Hillary J. Doerries​

Ms. Doerries is currently the Director of Music Ministries at Christ the King Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana, where she directs the Sanctuary Choir, the Alleluia Quartet, the Alleluia Ringers, and Christ the King's contemporary praise ensemble, Xalt! In addition, she plays organ and piano for four weekly worship services.

A mental health advocate, Ms. Doerries travels the country promoting the healing connections between music ministry and mental health. She recently presented a lecture entitled All My Hope on God is Founded: Mental Health and Hymns that Heal for The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada's annual conference. She reprised this lecture for the St. Joseph Valley chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In addition, each fall, Ms. Doerries collaborates with the Samaritan Counseling Center of South Bend to create a hymn festival of healing and hope during the first full week of October, which is also National Mental Illness Awareness Week. This festival features the musical ensembles of Christ the King Lutheran Church, along with several other performing forces within the local community and offers the participants to engage in the sacred act of singing together with the hope of healing, recovery, and wellness. 

Ms. Doerries blogs about her personal experiences with mental illness and her journey toward wellness. She was a featured guest blogger for Conquer Worry, a website whose mission is to inspire, educate and advocate for those who struggle with stress or their mental health. To read her post, click here


Ms. Doerries received her musical training at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, earning double Bachelor of Music degrees in Organ and Vocal Performance. Her voice teachers included Patricia Stiles and Patricia Havranek. In 2011, she completed her Master of Music in Organ and Church Music, studying organ under Dr. Marilyn Keiser, Todd Wilson, and Dr. Jeffrey Smith. During her graduate school years, she was Dean of the IU-Bloomington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and worked as an accompanist for the Indiana University Children's Choir under Ruth Boshkoff and Dr. Brent Gault. 


In 2017, Ms. Doerries began her doctoral studies at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. As a candidate for the Doctor of Pastoral Music (DPM), Ms. Doerries hopes to gain a better understanding of her role as a pastoral minister while examining how to better utilize her gifts as a musician to bring the Church into deeper connection with the lost, the helpless, and the poor in spirit.

Ms. Doerries is a proud member of the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Anglican Church Musicians, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. In her free time, Hillary enjoys journaling, gardening, doting on her two beautiful nieces, and spending time with her husband, Mark, and their mischievous Goldendoodle, Lily. 


Photo Credit: Kelly Kruse