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Mary E. McGann, R.S.C.J., Ph.D.

Adjunct Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies

B.Mus., Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart (Purchase, New York)

M.A., LaSalle University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
M.A., University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)
Cours de musicologie liturgique, Institut Catholique de Paris (Paris, France)
Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California)
Phone: (510) 549-5000
Office Hours: By appointment

Mary McGann 2018


About the Professor

Mary McGann, R.S.C.J., joins the JST faculty as Adjunct Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies in the Spring of 2015, after teaching at the Franciscan School of Theology (formerly of the GTU) from 1996-2014. She has taught courses in liturgy and spirituality; women, spirituality, and worship; enculturation and liturgy; liturgical leadership; ecology and liturgy; the art of liturgical prayer; ritual studies; and ethnographic research methods.

Dr. McGann holds degrees in music/ethnomusicology and liturgical studies, and has done ethnographic research into music performance in African American Catholic worship. While at the Franciscan School, she directed the Global Theological Education program from its inception in 2008 through 2014. She has been a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty of the GTU since 2002, and a consulting professor in ritual studies for the University of California's program in ethnomusicology since 1996. Dr. McGann has been the recipient of a Lilly Small Research Grant (2001-2002), has directed two Newhall Fellowships at the GTU, and served as a faculty mentor for the Teagle-Wabash Fellowship program, "Preparing Future Teachers" (GTU, 2007-2009).

Dr. McGann's current research interests focus on global ecological challenges regarding fresh water and food, and how these challenges intersect Christian sacramental practices of Baptism and Eucharist. She is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy (where she initiated and convened the Ecology and Liturgy Seminar, 2010-2013); the American Academy of Religion; Societas Liturgica; and the Society for Ethnomusicology, and she has delivered papers at annual meetings of each of these organizations. Her book, A Precious Fountain: Music in the Worship of an African American Catholic Community was awarded first place in Liturgy from the Catholic Press Association in 2005.

Courses Recently Offered

LSSP 4364: Women, Spirituality, and Worship (Spring 2015)
LSST 4181: Inculturation and Liturgy (Spring 2015)
LSST 4015: Ecology and Liturgy (Fall 2015)
FTLS 3216: Liturgical Preparation and Lay Presiding (Spring 2016)



  • Let It Shine! The Emergence of African American Catholic Liturgy. New York: Fordham University Press, 2008 (with contributions from Eva Marie Lumas, S.S.S. and Ronald D. Harbor).
  • A Precious Fountain: Music in the Worship of an African American Catholic Community. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2004.
  • Exploring Music as Worship and Theology: Research in Liturgical Practice. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2002.


  • "Committed to Earth"s Waters For Life: Baptism in a Time of Global Water Crisis." Drenched in Grace, Lizette Larson Miller and Walt Knowles, eds. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Press, 2013.
  • "Making Vital Connections: Developing Creational Consciousness in Life and Worship." Liturgy (Spring, 2012).
  • "Liturgical-Musical Ethnography: Challenges and Promise," Jaarboek vor Liturgie-Onderzoek, Tillburg, Netherlands, Deel 26, 2010.
  • "Teaching Rites Ritually," in Teaching Ritual, Catherine Bell, ed. AAR"s Teaching Theology series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • "Timely Wisdom, Prophetic Challenge: Rediscovering Clarence R.J. Rivers" Vision of Effective Worship," Worship 76:1 (January, 2002) 2-24.
  • "The Emergence of African American Catholic Worship," co-authored with Eva Marie Lumas, U.S. Catholic Historian, 2:10 (Spring, 2001) 27-65.
  • "Hymn and Anaphora in Early Christian Liturgy," Ecclesia Orans, 17:3 (2000) 407-443.
  • "Music and the Eucharistic Prayer," (co-authored with Edward Foley) American Essays in Liturgy Series. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1988.