Paul Galbreath

Professor of Worship and Preaching

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Phone: 804.340.4615

Location: Richmond

Department: Practical Theology


University of Heidelberg, Dr. theol.

Baylor University, Ph.D.

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Th.M.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, M.Div.

Stetson University, B.A.



Paul Galbreath is Professor of Worship and Preaching at Union Presbyterian Seminary.  He came to the seminary in 2005 from the Office of Theology and Worship where he served as a member of the General Assembly staff for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 

Galbreath’s first doctorate degree focused on the intersection between narrative criticism, Christology and psychological theory.  He followed the work thesis that focused on a comparison of the narrative approaches of Paul Ricouer and Hans Frei.  An invitation to further theological study in Germany, led him to the University of Heidelberg where he wrote a second dissertation that applied the contributions of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s language philosophy to a hermeneutic of liturgical language.

An ordained Presbyterian teaching elder, Galbreath has served congregations in Clatskanie, Woodburn, and Warrenton, Oregon as well as in Tacoma, Washington.  In 2001, he was elected Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.  His service to the church includes leadership roles as a member of the Consultation on Common Texts, a delegate to the English Language Liturgical Consultation, a member of the Sacrament Study Task Force and a member of the Cooperative Committee on Examinations.

A primary research interest for Galbreath has focused on sacramental ethics, or ways to explore connections between worship and daily life.  This work led to the publication of two books:  Leading from the Table (Alban, 2008) and Leading through the Water (Alban, 2011) which respectively examine the eucharist and baptismal liturgies in order to discern sacramental patterns and practices that are a part of our daily life.  In addition, Galbreath published Doxology and Theology (Peter Lang, 2008) and is co-author of the lectionary commentary New Proclamation: Year B, 2011-2012, Advent Through Holy Week  (Fortress, 2011).  His current research is on liturgy and ecology.

In 1981, he married Jan Vincent Galbreath, who works as a speech pathologist for the Richmond Public School District.   Their son Andi lives in Portland, Oregon where he is a performance artist and yoga instructor.  Galbreath’s interests include art, architecture, film, soccer (particularly the Portland Timbers), and baseball.


Books, Publications & Workshops

Leading into the World

New Proclamation: Year B, 2011-2012, Advent Through Holy Week 

Leading through the Water

Leading from the Table

Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching and the Arts (39.1 year B)

Faculty Speaking Engagements and Events

Dean's Forum - "Leading into the World"

3:30pm Reception, 4:10pm Dean's Forum Addressing Eco-Friendly Worship
Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA
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"Tradition with a Twist: Renewing Worship"

March 6 to 8, Church Retreat in Montreat, NC
Shandon Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC

"Earth Care as Christian Discipleship"

9:30 to 10:30 am, Adult Forum
Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, Williamsburg, VA

"Tracing the Sacramental Circle: Baptism, Eucharist and Creation Care"

May 28 - 31 at the College Theology Society Annual Convention
University of Portland, Portland, OR
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Preacher at Sacred Music 2016 Summer Conference

7:30 p.m.
Great Bridge Presbyterian Church, Chesapeake, VA
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Workshop Leader, Sacred Music 2016 Summer Conference

10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk, VA
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Courses Taught

Introduction to Preaching and Worship, Eucharist, Baptism and Christian Initiation, Worship and Ecology, Worship as Pastoral Care, Ritual Theory, Reformed Worship