Aug. 22, 2013
Candler School of Theology has established the Erskine-Smith-Moseley Scholarship Endowment in honor of three of the school’s first African American faculty in order to provide students of the school’s Black Church Studies Program with scholarships and stipends to support their theological education.
Named for Noel Erskine, Luther Smith, and Romney Moseley, three pioneer black scholars at Candler, the scholarships will provide support during ministerial education and pastoral leadership development. The fund reached the $100,000 mark this summer and income from the endowment will begin underwriting scholarships in fall 2014.
Key to the development of the endowment was the director of Candler’s Black Church Studies Program, Teresa L. Fry Brown, who considers the fund an important nod to those who prepared the way for future black scholars.
“There was nothing at Candler other than the Black Church Studies Program and the Black Student Caucus that would allow black students, alums and churches know there was a historical and viable black presence at Candler,” Fry Brown explains. “So the first purpose in establishing the endowment was to honor the presence, work and scholarship of those who paved the way for both black faculty and students.”
Candler Dean Jan Love says it is fitting that the school has established an endowment that simultaneously honors the past and looks toward the future. “Candler has a rich tradition of raising a prophetic voice in issues of race relations, and this scholarship fund provides another avenue for the development of that legacy,” she notes.
Honoree Noel Erskine, professor of theology and ethics, has taught at Candler since 1977 and sees the seminary as unique in its vision. “One of the commitments that sets Candler apart from other schools of theology is our passion to place students first in their preparation for informed leadership in the Christian church. The Erskine-Smith-Moseley scholarship is a step in this direction,” says Erskine.
Luther Smith, professor of church and community, came to Candler in 1979. He lauds the merit of the scholarship, saying, “This fund not only reflects the supportive financial and event sponsorship contributions of students past and current, it is also a tribute to Candler’s development staff and Teresa Fry Brown’s envisioning. It is an honor to have one's name associated with this fund that is committed to supporting the theological education of students.”
Romney Moseley, who passed away in 1992, joined the Candler faculty in 1982. He served as associate professor of theology and human development and assistant dean of academic affairs.
Gifts for the endowment were given by alumni and current students, members of the Black Student Caucus, and friends of Candler, with a matching gift providing the final amount needed to achieve full funding. Additional gifts to the endowment will increase the amount of funds available for annual student scholarships.
To make a gift to the Erskine-Smith-Moseley Scholarship Endowment, please contact Mathew Pinson, assistant dean of development and alumni relations, at email@example.com or 404.727.8879.