"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9

Nancy Hall, Associate Professor of Ministry and Director of Contextual Education

Nancy Hall

Associate Professor of Ministry and Director of Contextual Education

Contact Nancy Hall

nhall@absw.edu; (510) 841-1905 X232

B.A., San Diego State University

M.Div., American Baptist Seminary of the West

D.Min., San Francisco Theological Seminary


After twenty-five years as an ABSW faculty member, I continue to be excited and blessed by the educational mission of our school. My primary interest and passion in teaching and in ministry are the fields of music and worship. I offer seminar-style classes such as “How Hymns Shape Worship and Faith,” “Planning Congregational Music,” and “Leading Music for Worship.”


Along with teaching, I am living out my call to ministry as the pastor and musician for First Baptist Church of Berkeley, a small congregation whose home is on the ABSW campus. I feel strongly that all churches deserve the opportunity to drink deeply every week from the wells of music – as well as liturgy, scripture and preaching – that give hope, insight, comfort, and joy. Our singing needs to reflect both the certainty of God’s love and the questions that are raised every day by life in community and as global citizens. My work in creating weekly worship and liturgy goes hand in hand with my call as an educator.


Since 1993, I have directed ABSW’s Contextual Education program. I love the challenge of helping students plan for an internship year and working as part of a teaching team for the Middler Colloquium. While many students choose to spend nine months serving a congregation, we also make it possible to work in other types of community settings. Recent internship placements have included the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General Hospital, and CityTeam ministries in Oakland. It is wonderful to experience the stretching and growth of our ABSW students, as they give service and encounter real life issues and opportunities.


Another way I answer my call to ministry is through membership in The Hymn Society of the United States and Canada (www.thehymnsociety.org). From 2009 to 2011 I served as editor of The Hymn, A Journal of Congregational Song, the Society’s quarterly journal for church musicians, scholars, clergy, composers, and poets. Work with The Hymn Society has taken me across the continent in recent years, for leadership and conferences. I was also privileged to be part of a team of dedicated Baptists who created a new hymnal, Celebrating Grace, published in 2010.


What a blessing it is for me to combine all of these pursuits. At ABSW, my own alma mater, I am proud to say that we are dedicated to helping every person find his or her unique calling from God. 



Hymn Society of the United States and Canada (since 1981)

Association for Theological Field Education (since 1994)

Ministers Council of the Greater Bay Area



A Manual of Worship, New Edition, was published in 1993 by Judson Press, and written by co-authors and ABSW faculty members John E. Skoglund and Nancy E. Hall. Still in print after twenty years, it is intended to help ministers, lay persons, and congregations enrich their worship life and worship planning. It is designed for use by free churches; the term "free church" refers to those congregations that do not have prescribed and required forms of worship. This book has been described as "An invaluable resource for pastors, worship leaders, and seminarians as they prepare for the challenges of worship ministry."


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


Researcher: A Heart to Praise Our God: Celebrating Lesbian and Gay Poets and Composers (The Hymn, Vol. 62, No. 3, Autumn 2011).


Book review: “Welcome to Theological Education,” Matthew Floding, editor (Alban Institute, 2011); for the journal Reflective Practice, Formation, and Supervision in Ministry.