Methodist Studies

Methodist Studies

Candler is deeply dedicated to serving The United Methodist Church. The student body, faculty and staff reflect and honor the core Wesleyan value of ecumenism—with a strong connection to The United Methodist Church that is an integral part of the school’s identity and mission.

Methodist Studies at Candler promotes the ethos of the Wesleyan heritage by offering a range of courses in Methodist studies, stewarding denominational and conference relations, mentoring candidates seeking ordination and organizing denominational activities.

The Teaching Parish program enables UM students appointed to student pastorates to meet in geographically central reflection groups as they pursue their degrees.

In addition to the United Methodist students on campus, Candler partners with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to train more than 900 local UM pastors each year through the United Methodist Course of Study School. Our Lifelong Learning opportunities enrich pastors and laity alike, with conferences, seminars and programs for professional development. 

For more information, email Anne Burkholder, Associate Dean of Methodist Studies, or call 404.727.1351.

As noted in The Book of Discipline, “within the church community, there are persons whose gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and promise of future usefulness are affirmed by the community and who respond to God’s call by offering themselves in leadership as ordained ministers.” Ordained deacons are called to ministries of word and service for the purpose of leading and equipping others through “teaching, proclamation, and worship” and assisting the elders in the administration of the sacraments and the order of the church. Those called to ministry of service, word, sacrament and order serve as elders; they are “authorized to preach and teach the Word of God, to administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the church for mission and ministry."

Inquiry and Candidacy for United Methodist Ordination

Those preparing for ordination in The United Methodist Church formally explore the call to ministry through a process of inquiry and candidacy as required in The Book of Discipline. Students interested in exploring the call to ministry are encouraged to begin the process before starting seminary by contacting the pastor of their local church, another ordained deacon or elder, or their district superintendent. Courtesy mentors and a Vocational Discernment course (MIN 510) are available to students upon the written approval of their district superintendents and home conference mentors.


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Mentoring and Support for Discernment and Preparation for Ordination

Support for students working through the process of inquiry, candidacy and application for commissioning is provided through one-on-one consultation with the Associate Dean of Methodist Studies and through a variety of "SUMO” (Seeking United Methodist Ordination) programs tailored to address the issues that arise at each of the stages of the process.


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Course Requirements for Ordination in the United Methodist Church

The Book of Discipline requires specific courses in United Methodist history, doctrine and polity. In addition, The Book of Discipline requires courses in evangelism, mission and worship. Some conferences require specific courses of their students. Students are responsible for being aware of their own conference requirements. Preparation for ordination as a deacon can be gained through the Basic Graduate Theological Studies courses, taken as a special student. Basic Graduate Theological Studies courses are available to students who already have a masters degree in an area relevant to the specialty they wish to pursue as a deacon. Persons preparing for elders orders take the Basic Graduate Theological Studies courses as a part of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree.


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Basic Graduate Studies in the Christian Faith

All deacons are required to complete the Basic Graduate Theological Studies in the Christian Faith. These may be completed as part of a theological degree or in addition to a masters degree and/or certification in a specialized area of ministry. All theological education must be at a seminary on the University Senate approved list. Get more information from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.


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Dr. Timothy Albrecht, Professor of Church Music; Professor of Music; and University Organist

Ms. Mary Lou Greenwood Boice, Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

The Rev. Dr. Anne Burkholder, Associate Dean of Methodist Studies; Professor in the Practice of Ecclesiology and Church Leadership

Dr. Elizabeth CorrieDirector, Youth Theological Initiative; Associate Professor in the Practice of Youth Education and Peacebuilding

The Rev. Barbara Day Miller, Associate Dean of Worship and Music

The Rev. Dr. L. Wesley de Souza, Bishop Arthur J. Moore Associate Professor in the Practice of Evangelism

The Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Elliott, Jr., Assistant Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology; Director; Contextual Education II, Director; Teaching Parish Program and Ministry Internships

The Rev. Dr. Don Harp, Pastor/Theologian-in-Residence

The Rev. Dr. David O. Jenkins, Associate Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology

The Rev. Dr. Arun W. Jones, Dan and Lillian Hankey Associate Professor of World Evangelism

The Rev. Dr. Joel M. LeMon, Associate Professor of Old Testament

Dr. Jan Love, Dean and Professor of Christianity and World Politics

Dr. Ellen Ott Marshall, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Conflict Transformation

Dr. Rex D. Matthews, Professor in the Practice of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies

The Rev. Dr. L. Edward Phillips, Associate Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology; Coordinator of the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology

Mr. Mathew A. Pinson, Assistant Dean of Development and Alumni Relations

The Rev. Dr. P. Alice Rogers, Associate Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology

Dr. Don E. Saliers, William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship, Emeritus; Theologian-in-Residence

The Rev. Dr. Karen D. Scheib, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology

The Rev. Dr. S. Ellen Shepard, Assistant Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology; Director of the Program in Women, Theology, and Ministry

The Rev. Dr. Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament

The Rev. Dr. Kevin M. Watson, Assistant Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies

Bishop Woodie W. White, Bishop-in-Residence

The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Winstead, Assistant Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology and Director of NICFA

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