Candler’s Centennial Celebration opened with a bang at Fall Convocation and will continue throughout the 2014-15 academic year, with the premiere of a new book on the school’s history and a series of commemorative events, culminating with a Centennial academic conference in the spring.

Named The Candler Centennial in Story and Prophecy, the celebration is designed to showcase the school’s contributions to theological education and to the church during the past 100 years and to employ our prophetic witness by engaging students and scholars in conversation about the future of theology in the church, the world, and theological education.

“Since Candler’s founding, our faculty and student body have borne witness to the transforming power of love, grace, justice, and mercy at work in the world,” says Dean Jan Love. “The gospel of Jesus Christ demands this of us.”

Love attributes Candler’s success in part to the school’s location within Emory, a top-tier research university that welcomes scholarly and practical engagement with religion, rather than pushing it to the sidelines. “I’m convinced we’ve been more effective because our school of theology is part of a university where religion and reason have joined together to face the challenges of the past 100 years,” she says.

Luke Timothy Johnson, R.W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, and chair of Candler’s Centennial Celebration, says part of Candler’s role going forward should be to continue to hold religion and reason in “healthy tension."

“Candler represents that hard middle place in the world today in which a commitment to the faith and to the highest intellectual standards go together,” Johnson says. “In most places, the academy is the place where you can study but you can't have faith. And the church is the place where you can have faith, but you better not be inquiring. Part of our challenge is to try to pull those two dimensions together and to show that they are not opposites, but can be held in a healthy tension.”

More than 10,000 students have graduated from Candler since its first degrees were conferred in the spring of 1915. Approximately 70 percent of the 7,800+ living alumni serve as ministers in churches, and others have pursued vocations in non-profits, education, law, business, social justice, and the arts.