As the 2019-2020 academic year begins, Candler School of Theology welcomes new faculty to its ranks and celebrates promotions of current faculty.

Ian A. McFarland rejoins the faculty as the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Theology. McFarland is returning to Candler after four years serving as Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, among the most prestigious chairs in theological education. Prior to that, he was on the faculty at Candler from 2005-2015, where he was the inaugural holder of the Bishop Mack B. and Rose Y. Stokes Chair in Theology and served as associate dean of faculty and academic affairs. He received his MDiv from Union Theological Seminary, his ThM from The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and his PhD from Yale University. His research has focused on Christology, eschatology, theological anthropology, and the doctrine of creation. His interests also include the use of the Bible in theology, the relationship between theology and science, and the thought of Maximus the Confessor. His is the author of six books including his most recent, The Word Made Flesh: A Theology of the Incarnation (Westminster John Knox Press) which will be released in September. Along with his own books, he is the editor of the Scottish Journal of Theologyand has contributed to numerous other books and journals. A Fellow of Cambridge’s Selwyn College, he is also a member of the American Academy of Religion, Workgroup of Constructive Theology, Society for the Study of Theology, the Karl Barth Society of North America, and the American Theological Society.

Marla Frederick joins the faculty as the Acting Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture and will be formally installed in January. Frederick comes to Candler from Harvard University, where she served as professor of African and African American studies and the study of religion. She received her BA from Spelman College and her PhD from Duke University. A leading ethnographer, she employs an interdisciplinary approach to examine the overlapping spheres of religion, race, gender, media, politics and economics. Her teaching interests encompass the anthropology of religion and the African American religious experience, and her ongoing research interests include the study of religion and media, religion and economics, and the sustainability of black institutions in a 'post-racial' world. She is the author of four books and several articles. Most recently, she co-authored Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment (NYU Press, 2016), which examines how black Christians, Muslims, and Hebrew Israelites use media for the “redemption” of the race. A frequent lecturer, she has been an active convener, panelist, respondent or discussant at nearly 70 academic events across her career and is a respected research collaborator. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Milton Fund, the Louisville Institute, and the Ford Foundation, among others. She currently serves as the vice president of the American Academy of Religion, the world’s largest association of scholars in religious studies and related fields.

Kevin Murriel joins the faculty as the assistant professor in the practice of sociology of religion and culture and as Candler’s first Black Methodist Seminarians program director. Along with this position, Murriel serves as senior pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta. He received his BBA from Jackson State University, his MDiv from Candler School of Theology, and his DMin from Duke University. He is the author of two books including his most recent, Breaking the Color Barrier: A Vision for Church Growth through Racial Reconciliation (Redd House, 2015). He serves on numerous community boards, including the Candler Black Alumni Caucus, the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA, and the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute. He’s also active in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, having served on the North Georgia Conference Board of Congregational Development, the Georgia Commission for Higher Education and Campus Ministry, the Atlanta College Park District Committee on Ordained Ministry, and the North Georgia Young Clergy Task Force on Social Media. He is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2019, and was named to Emory’s Office of Alumni Engagement 2018 Forty Under 40 list, which honors a multitalented and accomplished group of young professionals. 

Ryan Bonfiglio joins as assistant professor in the practice of Old Testament and director of the initiative in public theological education. His research and teaching interests include ancient Near Eastern iconography, Israelite religion, biblical metaphors, the Pentateuch, and various topics in Old Testament theology. He is the author of Reading Images, Seeing Texts: Towards a Visual Hermeneutics for Biblical Studies (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016) and co-editor of Iconographic Exegesis and the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015). He teaches extensively in local congregations and has a passion for helping to bring theological education to broader and more diverse public audiences.

Alice Hunt joins as affiliate faculty. Currently the executive director of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Hunt received her BS from the University of Montevallo and her MTS, MA, and PhD from Vanderbilt University. Prior to her position with AAR, she was the president of Chicago Theological Seminary and the associate dean of academic affairs at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Along with her background in administration, she is a biblical scholar with research interests in leadership development. Her published work includes Missing Priests: The Zadokites in Tradition and History (T & T Clark, 2006) and two edited volumesSecond Temple Studies IV: Historiography and History (Bloomsbury, 2012) and Focusing Biblical Studies: The Crucial Nature of the Persian and Hellenistic Periods: Essays in Honor of Douglas A. Knight (Bloomsbury, 2012) as well as essays. She was ordained at the historic Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, National Baptist Convention of America, in Nashville, Tennessee, and has dual standing as a minister in the United Church of Christ.

Candler also welcomes Tara Doyle as a senior research fellow. She received her BA from Antioch College, her MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and her MA and PhD from Harvard University. She has served as a senior lecturer in Emory University’s Department of Religion, and before coming to Emory, she taught at Williams College and was the co-founder and co-director of Antioch University's Comparative Buddhist Studies Program in Bodh Gaya, India. She has received numerous recognitions for outstanding teaching, including Emory's prestigious Crystal Apple award in 2008.

In addition to these new faces, Dean Jan Love has announced several promotions among the standing faculty. Two members have been appointed by Emory University Provost Dwight A. McBride to serve as Charles Howard Candler professors: Emmanuel Lartey as the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spiritual Care, and Walter T. Wilson as the Charles Howard Candler Professor of New Testament. Ted A. Smith has been promoted to professor of preaching and ethics, and Nichole R. Phillips has been promoted to associate professor in the practice of sociology of religion and culture and named the new director of Candler’s Black Church Studies program.

Candler marks the official beginning of the new school year with fall convocation on August 29. After his installation, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Theology Ian A. McFarland will give the convocation address.