Baptist Studies

Baptist Studies

Candler’s Baptist Studies program prepares men and women for ordination in the Baptist church, with courses on Baptist history, theology and practice, plus fieldwork in church and ministry settings.

All the major branches of the Baptist family are represented at Candler—11 percent of our faculty calls the Baptist church home and so do 12 percent of our students—leading to lively and reflective conversations about the church. And all of this takes place in Atlanta, the epicenter of modern Baptist life and a city that Baptist leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. have called home.  

Through a challenging curriculum and collaborative work with others, Baptist students at Candler encounter what it means to share the gospel in new ways and in new settings.

For more information on the program, email the Rev. Dr. Khalia WilliamsAssociate Dean of Worship and Music, and  Associate Professor in the Practice of Worship, or the Rev. Dr. Damon P. Williams, Senior Pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church, co-directors of Candler’s Baptist Studies Program.

Certificate in Baptist Studies

Candler students enrolled in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program may earn a certificate in Baptist studies, which prepares students for ordination in Baptist churches. For a list of courses, visit the link for the certificate program listed above.

The Rev. Dr. Khalia Williams, Associate Dean of Worship and Music; Associate Professor in the Practice of Worship; Co-Director of the Baptist Studies Program

The Rev. Dr. Damon WilliamsAssistant Professor in the Practice of Practical Ministry; Co-Director of the Baptist Studies Program

Dr. James Abbington, Associate Professor of Church Music and Worship

The Rev. Dr. Noel Leo Erskine, Professor of Theology and Ethics

The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr., James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership

Dr. Joel B. Kemp, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible


A limited number of scholarships covering three-quarters tuition are available to full-time Baptist students studying in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for these awards. Based on potential excellence in ministry, these awards are made possible by donations from Baptist individuals, churches and organizations, as well as by matching funds from Candler. Most recipients of these scholarships are considered to be Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Leadership scholars. Participation in this program is an additional requirement of the scholarship. For more information on scholarship opportunities, visit the Financial Aid section.

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"I appreciate the importance of Candler's academic rigor in forming one's own pastoral theology and identity. The marriage of academic and practical is one of the most faithful ways of being formed as a minister."
-Meg Lacey, MDiv '14