Don Saliers

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Don E. Saliers (born 1937) is an American theologian specializing in homiletics and liturgics. He was the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Although he retired from Candler in 2007, Professor Saliers returned to Candler as Theologian-in-Residence in 2015.[1]


Saliers received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, and both his Bachelor of Divinity and his Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Yale University.[2] He also attended the University of Cambridge.[1]


He is a musician, theologian, and scholar of liturgics. Among the instruments he plays are the organ[3] and the piano[4] He is also a United Methodist pastor[3] and a poet.[5]

Saliers joined the Emory University faculty in 1974.[6][1] He was the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Although he retired in 2007,[5] he is currently Theologian-in-Residence and a professor emeritus.[2] In addition to teaching theology and worship,[7] he directed the master of sacred music program there.[4] He has also taught at Notre Dame, St. John’s, Vancouver School of Theology, and Boston College.[1]

Among the fifteen books Saliers has written,[1] are several on the relationship between theology and worship practices. He also co-authored A Song to Sing, a Life to Live with his daughter Emily Saliers, a member of the folk-rock music duo Indigo Girls.[7] Among the places the two have performed and spoken publicly are a United Methodist Women’s convention in Anaheim, California in May 2006,[7] the Washington National Cathedral in 2007,[4] and a United Methodist Board of Church and Society reception in 2016.[5]

Saliers has served as president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.[1] He is a chaplain to the American Guild of Organists.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Don Saliers and his wife Jane (née Firmin; a retired librarian) have four daughters, including Emily Saliers, a musician who is one half of the folk duo Indigo Girls.[1][8] They have resided in the metro Atlanta area for over 40 years.[6] He has five grandchildren.[9]

A music room at Emory University's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts was named for Don and Jane Saliers and partly funded by their daughter Emily.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Biographical Sketch: Don E. Saliers". The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Don E. Saliers". Emory University. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Staff Report (August 25, 2016). "Dr. Don Saliers visits First-Centenary for series of programs". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Ties That Bind: A Folk-Rocker and a Theologian Make Heavenly Music". Washington National Cathedral. October 14, 2007. Archived from the original on November 16, 2008. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Brodie, Jessica (May 14, 2016). "Indigo Girls call on United Methodists to love, support all people". United Methodist Church. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Douglas-Brown, Laura (September 24, 2015). "Indigo Girls come home to Emory". Emory Report. Emory University. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Tooley, Mark (June 6, 2006). "The Indigo Girl and God". American Spectator. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  8. ^ MacNeil, Jason (September 24, 2013). "Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers Announces Marriage To Canadian Girlfriend at Vancouver Gig". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  9. ^ McKee, Jenn (June 18, 2015). "Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers talks about motherhood, her solo record and more". Ann Arbor, Michigan. Retrieved December 5, 2016.

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