About Ruth Duck

Ruth C. Duck is an internationally renowned hymnwriter, with over 150 hymn texts and psalm paraphrases appearing in denominational hymnals and supplements in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Scotland, and England. Her most recent single author collection is The Poetry of Grace (Hope Publishing Co., 2015). Previous collections include Welcome God’s Tomorrow (GIA, 2005), Circles of Care (The Pilgrim Press, 1999), and Dancing in the Universe (GIA, 1992).

A scholar of worship and liturgy, Duck initially began her writing by adapting older hymns to include language that was more inclusive. She edited and contributed to the groundbreaking contemporary language hymn collection Everflowing Streams—Songs for Worship (1981).

Born in Washington, D.C., Duck earned degrees from Southwestern University (B.A.), Chicago Theological Seminary (M.Div.), University of Notre Dame (M.A.), and Boston University School of Theology (Th.D.). Her areas of study included Christian education, liturgy, and worship, with doctoral work on the Trinitarian baptismal formula. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Duck served churches in Hartford and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was Professor of Worship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary for many years, teaching congregational song, healing and reconciliation, and worship and the arts.

A hymn text writer for over forty years, in 2013 Ruth Duck was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. She currently lives in Claremont, California.

“Her hymn texts and worship resources call for a world that looks more like God’s vision for the world, with flourishing nature, especially birds, and flourishing human relationships based on justice, mercy, and love.”
ROBIN KNOWLES WALLACE, Professor at Methodist Theological School in Ohio

Teaching and learning about Christian liturgy is endlessly fascinating. Students are passionate about the praise and worship of God and eagerly discuss questions from the meaning of baptism to the place of announcements in worship. Prayer, preaching, and the breaking of bread are common threads of Christian worship, while contrasting textures of worship styles from varied cultures and traditions show how the gospel is incarnate in particular contexts. For all these reasons, studying worship is exciting; above all, teaching and learning about worship inspire awe and humility, because as planners and leaders of congregational praise, we share in the Spirit’s labor to draw humanity into just and loving relationship with God and all creation.”   —Ruth Duck