Becca Whitla

Becca Whitla has more than 20 years of experience animating liturgy and community singing in multiple contexts. In her teaching and scholarship she focuses on how congregational and community singing can embody a liberating praxis that nourishes and affirms fuller expressions of complex cultural identities in liturgy. She celebrates and fosters diverse multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic communities. Part of her commitment is to equip churches and church leaders to model and shape diversity and inclusion in our present social climate.


  • BFA (Hons, Music and Humanities), York University (1991)
  • MMus (Sacred Music) Emmanuel College, University of Toronto (2013)
  • PhD (Pastoral Studies), St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto (2019)

Research and Teaching Interests:

Liturgy/Worship, Congregational and Community Singing, Liturgical and Liberationist Theologies, Postcolonial and Decolonial Theories, Choral Conducting.

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Selected Publications


  • Liberation, (De)Coloniality, and Liturgical Practices: Flipping the Song Bird. Palgrave MacMillan, 2020.
  • Decolonizing Church, Theology, and Ethics in Canada. Co-edited with Néstor Medina. McGill-Queens University Press, Forthcoming.
  • Songs from the Heart: 46 Community Hymns, editor. Toronto: Holy Trinity Church, 2007.

 Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Theological Challenge of Territorial Acknowledgements in Liturgy.” Worship, forthcoming, January, 2022.
  • “Liturgy in a Decolonial Key” International Academy of Practical Theology Conference Series, (2021).
  • With Néstor Medina and Ary Fernández-Albán. “Liberation Theologies, Decolonial Thinking, & Practical Theologies: Odd Combinations?” International Journal of Practical Theology, forthcoming (2021).
  • “Postcolonial and Decolonial Perspectives on Hymnody.” Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology. July, 2020.
  • “Hymnody in Missionary Lands: A Decolonial Critique.” In Hymns and Hymnody: Historical and Theological Introductions, Volume 2: From Catholic Europe to Protestant Europe, The Lutterworth Press, 2019.
  • “Poison or Cure? Christianity/ies as Postcoloniality’s ‘Other.'” Interventions (2019).
  • With Néstor Medina, “(An)other Canada is Possible: Rethinking Canada’s Colonial Legacy.” Horizontes Decoloniales / Decolonial Horizons (2019).
  • “Singing as un Saber del Sur, or Another Way of Knowing.” Toronto Journal of Theology (2017).
  • “Revolution and the Reign of God: Cuban Hymnody Gives Voice to a Distinctly Liberative Theology.” The Hymn, (Winter and Spring, 2015).
  • “The Colonizing Power of Song.” In Decoloniality and Justice: Theological Perspectives (Saõ Leopoldo: Oikos, 2018)

CD Recordings:

  • Echo Women’s Choir (2001, 2017), Toronto School of Theology Choir (2015), H.E.R.E.[Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees] Local 75 Choir (2004), Alan Gasser, tenor (1998).

Professional and Academic Background

  • Emmanuel College, University of Toronto: Director of Chapel, Director of Toronto School of Theology Choir, Research Fellow for Professor Lim Swee Hong (2012-2019).
  • Seminario Evangélico de Teología de Matanzas, Cuba, Adjunct Faculty (2016).
  • Echo Women’s Choir, Toronto, Co-Founder, Artistic Co-director (1991-2019).
  • Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto, Music Director (1992-2012).
  • Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (H.E.R.E.) Local 75 Choir, Toronto, Founding Director (1999-2004).
  • Liturgical and Music Leadership: Sorrento Centre, Momentum (Anglican), KAIROS, PWRDF, Worldongs Vocal Camp; CAW/UNIFOR, CUPE Village Harmony.
  • Secretary, Hymn Society of the United States and Canada (2017-2021).
  • Memberships: International Academy of Practical Theology, Canadian Theological Society, American Academy of Religion, Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, Hymn Society of the United States and Canada.