Melva W. Costen, a native of South Carolina, retired as Helmar Emil Nielsen Professor of Worship and Music, choral director,
and chair of the church music degree program at Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She subsequently
became the Visiting Professor of Liturgical Studies at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale Divinity School in New Haven,
Connecticut. She remains active in the Civil Rights Movement and as a teacher and consultant in area of church music,
liturgy, and curriculum development.