Back to the faculty/staff directory

Paul A. Richardson  Professor of Music

Paul Richardson
Contact Information

Email me
Phone: (205) 726-2496
Office: Buchanan Hall 308

Bachelor of Music (voice performance and church music), Mars Hill College
Master of Church Music (voice performance), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Musical Arts (church music: voice performance and musicology), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
postdoctoral studies, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School/ Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminary; Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester; Regents Park College, University of Oxford
Biographical Information
Paul A. Richardson is a native of Stuart, Virginia. Since earning degrees in North Carolina and Kentucky, he has been a teacher and administrator in higher education, first in Kentucky and, since joining the Samford faculty in 1995, in Alabama. He and his wife Susan, who holds graduate degrees in library science and organ performance, are members of Birmingham's Baptist Church of the Covenant. They enjoy travel, reading, and spectator sports. They are parents of two adult children: Robert, a reporter, and Rachel, a graduate student in mental health counseling.
Dr. Richardson's principal area of research and writing is hymnology (congregational song).  In connection with his writing and speaking, he has conducted extensive archival research in England, Canada, and the United States. His principal current project is an extensive revision, with Michael Hawn of Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, of Sing with Understanding, a textbook for congregational song by Harry Eskew and Hugh T. McElrath.
In addition to formal education, he has participated in several conferences funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment: "Christian Scholarship and Academic Culture," "Teaching Theology through Music," "Teaching Hymnology," and "Singing What We Believe."
Member of:
Alliance of Baptists: Board Member, 1998-2002, 2005-2008; Treasurer, 2010-
Baptist History and Heritage Society
Hymn Society in the United States and Canada: Secretary-Treasurer, 1988-92; President-elect, 1992-94; President, 1994-96; Editorial Advisory Board, 2005-07; Financial Development Committee, 2012-
Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland
Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie
National Association of Teachers of Singing
Virginia Baptist Historical Society
John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, Samford University
Alumnus of the Year, Mars Hill College
Fellow, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada
A.  Author or Joint Author
Hymns for Private Devotion (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1986; rev.1988)
Make the Message Clear and Plain: A Guide to Singing in English Using the International Phonetic Alphabet (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1986)
Singing Baptists: Studies in Baptist Hymnody in America, with Harry Eskew and David W. Music (Church Street Press, 1994)
The Journey Is Our Home, with Gary A. Furr (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 1999)
A Panorama of Christian Hymnody, extensive revision and expansion of the 1979 work by Eric Routley (GIA, 2005)
Will You Come and Follow Me: Resources for Corporate Worship and Private Devotion Considering Faith, Vocation, and Learning (Samford University Press, 2007)
"I Will Sing the Wondrous Story": A History of Baptist Hymnody in America, with David W. Music (Mercer University Press, 2008)
Jubilate, Amen! a Festschrift for Donald P. Hustad, with Tim Sharp (Pendragon Press, 2010)
B.  Contributor
The Worship Leaders’ Edition of The Worshiping Church, A Hymnal (Hope, 1991)
Handbook to The Baptist Hymnal (Convention, 1992)
The New Century Hymnal Companion: A Guide to the Hymns (Pilgrim Press, 1998)
The Minister's Manual (Jossey-Bass, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Strengthen for Service:100 Years of The English Hymnal, 1906-2006 (Canterbury Press, 2005)
Festschrifts for William L. Hendricks (1997), William J. Reynolds (1998), Hugh T. McElrath (2006), Harry Eskew (2008), and Donald P. Hustad (2010)
C.  Reference Works
American National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1999)
Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology (Canterbury Press, 2013)
Grove Dictionary of American Music (Oxford University Press and Grove Music Online, forthcoming)
D.  Periodicals
More than 75 articles and 100 reviews in a variety of professional and popular journals
E. Editorial Roles
Editorial board, Review and Expositor, 1985-91; Issue editor, “Worship,” Winter 1988; Book review editor, 1990-91
Contributing editor, The Hymn, 1988-
Committee member, The Worshiping Church: A Hymnal (Hope, 1990)
Editor, Southern Baptist Church Music Journal, 1991-94
Editor, Links: The Newsletter of the Worship Resources Network, 1998-2000
Editorial advisory board, The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song, 2005-2007
Committee chair, organization and format, Celebrating Grace Hymnal for Baptist Worship (Celebrating Grace, 2010)
Numerous presentations to professional, church, and civic groups, mostly related to worship and music. Recent topics include:
Andrew Broaddus and the Evolution of Hymnody in Virginia, 1790-1840
Baptist Hymnody, Baptist Spirituality
Carols and Lessons: Singing between Christ and Culture
E. E. Ayres: Pastor, Professor, and Polyphonist
The Human Voice as a Sound Source
The Art of Hymnody; The Artisans of Hymnody; The Artifacts of Hymnody (series)
Hymns in Personal Devotion
Music in Early Christian Worship
The Poteats: Baptists, Liberals, and Church Musicians
Same or Different: Teaching Performers in Academia
Singing New Songs
So, You're a Hymnologist
Three Books That Nourish the Church
What a Hymnologist Wants You to Know; What a Hymnologist Wants to Know about You (series)
Zebulon Estey's New Brunswick Church Harmony (1835)