July 2021 – Drew’s Craig Chapel is synonymous with music—the walls are filled with the sound of song. This is largely because of the passionate musical influence Mark Miller brings to Drew Theological School.
Miller, who earned the 2021 Theological School teacher of the year award, has been leading the school in song since 1994. Miller applied to an opening for a musical director at Drew at the suggestion of his father, Charles W. Miller C’55, T’64—and the rest is now history.
Drew’s Director of Craig Chapel and Composer in Residence, Miller also recently earned a promotion to full professor of church music.
When Drew pivoted to virtual instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller was able to continue to connect the Drew community in song and worship from their homes. “Virtual chapel services have been a revelation on what it means to gather people together in a worship setting,” said Miller. “You wouldn’t have been able to convince me that online worship could be as meaningful and memorable as in-person. But it has happened and is happening—worship services that are (in some ways) even more spiritually rich and compelling than what had come before. We have expanded our concept of space and time. Now people from beyond our geographical boundaries join in synchronous worship and on the other hand, people can log on and participate any time they want.”
Staying active in his craft, Miller serves as the Minster of Music at Christ Church in Summit, New Jersey, as well as a Lecturer in the Practice of Sacred Music at Yale University—his alma mater where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in music. Miller also earned his Master of Music in organ performance from The Julliard School.
A lifelong United Methodist, Miller’s desire for inclusivity led him to participate in the United Methodist Church’s General Conference as a delegate in 2000, 2004, and 2012 and as director of music in 2008.
Miller, whose choral anthems are bestsellers for Abingdon Press and Choristers Guild, directs the Seminary and Pan-African Choirs at Drew.