Episcopal Studies

Episcopal Studies

Candler's Episcopal Studies program is a fellowship dedicated to equipping students for ministry in The Episcopal Church and all the churches in the Anglican Communion. The program is a community of learning, worship and service within the wider Candler ecumenical community, and includes faculty, staff and students of all degree programs, ordained and lay, those preparing for parish ministry and those seeking to pursue God's call to ministry outside the parish.

The primary gathering of the program is the weekly Solemn Evensong and Holy Eucharist, held in Cannon Chapel every Wednesday of the school year at 5:30 p.m. Other events include guest lectures by important figures in Anglicanism such as Visiting Professor of Theology Archbishop Desmond Tutu, periodic meetings of all Anglican and Episcopal students at Candler for discussion and fellowship, and courses taught by world-class scholars and teachers on the Candler faculty who are also active communicants of the Episcopal Church.

Certificate in Episcopal Studies

Candler students enrolled in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program who are preparing for ordained parish ministry under the supervision of a bishop may earn a certificate in Episcopal studies. The certificate is 30 hours in length and includes academic work in liturgical studies, Anglican theology, church polity and Anglican spiritual practices, as well as supervised parish ministry experience each semester. All academic courses in the program are open to any Candler student. For a list of courses, visit the certificate link above.

There are two separate Contextual Education programs for Episcopalians in Candler's Master of Divinity (MDiv) program. Students earning an Episcopal Studies certificate spend all three years in parish placements and meet as a separate group for theological reflection on their ministry. Episcopal students who are not in the certificate program join the bulk of MDiv students in spending their first year in non-parish ministry, and the second in a parish, while meeting in ecumenical groups for reflection.

Contextual Education

Episcopal Studies Certificate Contextual Education

The Episcopal Studies certificate program is designed to enhance priestly formation and is centered on real-life ministry that takes place in carefully supervised student placements. Students typically:

  • Work 10 hours a week in an Episcopal parish for three years
  • Receive weekly supervision from an experienced priest
  • Meet two hours per week for theological reflection with faculty, other students in the certificate program, and their supervisors
  • Receive a small stipend for their parish placement work

Non-Certificate Contextual Education

Episcopal students not enrolled in the certificate program take two years of Contextual Education, one of which is in a parish. Students typically:

  • Work four hours a week in a clinical or social setting for the first year (Contextual Education I)
  • Work eight hours a week in a parish setting for the second year (Contextual Education II)
  • Receive mentoring from a site supervisor weekly (Contextual Education I) or bi-weekly (Contextual Education II)
  • Participate in scheduled reflection groups with Candler students, practitioners and faculty from different denominations
  • Do not receive a stipend, although some sites do provide stipends

Applying for Parish Placements

Both certificate and non-certificate Episcopal students can find possible parish placements on the Contextual Education II Site Directory. When making contact with site supervisors, students should stipulate which program they are enrolled in: Episcopal Contextual Education (three years) or Contextual Education II (one year). The Director of Episcopal Studies is available to all students for consultation about appropriate parish placements.

Site and Mentor Guidelines

Episcopal Studies Certificate Contextual Education

Mentors who wish to have an Episcopal Contextual Education student (three years) must meet the minimum requirements for Contextual Education II and list their site on the Contextual Education II Site Directory. A site mentor should review the Guidelines for Ecclesial Practices to ensure that their site is an appropriate placement before applying to the site directory.

Additional requirements for Episcopal Contextual Education are:

  • The commitment is for three years in the same parish with the same mentor, for 10 hours per week
  • The mentor should be available to meet with the Wednesday contextual education group for the student's case studies (usually two to three times a semester)
  • The student should be given responsibilities for a wide variety of parish activities over the three years: liturgical (including preaching), pastoral care, religious education, parish administration, and mission/outreach
  • The student should be given an independent project to complete
  • The parish should provide a minimum stipend of $50 per week

Mentors and students should complete the Episcopal Contextual Education Contract and file the original with the Office of Contextual Education and a copy with the Director of Episcopal Studies.

Non-Certificate Contextual Education II

All parish placement sites and mentors must meet the minimum requirements for Contextual Education II and list their site on the ConEd II Site Directory. A site mentor should review the Guidelines for Ecclesial Practices to ensure that their site is an appropriate placement before applying to the site directory.

Mentors who wish to have a ConEd II student (one year) should complete the Contextual Education II Contract with that student and file it with the Office of Contextual Education.

Rev. Keith WhitmoreThe Right Reverend Keith B. Whitmore, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Episcopal Studies, Assistant Bishop of Atlanta 

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Nashotah House, Bishop Whitmore is the former bishop of the Diocese of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and has served congregations in Wisconsin, Missouri and Kansas; he is also a retired Army chaplain. He currently serves on the The Episcopal Church's Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance and is president of Affirming Anglican Catholicism. He teaches History and Polity of the Episcopal Church and serves as director of the Episcopal Studies Program.

The Rev. Canon P. Lang Lowrey, III, Professor in the Practice of Church Leadership and Director of Episcopal Studies

In addition to teaching courses, the Rev. Canon P. Lang Lowrey, III, arranges and supervises contextual education for Episcopal students and recruits those who teach courses required for Episcopal students. A Candler alumnus and an ordained priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Lowrey has served at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta and was founding rector at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church and Day School in Vinings, a successful church plant that now has 1,000 people in its community. From 2010 to 2013, he was president of The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City, where he led the institution through a period of broad-based restructuring and the development of new revenue streams. 

Rev. Amanda BradyThe Rev. Amanda B. (Mandy) Brady, Episcopal Chaplain

The Rev. Mandy Brady is Episcopal Chaplain to Emory University. At Candler, she co-teaches the Episcopal Contextual Education seminar; she also coordinates the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Emory and serves as a pastor to the university's students and faculty. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary and The General Theological Seminary, and has served several parishes in Georgia and Illinois.

Rev. Charles HackettThe Rev. Dr. Charles D. Hackett Jr., Director of Anglican Studies and Associate Professor in the Practice of Church Ministries, Emeritus

Dr. Hackett directed the Episcopal Studies program at Candler for more than 30 years, and he returned to teach the very popular course "History and Theology of the Eucharist." A graduate of Brown University, Berkeley Divinity School, and Emory University, his books include Women of the Word (Susan Hunter Publications, 1985), The Lord Be With You: A Handbook for Presiding in Christian Worship (with Don Saliers, OSL Publications, 1990), and Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary (with Gail O'Day, Abingdon, 2007).

Other Anglican/Episcopal faculty members at Candler 

Dr. Timothy P. Jackson, Professor of Christian Ethics

Dr. Walter J. Lowe, Professor of Systematic Theology, Emeritus

Dr. Joy Ann McDougall, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology

Dr. Carol A. Newsom, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament

Dr. David S. Pacini, Professor of Historical Theology

 
 
 

The Episcopal Studies program's primary liturgical gathering is the weekly Solemn Evensong and Holy Eucharist, held in Cannon Chapel at 5:30 pm every Wednesday of the school year. While open to the entire Emory community, the liturgy serves as a training ground for the liturgical formation of students in the Episcopal Studies program, so the service is usually sung and formal, complete with incense—on the theory that it is better to train students to do everything they might possibly be called upon to do in a liturgy, rather than send them out unprepared.

All Candler students are welcome to volunteer their services in the liturgy. There is always a need for lectors (readers), which requires minimal training. Other roles require various degrees of training (plus vestments); please contact the Director of Episcopal Studies if you would like to be trained to serve as acolyte, thurifer, or one of the other liturgical roles. Students earning the Episcopal Studies certificate often preach, and priests and deacons from the Emory community and around the Diocese of Atlanta are called upon as guest celebrants and preachers.

Other Episcopal worship opportunities are provided on campus by The Episcopal Church at Emory.

For more information on worship at Candler, see the Worship & Music section.

Candler's Episcopal Studies program has a long history, beginning in the early 1970s with the vision of Bennett J. Sims, Bishop of Atlanta, who hoped to develop a program for ministry formation that would be actively engaged with the world. An ecumenical seminary that was part of a great research university in an urban center was an ideal context, so in consultation with Bishop Sims and Candler Dean James Laney, the Rev. Dr. Charles "Ted" Hackett designed a trial program, combining the existing MDiv curriculum with select courses that would cover the canonical requirements of The Episcopal Church. In addition, students would work in local parishes for a minimum of 10 hours a week, participating in all facets of church life, supervised and mentored by an experienced Episcopal priest. The core of the program was to be the weekly "Supervised Ministry" seminar (now Contextual Education), involving intense theological reflection on issues and incidents from the students' parish placements, in an attempt to identify, name and plumb the theological meaning of the ordinary, often frustrating events that make up pastoral life. The weekly seminar would conclude with the main liturgical component of the program, the Eucharist. Hackett was appointed the first director of Episcopal Studies, a role he would serve for more than 30 years, with Emory's Episcopal chaplain, the Rev. Nancy Baxter, co-leading the weekly program for more than 20 of those years.

Over the years, the program has grown in size and consistency. The weekly Solemn Evensong and Eucharist now attracts dozens of worshippers, and classes with roots in the program, such as "The History and Theology of the Eucharist," include students from many denominations. Candler's Anglican and Episcopal students are daily confronted with the realities of living, studying and worshipping in an ecumenical setting—a seminary of over 400 students from every denomination and tradition in the Christian family—that forces them to define themselves as Anglicans. They benefit from a world-class faculty and a premier theological library, plus the resources of the Emory campus as a whole. Like the parishioners they serve, they must commute in city traffic, tend to families and homes, and find their community and spiritual resources in the midst of urban life.

In 2008, Candler undertook a self-study to determine ways to build on the program's historic strengths, enhance its contribution to the training of Episcopal priests, and increase the number of students in the program. An Advisory Board was formed and charged with promoting the program locally and throughout The Episcopal Church, integrating the Episcopal Studies program more fully and intentionally with the wider Candler curriculum, and involving alumni in the ongoing development of the program. Now more than ever, Candler provides an array of opportunities for Anglican spiritual formation, academic excellence and ecumenical conversation. Candler's ongoing commitment to Episcopal Studies makes it a destination program for Anglican and Episcopal students who seek the best theological education and priestly formation possible.

Are you an Episcopal seminary?

No. Candler School of Theology at Emory University is an accredited seminary of the United Methodist Church with an ecumenical faculty and student body. Anglicans and Episcopalians have traditionally constituted the third-largest denominational group at Candler (behind Methodists and Baptists). Since the early 1970s, the Episcopal Studies program at Candler has trained priests for service in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, drawing on the unique resources of Candler School of Theology.


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What is the Episcopal Studies certificate?

The Episcopal Studies certificate is designed to equip Master of Divinity (MDiv) students for ministry in the Episcopal Church and broader Anglican Communion. It is centered on collegial reflection of real-life ministry that takes place in carefully supervised parish placements. The program includes ecumenical education in general theological studies; special academic work concentrating in liturgical studies, theology in the Anglican tradition, and worship from the Book of Common Prayer; and regular training in the spiritual practices of the priesthood. The certificate is part of the MDiv program and open only to MDiv students.


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Do you offer a stand-alone certificate in Episcopal Studies? Can I earn a certificate in one year?

No. The Episcopal Studies Certificate is an MDiv program and requires enrollment in the MDiv degree.


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If I come to Candler for my MDiv, will I have to do another year at an Episcopal seminary?

Perhaps. Specific requirements for ordination are determined by bishops and their Commission on Ministry. Candler's Episcopal Studies program offers an outstanding education with a world-class faculty, and while it meets and/or exceeds the training found at any denominational seminary, everyone's situation is unique, and some students may be deemed in need of further "Anglicanizing" after the MDiv at Candler. The Director of Episcopal Studies is available to consult with bishops on the particular needs of individual students.


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Do you sponsor candidates for ordination?

No. If you are interested in being ordained in the Episcopal Church or another church in the Anglican Communion, you must go through the discernment process in your own diocese. Contact your parish priest and/or diocesan bishop to apply for vocational discernment.


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What if I'm trying to discern my vocation to the priesthood?

Enrollment in the Episcopal Studies certificate program requires only the written approval of a bishop; many students begin the program while they are still in discernment. Other Anglican and Episcopal students complete their degree apart from the certificate, while taking advantage of the course and liturgical offerings of the Episcopal Studies program. Weekly worship and all the courses in the program are open to any Candler student.


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What if I'm not preparing for ordination?

Episcopal Studies at Candler is a "big tent" that embraces all Episcopal and Anglican students at Candler, no matter what degree program or career goal. In fact, the majority of Episcopal and Anglican students are not enrolled in the certificate program.


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What parish placements are available?

The Diocese of Atlanta is a large, diverse place with many different types of parishes in different settings. Students in the Episcopal Studies certificate program typically serve one parish for all three years, usually in a parish that is different from what they are used to. Students not in the certificate program undergo a similarly rigorous Contextual Education program, working in non-parish ministry placements during the first year, and in parishes the second year.


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What about worship and community?

Worship is central to the Episcopal Studies program. Our primary gathering is the weekly Solemn Evensong and Holy Eucharist, held in Cannon Chapel every Wednesday of the school year. All students are invited and encouraged to attend as well as serve in the liturgy (contact the Director to volunteer). In addition, there is daily chapel for all Candler students in Cannon Chapel.


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What's your position on the recent controversy about [fill in the blank]?

We believe that Anglicanism is a "big tent" that encompasses many different viewpoints (most of which are represented one way or another on campus). We encourage free dialogue on issues of the day, from all points of view. The Episcopal Studies program at Candler attempts to maintain conversation and communion among the varying strains of Anglicanism that exist on campus.


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Are there scholarships available for Episcopal Studies?

Absolutely. Candler offers one of the most robust financial aid programs in theological education, and scholarships are available to students of all denominations. While Candler's financial aid offerings are generous, they are also competitive. Students are encouraged to apply early—by the priority deadline—for optimal consideration. Visit Candler's financial aid page for information on opportunities.


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How do I apply to the Episcopal Studies program at Candler?

You can apply online for any of Candler's degree programs; visit the admissions section for more information. Those wishing to earn an Episcopal Studies certificate must first be accepted and registered for classes in Candler's MDiv degree program, plus obtain the written permission of a bishop. Contact the Director of Episcopal Studies for help with any part of the application and enrollment process.


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