Dear members of the Candler community:

Like many of you, Candler’s administration is carefully monitoring work related to The United Methodist Church’s Commission on a Way Forward, including the Council of Bishops’ recommendation that will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. We keep the bishops, delegates, and other leaders of the General Conference in our prayers, along with all the people and institutions that will be affected by the decisions made there.

Candler’s commitment to the Wesleyan values of evangelical piety, ecumenical openness, and social justice is longstanding and remains resolute. No matter the outcomes of the Special Session of General Conference, Candler will remain dedicated to energetically pursuing our mission of educating faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries throughout the world.

It is an honor and privilege for Candler to be an official seminary of The United Methodist Church. For generations, however, Candler has enthusiastically welcomed the entire Wesleyan family to our community. Faculty, staff, and students from the AME Church, the AMEZ Church, the CME Church, Free Methodists, Nazarenes, and others have worked, worshiped, learned, and prayed alongside United Methodists, and have been a vital part of shaping Candler and our mission. This diversity has been a wonderful gift and a rich blessing. We will continue to invite and welcome wholeheartedly those from all expressions of the Wesleyan tradition, regardless of the outcomes of the Special Session. Indeed, we will continue to welcome all those who follow Jesus Christ.

We give thanks to God for the opportunity to serve the whole church, even though it, like Candler, fails to live fully into God’s reign. We pray for strength, wisdom, and grace to persevere in prayer and love for all our sisters and brothers in Christ as together we discern the way forward.

It is my hope that our prayers will echo the psalmist’s:

Make your ways known to me, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Guide me by your faithfulness and direct me.
For you are the God who saves me.
You alone are my constant source of hope. (Psalm 25:4-5)

Grace and peace,

Jan Love
Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean
Candler School of Theology