Subject Area

Music, Religion, Theology/Religious Education


Hymn singing was an important practice in the early Methodist movement, a heritage still recognized among Methodists today. In addition to their sermons, John and Charles Wesley used hymns as the primary vehicle to convey the theology and doctrine of Methodism. Unfortunately, the culture of hymn singing is slowly disappearing in many local Methodist churches in Singapore. Due to the rising dominance of contemporary Christian music (CCM) and unique linguistic context in Singapore, congregations who retain hymn singing are struggling as they face the possibility of losing this tradition among younger generations. The restrictions imposed on worship gatherings by the current COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated this problem. This thesis examines the Wesleyan hymn heritage, discusses the reasons for the decline in hymn singing in Methodist congregations in Singapore, and proposes a methodology for helping the Chinese Methodist churches in Singapore to regain the heritage and distinctiveness of Methodism. The goal of my research is to recover discipleship formation through hymn singing. While not advocating a form of denominational triumphalism, Methodists do not need to abandon their distinctive identity, unique experience, and vibrant expressions of the Christian faith in hymn singing to have efficacious worship in the twenty-first century.

Degree Date

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name



Pastoral Music


C. Michael Hawn

Second Advisor

Lorna Lock Nah Khoo


Wesleyan Hymns, Discipleship, Chinese Methodist Churches in Singapore

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License