Carol R. S. McDaniel has returned to her alma mater with over 35 years of experience in church music and music education. She previously served as the minister of music/organist at Bethany Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Long Beach, California. She also served on the music faculty of Concordia University Irvine (California) for over 20 years, most recently as professor of music and director of the parish music program.
McDaniel earned a B.S. in education at Concordia, Nebraska, and an M.M. in organ performance at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she was a graduate teaching assistant. She has studied with Charles Ore, David Held, Quentin Faulkner, George Ritchie, Marianne Webb, Esther Jones and Michael Burkhardt. She received her doctorate in worship studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in 2007. Her dissertation focused on renewing the practice of spiritual disciplines.
McDaniel has presented at the LCMS national worship conference, the Women’s Institute of Leadership national conference and many local and district workshops and conferences. In late 2021, she presented two sessions at the LCMS Nebraska All-Professional Church Workers’ Conference on “Convergent Worship and Worship Renewal.”
McDaniel also enjoys writing hymn texts and tunes, recently collaborating with composers Christian Guebert, Alex Guebert and Matthew Riley. Her latest commissioned text was featured at the 2021 Concordia University Irvine Christmas celebration, held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, and broadcast on PBS. She is passionate about spiritual formation and has led several women’s Bible study retreats: Surrounded!, Planted, Never Alone, RE-newed, M.O.M. and, most recently, Take Heart!
McDaniel started faithtalkministry in June of 2022, and regularly blogs there with devotions and other inspirational thoughts. She was elected and appointed to the national Board of Directors for the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM) in August of 2023, and is helping to facilitate the local Hearts, Hands and Voices Workshop for ALCM in Seward this fall.
She and her husband Gary, who also serves at Concordia, have four adult children—all in Lutheran church work—and four young grandsons. They enjoy traveling abroad and spending time in the Pacific Southwest with their children’s families.