Dordt University, Jeremy Perigo

Sioux Center, Iowa

To investigate emerging issues in liturgical theology through podcast and video interviews with scholars and practitioners, in order to empower local ministry leaders and churches to discern theologically and imagine liturgically the characteristics of Christian worship in their own context.

Researcher(s): Jeremy Perigo 
Academic Discipline:  Liturgical Theology

Project Summary 

To create online media resources for the investigation of emerging theological issues in free church worship via edited and curated interviews with scholars and practitioners. 

My research via public media interviews will nurture theological reflection and liturgical dialogue among current and future worship leaders of free-church congregation through an accessible and relevant learning format. 

What questions have you asked about worship in the past year?  

In over ten one-hour interviews with leading pastors, scholars, and worship practitioners, numerous questions have emerged. The following two, in particular, have consistently been present: 

  1. In the "free church" tradition, why have theology and worship often been divided?
  2. What are the unique contributions of the "free church" to the study of Christian worship and to the theology and practice of worship of the global Church?

In what ways has or will your project strengthen the worship life of congregations? 

This project is empowering local ministry leaders and churches to discern theologically and imagine liturgically the characteristics of Christian worship in their own context through access to current research in worship studies. Feedback from those serving in the free church contexts testifies to deepened shared meanings and reflection around the practices of worship. As recorded podcasts are shared in worship courses at Dordt in the fall, I believe my students will have an increased understanding of the liturgical theology of non-denominational and inter-denominational free church contexts. 

What have been your greatest challenges (or challenging opportunities)? 

During live recordings, I found that the discussion with the guest immediately after our recorded discussion is more interesting and passionate as we reflected together on our themes. I am continually reflecting on increasing saliency in a live recording. 

I engaged with a number of global liturgical theologians, who have not been able to join me for an interview due to personal challenges. Reading a number of their monographs was useful and shaped my thinking, yet I feel that my research is lacking their specific and unique contributions. 

What advice would you like to share with other Teacher-Scholars? 

Create work, rest, and research rhythms that fit your unique situation. Due to some personal health issues, family loss, and workload shifts, I have had moments where I needed to draw away from this project. Setting research aside for a few moments to refuel enabled me to return to the work energized. 

What products will emerge from your project? 

The central application of my research on free church liturgical theology is the creation of fifteen podcast interviews. Though they are created as learning resources to enable Dordt undergraduate students to engage with foundational research in theology and worship, these edited interviews are being released publicly for free. A number of these interviews are already available across all major digital podcast platforms.  

See for current releases.