Program Director, Master of Sacred Music
Deer Park Associate Professor of Sacred Music
Teaching and Research Interests
Dr. Lim, Swee Hong is the Deer Park Associate Professor of Sacred Music at Emmanuel College, and the Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program. Before joining Emmanuel on July 1, 2012, Swee Hong served as an Assistant Professor of Church Music at Baylor University, Texas. Prior to his work at Baylor, he served as a Lecturer of Worship, Liturgy, and Music at Trinity Theological College in Singapore.
Swee Hong holds a PhD in Liturgical Studies from Drew University, where his dissertation won the Helen LePage and William Hale Chamberlain Prize for Outstanding Dissertation. He also holds a Master of Arts in Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology. He completed his undergraduate work in Church Music at the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music in the Philippines. Swee Hong is well-published in global music, with his monograph, Giving Voice to Asian Christians, especially known among global musicians. He is also a prolific composer of congregational songs.
Swee Hong’s research area is in Postcolonial Contextual worship music practices, particularly in Asia, and Contemporary Praise & Worship music-making in North America. In this area, he examines how worship music-making is shaping Christian identity and spirituality. In his teaching, Swee Hong is passionate in helping students understand the context of worship music making and being equipped with the necessary skill set to carry out their pastoral music leadership responsibilities. To that end, he encourages students to participate in academic conferences and submit their research efforts for publications.
A History of Contemporary Praise & Worship: Understanding the Ideas That Reshaped the Protestant Church. Coauthored with Lester Ruth. (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakers Academic, 2021).
Sing a New Song to the Lord: Works by Lim Swee Hong (Hong Kong: Alpha & Omega Arts Management Ltd., 2019).
Faith, Hope, and Love: Songs for the Church (Carol Stream, IL: Hope Publishing Company, 2017).
Lovin’ on Jesus: A History of Contemporary Worship. Coauthored with Lester Ruth (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2017).
“Deep in the Human Heart” (NGAKAU NIWHA). WLP Choral Series. 009449. (Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications, 2018)
“In the Stillness of this Hour” (AMAITI).
“Justice Like a River” (EIRENE).
“Planter of Gardens, Sender of Rain” (SEONGJANG).
“We Give You Thanks for Every Faith” (GANEN).
Dan Damon, My Child is a Flower: Seventy New Hymns, Chants, and Arrangements.
(Carol Stream, IL: Hope Publishing Co., 2017)
“Love Consecrates the Humblest Act.” Parish Choral Series. MSM-50-3103. (St. Louis, MO: Morningstar Music Publishers, 2017)
"Potting Christianity: Ecumenical Worship in Its Multicultural and Multi-Ethnic Context." Religions. 13, no. 1: 73, January 2022.
“Reconciliation and Song: Being God’s Message to the World,” Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching and the Arts, 55:4 (Louisville: Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), March 2022)
“Nashville and Sydney Are Not the World: The Transnational Migration of Sources for Chinese Contemporary Worship Songs,” in Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship. Lester Ruth, ed. (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2019)
“We’re all 'Bananas and Coconuts': Congregational Song in the Global South.” International Journal of Practical Theology. 23:1, 2019, 136–156. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijpt-2018-0059
“Postcolonial Congregational Song.” Hymnists and Liturgists: Historical and Theological Introductions. Mark Lamport, Benjamin Forrest, and Vernon Whaley, eds. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publishers, 2019)
““Where is our song going” vis a vis “Where should our song be going?”: The Trajectory of “Global Song” in North America.” The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song. 69:2, 2018, 8-11.
“Blessed Are the Poor: Lessons from the Music of the Global South.” The Yale ISM Review. Vol. 4: No. 2 (2018), Article 4.
“History of Praise and Worship Music.” Voices United. Season 1 Episode 3. Podcast, Ben Brody, ed. (Dallas, TX: The Center for Congregational Song, 2018)
“Just Call Me by My Name: Worship Music in Asian Ecumenism.” The Ecumenical Review. 60:4, 2017, 502-515. DOI: 10.1111/erev.12317
“What is the Right Kind of Worship … If You Want North American Congregations to Sing Global Songs?” Global Forum on Arts and Christian Faith. 5:1, 2017, 48-57.
“Forming Christians through Musicking in China.” Religions. 8:50, April 2017
Memberships & Ecclesial Affiliations
Member, United Methodist Church, USA
Member, Methodist Church in Singapore
Hymn Society in the United States and Canada
International Academy of Practical Theology
North American Academy of Liturgy
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada
EMP 2861 HF Songs of the Church (Hymnology)
EMP 2875 HY Toronto School of Theology Choir
EMP 3145 HS Practicum with Integrative Project
EMP 3855/6855 HS Global and Contemporary Worship Song Leadership
EMP 3858 HS Sacred Music in Christian History
Director of Music, 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches
Member, The Foundation on Theological Education in Southeast Asia
Editor, Emmanuel College Music Series
Fellow, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada