Methodist Studies

Methodist Studies

Candler is deeply dedicated to serving The United Methodist Church. Methodist Studies at Candler promotes the ethos of the Wesleyan heritage by offering the full range of courses in Methodist studies, stewarding denominational and conference relations, mentoring candidates seeking ordination, organizing denominational activities, and building ecumenical relationships.

United Methodist students have the option of either Contextual Education or the Teaching Parish as their field education experience. In addition, internships with local churches, UM community organizations, and general agencies such as the General Board of Global Ministries (located in Atlanta) and the General Board of Church and Society are also encouraged.

Methodist Studies loves to host representatives, bishops, and cabinet members from annual conferences, the GBOD Path One program and other new church development initiatives, guest speakers and representatives from general agencies, and other significant denominational and jurisdictional groups. In any given year, the office will host about thirty different sets of representatives. If you are interested in visiting Candler, please click on the tab below.

Methodist Studies occasionally partners with annual conferences for lifelong learning events such as the Marcy Fellowship with Florida and the Board of Ordained Ministry Prep workshop with North Georgia. In partnership with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Methodist Studies also trains UM pastors through the UM Course of Study.

Contact Information:

The Rev. Dr. Brett Opalinski, Assistant Dean of Methodist Studies

The Rev. Dr. Kevin Murriel, Black Methodist Seminarians Program Director 

Mr. Rick Kravako, Senior Academic Programs Associate

Those preparing for ordination in The United Methodist Church explore the call to ministry through a formal process of 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 superintendents. Courtesy mentors and a Vocational Discernment course are available to students discerning their call to ministry. The associate dean of Methodist Studies also offers one-on-one consultations and workshops, and fosters relationships between students, district committees, and conference boards of ordained ministry.

Course Requirements for Ordination in the UMC

The Book of Discipline requires specific courses in UM history, doctrine, and polity, as well as courses in evangelism, mission, and worship. Some conferences require additional courses of their students. Students are responsible for being aware of their own conference requirements. View the Candler Course Schedule.

Basic Graduate Theological Studies for Deacon Candidates

Deacon candidates who already have a master’s degree in the area in which they are going to do ministry, may fulfill their academic requirements through completion of the Basic Graduate Theological Studies core. Get more information from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Dr. Timothy AlbrechtProfessor of Church Music; Professor of Music; University Organist

Dr. Elizabeth CorrieAssociate Professor in the Practice of Youth Education and Peacebuilding; Director of the Religious Education Program

Dr. David Daniel, Assistant Professor in the Practice of Music Ministry; Director of Chapel Music

The Rev. Dr. L. Wesley de Souza, Arthur J. Moore Associate Professor in the Practice of Evangelism; Director of the World Methodist Evangelism Institute (WMEI)

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

The Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, Bishop-in-Residence; Director of Early Career Pastoral Leadership

Dr. Jehu Hanciles, D.W. and Ruth Brooks Professor of World Christianity; Director of the World Christianity Program

The Rev. Dr. Arun W. Jones, Dan and Lillian Hankey Associate Professor of World Evangelism; Director of the Master of Theology Program

Dr. Helen Jin Kim, Assistant Professor of American Religious History

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

Dr. Jan Love, Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean and Professor of Christianity and World Politics

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

The Rev. Dr. Kevin MurrielAssistant Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology; Black Methodist Seminarians Program Director

The Rev. Dr. Brett Opalinski Assistant Dean of Methodist Studies; Professor in the Practice of Ecclesiology and Church Leadership

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

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

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

The Rev. Dr. R. Kendall Soulen, Professor of Systematic Theology

United Methodist Conference and Agency Visits to Candler

The Office of Methodist Studies at Candler helps United Methodist Conferences plan their visits to see students from your conference or engage with students in general.

Here are some of the things we can help with:

  • Clarify the purpose of your visit
  • Reserve space for student interviews and/or space out in public areas to engage with all students
  • Set up electronic appointment sign up and provide a list of who has signed up
  • Provide hospitality with snacks and drinks

Plan visits early. Productive visits are planned at least four weeks in advance. Start planning by filing out this form.

Need help? Contact Rick Kravako,, 404.727.1276

Made possible by the Susan H. and W. H. Marcy Trust and in partnership with the Florida Annual Conference, this program works to inspire, support, and train pastors to become prophetic leaders in their preaching and in the public square. Participants are nominated each year by the bishop to participate in the year long experience that may include global travel as well as a week of retreat and study at Candler. Participants shape projects that seek to address injustice and suffering for their communities or the annual conference.

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