council for Clinical Pastoral Education at San Francisco Theological Seminary

Editorial Board: Reflective Practice, Formation and Supervision in Ministry

GTU Field Education Directors Group


Collecting hymnals
Attending symphony and chamber music concerts with my husband
Designing and making jewelry