Apr. 6, 2011
Charlene Kammerer, bishop of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, will join the faculty of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology as bishop-in-residence in January 2013 and serve in this position until 2016. Kammerer is retiring from the active episcopacy in 2012.
As bishop-in-residence, Kammerer will teach, mentor students, and act as a key resource for spiritual formation.
“One of the priorities for The United Methodist Church is ‘developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world,’ and I believe that Bishop Kammerer brings with her a lifetime of experience in doing exactly this,” says Candler’s dean, Jan Love. “Candler students, faculty, and staff alike will benefit enormously from her presence with and work among us.”
Having served earlier in her career as assistant minister to Duke University and interim dean of Duke Chapel, Kammerer is excited about returning to an active role of mentoring future church leaders. “I loved working with students and I deeply appreciate the seminary experience, which is a crucible of preparation for lifelong service in the church,” she says. “It will be a privilege to be a spiritual companion, teacher, and mentor to a new generation of students.”
Kammerer was elected to the episcopacy in 1996. Now in her fourth quadrennium on the Council of Bishops, Kammerer serves as President of the General Board of Discipleship. Within The United Methodist Church, she also has served as a director of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and as a director of the General Board of Global Ministries, including acting as chairperson of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Wesleyan College, master of Christian education and master of divinity degrees from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, and honorary doctor of divinity degrees from Bethune-Cookman College, Pfeiffer University, and Wesleyan College. She has received outstanding alumni awards from both Wesleyan College and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Kammerer will be one of two United Methodist bishops-in-residence at Candler. She joins Bishop Woodie White, who has served the school in this capacity since 2004. “A bishop-in-residence is one of a number of significant, concrete links Candler maintains with The United Methodist Church,” explains Love. “They allow us to draw on the expertise of church leaders for the education and formation of our students.”
Love says that Candler will benefit greatly from having two bishops lend their considerable talent and accumulated wisdom to help guide students through their educational journey and into leadership positions in the church. “Both Bishops White and Kammerer bring their unique gifts as well as their combined wealth of experience to bear in teaching and mentoring students, as well as advising Candler’s leadership on how it can best respond to the needs of the church,” she says.
Kammerer’s longtime interests in ministry include higher education, mission involvement, and the spirituality of administration. At Candler, she hopes to provide opportunities for every student to develop a disciplined spiritual life. “Tending to our relationship with God takes time, focus, and devotion. This is necessary soul-work to sustain a lifetime of service in ministry,” she says. “To be a spiritual leader in the life of the church, one must have a centered spiritual life.”