Barbara Day Miller: Associate Dean of Worship and Music, 1997-2016

Day MillerThe Rev. Barbara Day Miller graduated from Candler in 1988, and returned nine years later to serve as assistant dean of worship, overseeing the planning, coordination, and facilitation of Candler’s worship and ceremonial life. An ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church and an accomplished musician, she also directs the Candler Singers, an elite choir of Candler students that has performed across the region in such prestigious venues as the National Cathedral and the quadrennial General Conferences of The United Methodist Church in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Known for planning worship that “makes space for everyone’s song,” Day Miller’s interests include congregational planning and participation in worship, creative worship and the arts, and global hymns and songs. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops and the author of Encounters with the Holy: A Conversational Model for Worship Planning (Alban Institute, 2010) and The New Pastor’s Guide to Leading Worship (Abingdon Press, 2005), as well as the producer of two recordings, All Loves Excelling (2008) and Songs for All Seasons (2011).

One of Day Miller’s signal achievements is designing the POWR model for planning worship. It has been implemented in settings far beyond Candler, underscoring Day Miller’s enduring contributions to church vitality through the enrichment of worship life.

Luke Timothy Johnson: Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, 1992-2016

Johnson Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson was recruited to Candler in 1992 as the school’s first tenured, full-time Robert W. Woodruff Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank a professor at Emory University can hold. An influential scholar and an award-winning teacher, Johnson taught at Yale Divinity School and Indiana University prior to his arrival at Candler. His research concerns the literary, moral and religious dimensions of the New Testament, including the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of early Christianity, Luke-Acts, the Pastoral Letters, and the Letter of James.

A prolific author, Johnson has written 31 books, 73 scholarly articles, 100 popular articles, and 193 book reviews. His 1986 book, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, now in its third edition, is widely used as a textbook in seminaries and departments of religion throughout the world. A decade later, Johnson made national headlines with The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels (HarperOne, 1996), the first book to systematically challenge the Jesus Seminar’s controversial claims, among them that Jesus said only 18 percent of what the Gospels attribute to him.

In 2011, Johnson won the prestigious Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, designated for highly significant contributions to religious and spiritual understanding, for his book Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity (Yale Univ. Press, 2009), which proposes a new framework for analyzing early Christianity in its religious, social, and historical contexts. He received the Catholic Press Association’s 2012 Catholic Book Award in Scripture for his book Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church (Eerdmans, 2011), which reveals the vision of Jesus and the church in Luke and Acts. His most recent book, The Revelatory Body: Theology as Inductive Art (Eerdmans, 2015), asserts that discerning manifestations of God’s spirit through the body is a key part of the theological process.

A dedicated teacher, Johnson has regularly offered four courses at Emory College, 13 at Candler, and 10 at Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion, alongside supervising 20 dissertations. He has won nearly every Emory and Candler award for outstanding teaching and scholarship, including the “On Eagle’s Wings” Excellence in Teaching Award (1997 and 1999), Outstanding Faculty Person of the Year (2006), and the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award (2013), the highest university honor for teaching given to a full-time faculty member. He was presented a Festschrift in 2008 and was awarded an honorary doctorate by The Nashota House in 1999.

A former Benedictine monk, Johnson is a highly sought-after lecturer in the nation and abroad, and has made more than 175 academic presentations across his career. He is also a member of several editorial and advisory boards, and a senior fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. He was the chair of Candler’s Centennial Celebration in 2014-2015, and organized a major academic conference on the future of theology as part of the commemoration.

Steven Michael Tipton: Charles Howard Candler Professor of Sociology of Religion, 1979-2016

TiptonDr. Steven M. Tipton came to Candler in 1979 as an assistant professor, fresh from the doctoral program at Harvard, where he received a joint PhD degree in sociology and the study of religion. Across the ensuing 37 years, Tipton’s scholarly and professorial promise has come to full fruition, with the publication of several groundbreaking works dealing with the interplay of sociology and religion, and his interdisciplinary teaching at Candler, Emory’s Department of Sociology, and the Graduate Division of Religion, which he directed from 1998 to 2003. He was named the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Sociology of Religion in 2008.

Tipton’s research explores the moral dimensions of American religion, culture, and public institutions in terms that couple interpretive sociology with comparative ethics to show how persons situated in social space and historical time make moral sense of their lives and their world within communities of shared practice and discourse.

His first book, Getting Saved from the Sixties: Moral Meaning in Conversion and Cultural Change (1982), broke new ground in probing how young Americans experience conversion as a change of heart, mind, and way of life in the interplay of contrasting ethical styles that structured the conflict between mainstream and counterculture in the 1960s and continues to reframe our moral vision today.

Tipton’s collaborative project with eminent sociologist Robert N. Bellah, et al., Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (1985, 1996, 2008), launched a social inquiry into American mores in love, work, and politics. A 1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist now in its third edition, it remains one of the most influential interpretations of modern American society and character. The Good Society (1991, 1992) broadened Habits’ inquiry to an exploration of the moral drama of American institutions; and Public Pulpits (2008) took it further still, examining growing moral advocacy and mobilizing efforts by mainline churches in national politics since 1980.

In 2011, Tipton was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the Lilly Endowment and the Louisville Institute for his forthcoming book, The Life to Come: Re-Creating Retirement, a moral and social inquiry into the ethos of retirement emerging in the everyday experience and social imagination of American baby boomers, one-third of the nation’s adults now retiring at the rate of 10,000 every day.

Over the years, Tipton’s research has been sustained by the generous support of the Lilly Endowment; the Louisville Institute; the Ford, Rockefeller, Luce, Danforth, and Alfred P. Sloan foundations; the National Endowment for the Humanities; American Council of Learned Societies; Association of Theological Schools; and Emory University’s Laney Graduate School and Center for the Study of Law and Religion, where he is a senior fellow.

Woodie W. White: Bishop-in-Residence, 2004-2016

WhiteAfter serving the people of The United Methodist Church (UMC) for four decades, Bishop Woodie W. White retired from the episcopacy in 2004 and came to Candler, where he was quickly recognized as a spiritual leader, offering moving public prayers at worship and ceremonial events, mentoring individual students, and teaching classes on the role of the church in addressing troubling issues in our society, especially race relations.

An active leader in the Civil Rights Movement, he was elected in 1969 as the first General Secretary of the UMC’s General Commission on Religion and Race, a position he held until 1984 when he was elected bishop of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference. He also served as president of the General Board of Discipleship from 1988-1992 and president of the Council of Bishops in 1996-1997.

White has written extensively for both popular and scholarly publications, and is the co-author of Racial Transition in the Church (1980), Confessions of a Prairie Pilgrim (1988), and the author of Conversations of the Heart (1991) and Our Time Under God Is Now: Reflections On Black Methodists For Church Renewal (1993). He also wrote a column for the United Methodist Reporter for more than eight years. Perhaps his most popular writings are his annual “birthday letters” to Martin Luther King, Jr. chronicling the strides and missteps in race relations during the previous year.

Brad Jones: Director of Finance and Administration, 1989-2016

Jones For 26 of the 29 years Brad Jones has worked at Emory University, he has served as Candler’s Director of Finance and Administration and Chief Business Officer, working under five deans: Jim Waits, Kevin LaGree, Chuck Foster (one-year interim), Russ Richey, and Jan Love. During his quarter-century at Candler, Jones has seen a lot of changes, not just in accounting and finances, but also in facilities, faculty, staff, and students. Among his accomplishments were departmentalizing the school’s annual operating budget, overseeing the operations of Turner Village, Candler’s media center and the computer lab, and hiring the school’s first computer support specialist. He also directed renovations of Candler’s facilities, including upgrades to classrooms and offices in Bishops Hall and Cannon Chapel, served on the Phase I Building Committee, and managed the implementation of the new Peoplesoft accounting system.

Jones says the diversity of daily tasks is what has kept him happy at Candler for so long. “I did everything under the sun—delivered mail, maintained copiers, ordered furniture, replaced the windows in Bishops Hall, installed the first A/V equipment in classrooms—all in addition to my regular duties as the chief business officer for the school. That’s been fun.” Highlights of his time at Emory include working with Bishop Desmond Tutu during his two Candler stints, and—best of all, he says—“I met my wife here!”