School of Music


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)


Hanna Byrd


Worship, Pandemic, Unity, New Normal, Intergenerational, Phygital, Ecumenism, Post-Covid, Incarnational Lifestyle Worship, worship theology, Missional, Livestream, hybrid worship, Digital worship


Liturgy and Worship | Music


The Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 was a clarion call to the church in America. The crisis illuminated existing challenges and introduced new ones while offering unprecedented opportunities. Almost overnight, church doors were closed, and services had to be either canceled or creatively reinvented to be shared across digital platforms. In a Christ-like display of unity, a wide array of church leaders who were more adept at technology offered their wisdom to help others struggling to keep their worshiping communities connected online. Information on the widespread effects of this Pandemic on the church and its worship is still unfolding. To this end, this study utilizes a qualitative approach combined with an interpretive phenomenological approach to survey American pastors and worship leaders to discern the main practical and theological issues facing them today, as well as discover how churches can work together more effectively to display an incarnational lifestyle of worship to both their faith communities and their local communities. This study further contributes to this body of evolving knowledge by highlighting the church’s God-ordained redemptive role, especially in times of crisis. Therefore, this study aims to uncover a spiritually cooperative worship theology and promote further dialogue among 21st Century church leaders to bring a renewed and sustainable sense of unity to God’s people as God leads the church through its “New Normal” to its “Next Normal.”