This summer, Candler students are serving everywhere from Atlanta to South Africa, gaining ministry skills enriched by their Candler experiences. Here, two rising third-years share their stories:
BernadetteBernadette O'Neill: Missionvale Care Center, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

At Missionvale, I work primarily in the crafting unit (I learned how to use a sewing machine!), the community garden and the school library. God has provided me with opportunities for pastoral conversations, but also for people from the township to minister to me. I have seen Christ in my work more than anywhere before. I have seen a love for God in the people that is unmatched, in spite of conditions many of us can barely imagine. 

Candler prepared me for Missionvale by teaching me that often, the best thing I can do is to be present with people. The stressors they face can be overwhelming, and I'm sometimes not sure I am accomplishing anything measureable, but Candler has taught me that simply walking alongside people in need is a powerful thing. 

Being here has prepared me for further ministry by showing me the human faces behind statistics, reaffirming my commitment to promoting human dignity. It has reinforced my passion to pass those values along to students through campus ministry.

Read more about Bernadette's summer experiences on her blog. 

Brandon Brandon Harris: Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta

Before I enter my last year of seminary, I was looking for an internship experience that would place me in a different context from what I am used to. At Peachtree Presbyterian, I serve as a Young Adult and Pastoral Fellow. The experience has been amazing, as I've further explored a call to pastoral and academic ministry. I have attended a young adult retreat on St. Simons Island, served as liturgist in the traditional worship services, taught Sunday school classes for varying ages, and I am leading a project on spiritual growth for young adults.

I have found myself using my Candler education every day, in pastoral counseling, leading small groups, teaching, preparing a sermon, or planning worship. I believe my internship at Peachtree will give me skills and experience serving as a pastor that I cannot gain in the classroom, and will prepare me for further academic work by bringing the concerns of the local church into my  scholarship.