Deborah Ann Wong


click here for a copy of my CV in full

Bridging the Church and Academy in the area of contemporary worship practice


2019 - Present

Duke Divinity School

Th.D. in Liturgical Studies

August 2016 - May 2019

Duke Divinity School

Master of Divinity summa cum laude

Thesis: "The Heart of Worship: The History and Development of Prayer and Praise in Wesley Methodist Church (Singapore)"

August 2009 - May 2013

Carleton College

B.A. in American Studies magna cum laude

Thesis: "What We Talk About When We Talk About Diversity: International Student Experiences as Foreigners in the United States"

Advisor: Dr. Deborah Appleman, Hollis L. Caswell Professor of Educational Studies


A Foundation for Theological Education

Christian Congregational Music Conference: Local and Global Perspectives, Ripon College, Cuddesdon, Oxford

Conference Bursary Award, 2021

The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts

Seminarian Award of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, 2019

Duke Divinity School

Hoyt Hickman Award for Excellence in Liturgics, 2019


2005 - present


Worship Leader

2019 - 2020

Worship Musician

Bright City Church, Durham, NC

2018 - 2019


Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, Durham, NC

2017 - 2019

Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

Goodson Chapel Worship Intern

2017 - 2019

Chapel Band Worship Leader & Coordinator

Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

2017 - 2018

Union Grove United Methodist Church, Durham, NC

Ministerial Intern

2016 - 2017

Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

Gospel Choir Singer

2010 - 2013

Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Mustard Seed Band Worship Leader & Coordinator

2005 - 2016

Barker Road Methodist Church, Singapore

Worship Leader


(scheduled) "The Charismatic Roots of Contemporary Praise and Worship in Singapore Methodism," Paper given for Panel "Constructing a Fuller Historiography of Contemporary Praise & Worship Practices," Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives 2021, Ripon College, Cuddeson, Oxford, Online, Jul. 26 - Aug. 6, 2021.

"Liturgy in Lockdown: Expanding the Notion of Church," Presentation, Pandemic & Religion, Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Virtual Graduate Student Conference, Online, Feb. 27, 2021.

"Liturgy in Lockdown: Unlocking the Sacramentality of Everyday Life," Pandemic Liturgy & Issues of Inequality, North American Academy of Liturgy Emerging Scholars Symposium, Online, Jan. 6-7, 2021.

“Charismatic versus Contemporary: Praise and Worship in Singapore Methodism,” Presentation, Exploring Contemporary & Alternative Worship Seminar, North American Academy of Liturgy Conference, Atlanta, GA, Jan. 3-4, 2020.

“Mind the Gap: Reimagining our Institutional Identities,” Workshop, Lines in the Sand: How Writing Centers Draw and Redraw Boundaries, International Writing Centers Association Conference, San Diego, CA, Oct. 26, 2012.

“Weaving an Effective Web of Writing Center Relations at Small Liberal Arts Colleges,” Panel discussion, On the Isthmus, Midwest Writing Centers Association Biennial Fall Conference, Madison, WI, Oct. 21, 2011.


“Flow: Finding an Ancient Way to do Contemporary Worship,” Panel Presentation, Shepherding Souls in Worship, Methodist School of Music Webinar Series, Singapore (Online), Aug. 7, 2020.

“Christian Worship in its Contemporary Context,” Panel Discussion, Gathered As One, Methodist School of Music Symposium, Singapore, Jun. 22, 2019.

“What Are We Missing When We Talk About Worship?,” Panel Discussion, Gathered As One, Methodist School of Music Symposium, Singapore, Jun. 20, 2019.

“Worship as Community Building: Putting the Congregation Back in Congregational Worship,” Workshop, Gathered As One, Methodist School of Music Symposium, Singapore, Jun. 20, 2019.

“Worship Leading 101,” Workshop, University of North Carolina Wesley Foundation, Chapel Hill, NC, Feb. 19, 2019.

“What is Worship?,” Presentation, Geomot Methodist Church, Daejeon, Korea, July  2016.

“Worship Leading 101,” Workshop, Charis Methodist Church, Singapore, March 2016.

"Band Dynamics 101," Workshop, Live for Christ Youth Ministry, Kyotanabe, Japan, March 2015.


Review of Global Arts and Christian Witness: Exegeting Culture, Translating the Message, and Communicating Christ, by Roberta R. King, Missiology 49, no. 2 (April 2021): 228-229, https://doi-org.proxy.lib.duke.edu/10.1177%2F00918296211009326e.

"Flow: The Ancient Way to Do Contemporary Worship,” Podcast, New Books Network with Ryan Shelton, March 8, 2021. https://newbooksnetwork.com/flow.

“Appendix A: Sample Service Focusing on John 2:1-11” in Flow: The Ancient Way to Do Contemporary Worship (ed. Lester Ruth; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2020), 101-115.

"A Prayer in Search of Holy Connection," visual liturgy in collaboration with The Work of the People,

Dec 2020. https://www.theworkofthepeople.com/prayer-in-search-of-holy-connection.

"Flow: The Ancient Way to Do Contemporary Worship, Part 2," Podcast, Music and the Church with Sarah Bereza, Episode 55, Oct. 12, 2020. https://sarah-bereza.com/55.

Lead vocals, back-up vocals, acoustic guitar on Saviour Messiah King, released July 17, 2016 by Jocelyn Ong,

produced by Loong, Finding My Sound Productions.

Backup vocals on Love of Another Kind EP, released June 16, 2015 by Yap Wei Chiang, produced by Yap Wei Chiang.


2020 - 2021

Curriculum Committee Member

Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC


Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC


Worship & Christian Vocation Task Force Member

The United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries

2018 - 2019

Divinity Student Council, Co-President

Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

2017 - 2018

Asian Theology Group, Co-Facilitator

Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

2014 - 

Methodist Girls' School Alumnae Association Committee Member

Methodist Girls' School Alumnae Association, Singapore


Chapel Hill, NC

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Durham, NC

Oak Church.jpg

Durham, NC

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The Peak UMC logo

Apex, NC

Union Grove UMC logo

Hillsborough, NC

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Chapel Hill, NC