Candler students fulfill their contextual education I requirement at All Saints' Episcopal Church where they serve refugee families.

All Saints' Episcopal Church Refugee Ministries

All Saints’ Episcopal Church is a progressive congregation in the heart of midtown Atlanta. All Saints’ has an active Refugee Ministry serving families from all over the world. This Contextual Education I site is an opportunity for Candler students to build relationships with, support, and learn from refugee families, parishioners, and community leaders.

Site Work

Site work will take place in Clarkston on Saturdays from 10:30-2:30 and select Wednesday evenings at All Saints’ from 4:00-8:00pm. After an initial orientation period, students will select their own Saturday dates in consultation with their supervisor. The Wednesday dates will be preset, but can be made up with notice. Dinner will be provided on Wednesday evenings.

Fall 2017 Reflection Group

Wednesday, 2:30 - 4 pm at All Saints, led by Rev. Kim Jackson, Site Supervisor

Spring 2018 Integrative Seminar

Thursday, 2:30 -4:30 p.m., at Candler, led by Rev. Kim Jackson and Dr. Arun Jones

Pastoral Care Class

Students who enroll in All Saints' Episcopal Church Refugee Ministries will also enroll in Intro to Pastoral Care PC501CE in the fall semester (Th 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.), taught by Dr. Gregory Ellison.

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Arun Jones will serve as the academic advisor for All Saints' Episcopal Church Refugee Ministries students and will join the group for the spring Integrative Seminar.

Site Mission

Our program focuses on relationship building among parishioners, non-parishioner volunteers, Candler students and refugees for the sake of embodying welcome, diminishing trauma, and providing access to needed medical, educational, and social service resources.

About the Site

All Saints’ Episcopal Church has had an active Refugee Ministry since 1991 when it first became involved with survivors of war in Bosnia. Today All Saints’ Refugee Ministries regularly serves 40 families from all over the world including Congo/Rwanda, Burma/Malaysia, Bhutan/Nepal, Afghanistan/Iran, Syria and more. Students will be involved in three areas of work:

Family Mentoring

Pairs of students will be matched with a refugee family for the year to provide Family Mentoring. Activities and guidance for Family Mentoring will be provided during orientation. They may include providing English tutoring, taking the family on an outing to get to know a new part of the city, working on English in the grocery store, providing a session on basic financial literacy, or helping the parents connect with their children’s school. The activities will be based upon the family’s needs and desires as well as the discernment of the Candler students. The Family Mentoring program will take place on Saturdays from 10:30-12:30.

Group sessions

Group sessions will take place in Clarkston on Saturdays from 12:30-2:30 and are an opportunity for larger numbers of Candler students to work together. Activities and guidance for Group Sessions will be provided during orientation. These could include recreational activities such as hosting a soccer game for families or providing a holiday activity for refugee families.

Wednesday evenings @ All Saints’

Specifics for Wednesday evening activities will be planned with Candler students during orientation but will include sharing Wednesday evening supper with All Saints’ parishioners and Refugee Ministries volunteers. Some Wednesday sessions will include a presentation on refugee work, leading a group conversation for parishioners on a refugee-related topic, and facilitating an evening of play and relationship building for refugee kids and All Saints’ children. In addition, Candler interns may choose to meet at mutually agreed upon times to work on planning for Saturday group activities or Wednesday evening sessions.

Student Reflection

MDiv student Christina Branum-Martin reflects on her Contextual Education I experience during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Additional Requirements & Accessibility

Transportation: Students will need to arrange their own transportation, or carpool, to Clarkston and to All Saints’. All Saints’ is directly across the street from the North Avenue MARTA stop on the North-South line. The ability of student teams to provide transportation to refugee families on occasion is also desirable.

Handicap Accessible: Y


All Saints’ Refugee Ministries
634 W. Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308

Site Supervisor

The Rev. Kim Jackson is the Associate Rector for Adult Formation. She is a public theologian and a fierce community activist. Kim works to end the death penalty, advocates for women and children’s issues, and is passionate about sharing the liberating Gospel of Christ. When she’s not wearing a collar, you can find her in the gym perfecting her weightlifting techniques. Kim is a graduate of Furman University and Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She and her wife, Trina, live on a small hobby farm in Stone Mountain with goats, ducks, and chickens.

Louisa Merchant is Director of Refugee Ministries at All Saints’ Episcopal Church. She has Masters degrees in Spanish and Psychology, and 25 years of teaching experience from first grade to the university level. Before beginning work with refugees nine years ago, she worked as Assistant Principal of a local Islamic school. Louisa strives to help build relationships that celebrate religious, cultural, and linguistic differences.