Meet the Office of Student Programming

Ellen Echols PurdumThe Reverend Ellen Echols Purdum
Assistant Dean of Student Life and Spiritual Formation

Ellen Purdum is the Assistant Dean of Student Life and Spiritual Formation. She works collaboratively with faculty, staff and student leaders to continue and enrich the many student services, programs and activities at Candler. She also spends a lot of time listening deeply to the lives of students here. On her best days she hopes that these different aspects of her work help to foster opportunities where spiritual and vocational formation—in their many and diverse varieties—will enhance students' theological education and preparation for ministry and service.

Ellen is also an ordained Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Atlanta and leads worship or preaches most Sundays at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur, Georgia. Prior to becoming a priest, she taught English and service learning electives at the high school level and worked for a national, ecumenical non-profit that supported young adults exploring or preparing for pastoral ministry. Ellen is an associate at the Green Bough House of Prayer, a retreat center in southern Georgia where she goes to be quiet. She lives in Decatur with her husband and a rescued rat terrier named Hannah.

Anne Kelly
Director of Career Services

Anne KellyAnne Kelly joined the Office of Student Programming staff in 2016 as its first-ever Director of Career Services, to create and implement a career services program for Candler students and alumni. Anne comes to Candler from Emory’s Goizueta Business School, where she has worked in a variety of career services positions since 2005 and most recently as Director, Professional Development and International Degree Seeking Students in the BBA Program Office.

She has extensive executive coaching and placement experience, has taught all aspects of professional development, and is a senior certified interpreter of the Birkman Method, a leadership and team performance assessment tool. Her varied background includes work in marketing and advertising, as well as in the arts. Anne also is an improvisational actor and a professional singer (her undergraduate degree was in opera performance), and she serves on the vestry of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur. 

Quentin L. Samuels
Assistant Director of Student Life

Quentin SamuelsQuentin Samuels is a 2011 Master of Divinity graduate from Candler, where he pursued a double concentration in Race and Religion and Society and Personality. Quentin served as the treasurer and president of the Black Student Caucus and co-chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee; he also was the recipient of the Community Service Award. Currently Quentin serves as the vice-chair of the Candler Alumni Board.

For the past several years Quentin has been the Campus Outreach and Ministry Coordinator at the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, from which he was graduated with a degree in business. At Morehouse Quentin also worked as the Program Coordinator in the Office of the King Collection. Prior to coming to seminary, Quentin worked as Program Coordinator for the Institute for Conservation Leadership in Takoma Park, Maryland and as Community Development Liaison at Riverside Hospital in Washington, DC, focusing on outpatient services for at-risk youth and young adults.