By Brad Schweers (above, second from right):

One of the main reasons I came to Candler was because it was part of Emory University. I was mainly considering the academic resources I would have as a Candler student when I applied, but I soon found another area of Emory’s life to be a source of great joy: Intramurals! As an MTS student, I did not have as many structured classes in which to bond with fellow students. So one main way I bonded with my Candler colleagues was through playing IM sports. I played flag football, softball, and basketball. As an Admissions Advisor now working at Candler, I still play on the Candler soccer, flag football, and softball teams when my schedule allows! We even played a pick-up Ultimate game on Emory’s main quad with some Tibetan Buddhist monks. Long story.

Here are a few other stories of Candler students and alums and their experiences with IMs and athletics at Emory.

Rachel Small (right), MDiv 06
“I played on a Candler softball team for a year and it was great fun! It was a good way to meet Candler folks I might otherwise not have met, and we got to form a good bond as we pounded or got pounded by teams from other Emory schools. (Mostly we got pounded by them, but it was still fun!)”

Cody Case (top, left), MDiv 10
Cody played intramural racquetball this fall, where he and another Candler student finished in the top ten overall. Cody reports, “I made it to semi-finals. Upon arriving, I was promptly demolished by a 60+ year old biology professor.” Cody also finished fourth overall at the Emory Intramural Turkey Trot 2.5 mile run on campus in November with a time of 15:19 (that’s about a 6-minute mile—not bad!)

Cindy Brown (left), MDiv 09
“I’m playing on the Emory Women’s Water Polo club this semester. It’s been great … a definite relief from classes. Great for my physical and mental health, too, Even though I’m about twice the age of anyone else on the team!”

David Lessner, 07
“Intramurals were not only a good way to get people active and exercising, but the teams were a way that I got to meet and talk to others that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Just because two people happen to enjoy soccer or basketball, they can form a friendship, where they might not have met before. Intramurals also helped me to distress and live a healthy life. I studied 100x better after exercising for 2 hours and then studying then I did by studying for 10 hours straight. Overall, it was just simply fun to get out and compete with other grad students, who yes, will make a ton more than us as doctors and lawyers, and on that rare occasion where we hit a 40 yard touchdown pass over the future MD’s and JD’s of the world, we were on top!”

John Hill (left), MDiv 05
“I played intramurals quite a bit at Candler and always had a lot of fun with it. Intramurals were a great chance to get some exercise, strengthen friendships among classmates, meet new people, and get in some healthy competition. I think it also improved our reputation on campus. People often wonder what kind of people attend the theology school – are we holier-than-thou pietists or what? Intramurals helped others see that we were normal – at least mostly! – people just like everyone else.”

Leslie Houseworth, MDiv 10
“I played intramural football in Fall of 2007. I’m a 2nd year MDiv student. Football was a way to bond with my new classmates.”

Keri Olsen, MDiv 11
“ I’m a first year MDiv student and I played co-ed softball. I was interested in playing any type of intramural sport, so talked to a third year during orientation who had mentioned their experience. Candler had already established a softball team but they let me join anyway! I don’t even really have any experience playing softball! I had a great time getting to know second and third years that I may not have met otherwise. Softball was a great way to take a break from reading and meet new friends! Our team wasn’t really very good but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!”

Brian Tillman, MDiv 11
“I had a blast playing Co-Ed Intramural Basketball this fall. The rules were very fair and made it super important to have the girls score. These are the best rules for co-ed sports!”

Todd McCullough, MDiv 10
“During my time at Candler several of my favorite memories will always be the time I shared with my classmates playing intramural sports. Even though we broke bones and sprained ankles, the bonds we made will last a lifetime. Several of my closest friends at school were the ones I played softball, flag football, or basketball with. For me, it was crucial to take the opportunity to not only get some exercise during study breaks but to meet a few people, some of whom have become my closest friends.”

Jeremy Pridgeon, MDiv
“Several of us from the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, along with a couple of free agent pick-ups from the South Carolina and Mississippi Conferences (played flag football. We were the “Ministers of Defense” and had a gr
eat time playing and beating up on the undergrads. We even advanced into the playoffs and made a run at the title. At least Emory Intramurals doesn’t have a BCS!”

Eric Sanford, MDiv 07
“Intramurals were a lot of fun at Candler. I played softball, basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, tennis, and football. Intramurals provided me another opportunity to make friends who shared the same interests in sports as I do. We weren’t very good at most of the sports; however, we always had fun. Sometimes we would go out to eat afterward. Sometimes it was more fun just playing basketball on Tuesday nights or frisbee on Friday afternoons. These were good ways to meet people and have a good time. Come to think of it, I probably had more fun just playing around those times instead of the competitions with the other schools.”

Come join us!!!