Remembering Doris Borchert

The Institute for Worship Studies is sad to announce the death of IWS professor emerita Dr. Doris Borchert.

Dr. Borchert was the first professor of the MWS internship class, MWS 601, and taught that class from 2004 to 2011. Under her leadership, the internship class received a commendation from IWS’ accrediting association regarding its rigor and comprehensive quality. She was 88 years old at the time of her death.

Besides her professorship at IWS, Dr. Borchert served as a Professor of Christian Education and Director of Supervised Ministry at North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, SD, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago, and Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY. A trailblazer in her role as a seminary professor, her Spiritual Formation classes were always filled quickly, and her students flocked to her office for her wise advice on difficult decisions.

Doris Borchert was a graduate of Eastern College (now University), Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary), and Andover Newton Theological School where she earned her doctorate.  She traveled and taught in over sixteen countries and served the Baptist World Alliance on the Evangelism and Education Commission, and the Christian Education workgroup. While attending Eastern Seminary, she met her husband (IWS professor emeritus Gerald Borchert) who would become her life partner in teaching generations of ministers.

Her family was the joy of her life. Through the years she cherished special times with her grandchildren, embracing the range of childhood adventures, from tea parties to fishing trips.  From her travels she would bring them small treasures from around the world. 

Doris Borchert is survived by her husband, Gerald Borchert; her sons, Mark (Karen) and IWS alumnus Timothy (Angie Joseph); four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 3:00 PM at Grace United Church, 289 North Main Street, Wellsville, New York, 14895. Doris’s daughter-in-law, Rev. Dr. Karen Heil Borchert, will officiate. 

Donations may also be made in memory of Doris to The Gerald and Doris Borchert Scholarship Fund at IWS. Select Scholarship Fund, and write in the comment box “Borchert Scholarship Fund.”) Donations by Checks may be made out to IWS and noted “Borchert Scholarship Fund” and mailed to IWS, 4001 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207. Online condolences may be expressed at

We will miss Doris deeply. Let us weep with those who weep, and let us join with Doris’ family and friends in releasing and commending this woman of God to the God of all peace and comfort: 

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Doris. 

Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

About the author

Dr. James R. Hart served as President of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies from 2007-2024. Dr. Hart was a member of the first IWS doctoral class, the Alpha class, and served as Dean of Students during his matriculation. After graduating from IWS, Dr. Webber appointed him as the Dean of Administration, and then Provost in 2006. In June of 2007, he was inaugurated as the second president of IWS. Dr. Hart holds a B.M. in Sacred Music from Oral Roberts University, an M.M. in Trumpet Performance from the University of Tulsa, and a D.W.S. from the Institute for Worship Studies. He was critical to the formation of IWS in Florida and has held administrative responsibilities since its inception in 1999. He is a professional trumpeter, choral director, and worship leader, and a published composer/arranger, songwriter, and author. He has been involved in worship leadership in various contexts around the globe for over 40 years and has taught in the areas of worship, theology, and music in various conferences, colleges, and seminaries. Dr. Hart and his wife, Carol, have three daughters and three grandchildren.