Dr. Joe Herl

“What Going To Church In The 16th Century Was Like.”
Download the handout for Dr. Herl’s presentation.
Thank-you to Dr. Herl’s Christian Liturgy Class for providing special music in this presentation..
Thank-you to David Werner, Director of the Instructional Technolgy Center of Concordia University,
for providing video services for this event.
Dr. Joseph Herl will be presenting “Worship in the Sixteenth Century: What going to church in the sixteenth century was like,” in conjunction with the 500th Reformation Anniversary Celebration at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in the Music Center’s Recital Hall at Concordia University, Nebraska. 

Dr. Herl is professor of music at Concordia University, Nebraska, teaching courses in music history, music theory, liturgy, hymnody and church music.  

He is also an active composer with compositions and collections published by Oxford University Press, Concordia Publishing House, and MorningStar Music Publishers. Three of his original hymns, 22 hymn settings, one hymn translation and one liturgical setting were included in the “Lutheran Service Book.” His book, “Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism: Choir, Congregation, and the Three Centuries of Conflict,” was published by Oxford University Press and awarded the 2005 Roland Bainton Prize of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference for best book in its field.

Currently, Herl is editing a historical companion for the “Lutheran Service Book,” which will tell the story behind each hymn in the hymnal. It is scheduled for publication in 2018.

Herl has served at Concordia for 17 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, his master’s degree in organ performance from North Texas State University and his doctorate in musicology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at Illinois, he spent more than a year in Germany on a Fulbright dissertation research grant. Additionally, he has earned the Associate and Choirmaster certificates of the American Guild of Organists.

He currently serves as organist of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lincoln.


Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.Mus., North Texas State University
B.A., Concordia College, Bronxville, New York