The Story of a Modern Hymn Writer

An interview with a pioneer of the modern hymn movement
The Story of a Modern Hymn Writer

For nearly a decade, Irish hymn writer Kristyn Getty and her husband, Keith, have created a collection of worship music for churches to sing every Sunday. Since Keith joined with songwriting partner Stuart Townend to write "In Christ Alone" and "Power of the Cross," the Gettys began a journey of creating music they'd like to sing in church, and soon were described as pioneers of the modern hymn movement. Among other new hymns, Kristyn recently penned the lyrics to the celebrated children's Christmas carol, "Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven" and the tender lullaby, "A Mother's Prayer," a track on the Gettys' latest album, Hymns for the Christian Life.

Kristyn and her husband grew up in Northern Ireland and moved to the States seven years ago shortly after getting married. Since then they've shared their music at venues as diverse as the Dove Awards, The Third Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization, London 's Royal Albert Hall, and the Grand Ole Opry. They now live in Nashville with their two-year-old daughter, Eliza.

TCW asked Kristyn, 32, to describe their vision for creating music for the church, how songwriting and singing have shaped her faith, and why hymns are so important.

Where did your desire to write hymns originate?

Interestingly, we didn't set out to write hymns. My husband and I just decided in the beginning we wanted to create music we'd want to sing in church. Keith has a background in classical and traditional music, while I studied literature. We began writing songs that told a story. Our aim was to explore the full riches of the gospel through music. With each song we've created, two goals exist: we desire for the word of Christ to dwell richly in the believer's heart (Colossians 3:16), and that our music would be easy to sing for all generations and styles of churches. Eventually, our songs were described as a new type of modern hymn.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at

Corrie Cutrer

Corrie Cutrer is a writer who lives in Tennessee with her family. She's also a former assistant editor of Today's Christian Woman and recipient of several EPA writing awards. She is currently a regular contributor for Today's Christian Woman.

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign Up For Our weekly Newsletter CT's weekly newsletter highlighting the voices of women writers. We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more!

Gifts; Ministry; Music; Praise; Prayer; Worship
Today's Christian Woman, May/June , 2013
Posted May 22, 2013

Read These Next


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

Follow Us

More Newsletters