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Hurlburt Hall (Room 136), McMaster Divinity College,
1280 Main St W
Hamilton , Ontario
Wed, March 29, 2023
Start: 01:00 PM
End: 02:00 PM

At this week’s Theological Research Seminar, Carson Mok will present, “Congregational Singing as Social Identity Shaping in Toronto Cantonese Worship Services.” Read the abstract and his bio below.

All are welcome to attend in Hurlburt Hall (room 136) at McMaster Divinity College at 1:00pm or via livestream at the link below:

Join the Livestream
Password: z00m (Note that the password has zeros rather than “o”)


Congregational singing is widely acknowledged as a doxology to God. Yet, opinions differ on how congregational singing influences the worshippers’ lives. Some believe that group singing prepares the heart for the sermon, while others believe it has formational implications. This project explores how congregational singing (i.e., the practice) communicates biblical identities (i.e., theology) and facilitates social identity renegotiations within a person’s life. The Identity Control Theory is employed as this study’s theoretical framework.
The research presented exercises the essence of practice theology by conducting critical inquiry and reflection on the theological, theoretical, and practical orientation of congregational singing in Greater Toronto Area Cantonese worship services. A literature review concerning these three orientations of congregational singing is discussed, which contributes to bringing the multidisciplinary voices together for a meaning-making dialogue. The integrative use of multiple research methods, including participant observation, online questionnaire, and qualitative interview, help extract and analyze how this social identity-shaping process occurs in congregational singing within the research context.


Carson Mok is currently a third-year Doctor of Practical Theology student. He is a full-time pastor at Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church. He is also Ministry director and volunteer pastor at Grace Melodia Toronto Worship Music and Evangelistic Ministry. He is passionate in the areas of worship, music, and discipleship.


About TRS

The MDC Theological Research Seminar (TRS) is a bimonthly gathering for all MDC students and faculty. TRS meets over the lunch hour on Wednesdays, and includes about thirty minutes for the paper presentation and twenty minutes for discussion.

All advanced degree students are invited to present a paper and share your research with your colleagues. TRS is an excellent opportunity to “test drive” a paper you will be presenting at an upcoming conference and receive helpful feedback on your current research projects. Thinking about submitting an article to a journal and want some interaction first? TRS will provide it. Just published an article or an essay and want to share it us? TRS is an excellent opportunity to broadcast it.

This year the organizing committee consists of Dr. Francis PangDr. Wendy Porter, and Dr. Steve Studebaker. To submit a paper, contact a member of the organizing committee.