Reverend Dr. Anne Burkholder, Associate Dean of Methodist Studies and Professor in the Practice of Ecclesiology and Church Leadership, is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, has served most recently as the director of Connectional Ministries and District Superintendent in the Florida Conference. She has extensive experience in the redevelopment of congregations in Florida and North Carolina. She has served as executive director of Miami Urban Ministries, where she oversaw the development of faith-based social service ministries, including the Head Start program for Haitian children. She holds a PhD in ethics and society from Emory. Her current research interests include Pastoral Ethics and United Methodist Polity.
Ms. Julia Buckner is a certified candidate for ordained ministry in the Western North Carolina Conference and a graduate of the Candler School of Theology, Emory University. She has dedicated the last 20 years to the Summer Volunteer Mission program at the Hinton Rural Life Center, in Hayesville, NC, as either the director or a summer staff member. Julia grew up in the Hayesville community and is passionate about local missions within the community and how our theology and hospitality blend in our faith traditions. Julia also spent 12 years as a high school science teacher while working summer with Hinton before finally leaving the education field to peruse ministry and work at Hinton full-time.
Rev. Dawn Chesser is an ordained elder in the Holston Annual Conference and a candidate for a PhD in liturgical studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Her focus in her doctoral work has been on understanding contemporary, alternative and emerging worship patterns in the United States as issues of inculturation. She grew up in Arkansas and then spent 19 years living, attending school, and serving churches in the Chicago metropolitan area as a member of the Northern Illinois Conference. She has served in ministry contexts ranging from urban to suburban to rural, large, medium, and small congregations, in varied worship styles,and more recently in campus ministry. She has taught a course in Worship at Candler School of Theology and a New Testament course at Tennessee Wesleyan College. She is currently serving as the Director of Preaching Ministries for the Leadership Ministries Division of the General Board of Discipleship, United Methodist Church.
Reverend Dr. Elaine Crawford is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. She was appointed to the historic Cascade UMC in June of 2010 where she serves as the Pastor of Programs. Dr Crawford earned her Ph.D in Historical Theology from Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond VA. She has served in appointed positions at The Interdenominational Theological Center, and several local churches. She is adjunct faculty at ITC teaching in the areas of Theology and Ethics. She is vice-chair of North Georgia Black Clergy Women, and serves on the Advocacy Team of NGC as the chair of Committee on Race and Religion, Additionally she serves as the vice chair for Connectional Ministries for the Atlanta College Park district. Dr. Crawford has preached, lectured and taught extensively both nationally and internationally. Her extensive list of publications including, Hope in the Holler, was published by Westminster John Knox.
Mr. Drew Denton received his M.Div. from Candler School of Theology in 2009 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion. His research focuses on antebellum American Catholicism, although his latest article, which he is honored to be publishing in the Methodist Review, prominently features nineteenth-century Methodists as well. His personal, pastoral, and academic interest in the borderlands between Catholicism and Protestantism extends back into the Reformation period, an era he especially enjoys teaching about in the Course of Study School. A Catholic layman of Protestant heritage (including one Methodist grandfather!), he is an active leader in the adult education ministries at his local parish.
Reverend Dr. L. Wesley de Souza, Arthur J. Moore Associate Professor in the Practice of Evangelism, s an ordained elder in in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Dr. de Souza, a Luso-Brazilian born in Sao Paulo, is a founder of and visiting professor at South American Theological Seminary in Londrina, Brazil, where he also served as vice president of the seminary's board of trustees. He was the founding director of the Jethro Institute, a ministry that focuses on research, ministry management, and leadership training for pastors and leaders serving in local churches and Christian organizations. In addition, he was president of the board of directors of the Paul Pierson Center for Global Mission, which works with fourteen mission agencies from Latin and North America seeking the development of common actions and resources. He also serves on the editorial board of Vida Nova Publishing House, Sao Paulo, and on the editorial advisory board for The Asbury Journal. He completed Candler's postdoctoral program in Practical Theology and Religious Practices in 2005, where his research focused on a comparison of Brazilian classical Pentecostalism, Methodism, and base ecclesial communities.
The Reverend Dr. Tom Elliott is an elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church where he serves as Senior Pastor of Cannon UMC (Snellville, Georgia). He is also an adjunct instructor in Evangelism and Methodist Studies at Candler School of Theology. Since 2000, he has been a part of the Course of Studies faculty teaching Wesleyan Movement (until 2007), and Preaching and United Methodist Polity in ACOS. Tom also teaches Theology of Stewardship in NICFA (Candler). Tom’s interests lie in evangelism/mission, stewardship and spiritual formation. He is also a singer, songwriter musician. A native Georgian, Tom is married and has two children.
The Reverend Debby Fox is an ordained deacon in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Besides serving several local congregations in this conference, Debby has served in the KY and WOH Conferences. Her ministry area of expertise is in Christian Education and she is certified by the United Methodist Church as an Associate in Christian Education. Currently, she is the Pastor of Christian Education and Discipleship at Gainesville First UMC, Gainesville, GA.
The Reverend Dr. David G. Garber, Jr. is Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at the McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University. A graduate of Emory University's Graduate Division of Religion, Dr. Garber's research interests include studies of the Hebrew Bible prophetic literature, the use of the Hebrew Bible in reflecting upon issues of social justice, and the use of trauma theory to understand ancient Judah's experience of exile. As an ordained Baptist minister, Dr. Garber strives to bridge the perceived gap between the church and the academy, confronting the concerns of the contemporary world with the ancient biblical tradition.
The Reverend Dr. Brian Germano is an ordained elder in the in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he has served appointments since 1989. He currently serves as Senior Pastor of East Cobb United Methodist church in Marietta, Georgia, and has taught in the Emory Course of Study school since 1994. His passion is for the development of vital 21st-century ministry in the Wesleyan tradition, in which he holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Saint Paul School of Theology (Kansas City, MO).
The Reverend Dr. Paul 'Skip' Johnson is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. He has served local church appointments in Texas and the Atlanta area where he has had responsibilities for pastoral care ministries. Currently he is the Senior Lecturer for Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary and also the Training Director for Pastoral Counseling with the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. He is a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia.
The Reverend Dr. Rex Kaney is a native Georgian, having grown up in Macon, Georgia. His college and seminary education is from three United Methodist Colleges and Universities – Young Harris College, Birmingham Southern College, and Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Birmingham Southern and his M.Div. and D.Min from Candler. Rex has served congregations in the North and South Georgia conferences and retired from the North Georgia Conference in June 2011. He has taught for over 15 years in the Appalachian Local Pastor’s School and recently joined the Emory Course of Study faculty. Rex was married for thirty-five years to the late Ginger R. Kaney and they have three children.
The Reverend Dr. Beth LaRocca-Pitts is the senior pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in the Atlanta Emory District, of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Her husband Mark is a chaplain with Crossroads Hospice in Tucker. Beth and Mark have two children; twins age 12, Ellie and Joe. Both Beth and Mark hold PhD’s in Old Testament Studies from Harvard University. Beth served six years as a professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina and taught for eight years in the Religion Department at the University of Georgia while living and serving in the Athens Elberton District. Beth has also served the Bishop Circuit as pastor, Athens First, and at Snellville United Methodist as associate pastor, and Watkinsville as senior pastor.
The Reverend Mary Gene Morris Lee is an Atlanta native who received her AB and MEd degrees from Georgia State University (1971 and 1975). She completed the Foundational Studies at Candler School of Theology, was consecrated a Diaconal Minister, and in 1997 was ordained as Deacon in Full Connection in The United Methodist Church. For over 25 years, Mary Gene served urban and suburban churches in the area of Christian education. She has led training events at the local, Conference, and national level. She served on the staff of the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries, was elected to the Board of the National Christian Educators Fellowship, and served as a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Recently retired, she continues to lead workshops and consult with churches.
The Reverend Nancy L. Long, D. Min, is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a member of the North Georgia Conference. She has served local church appointments in Atlanta area where she was appointed at Emory University as a Staff Chaplain and Director of the Ben Hill United Methodist Counseling Center from 2002 to 2009. Currently she is the Associate Director of Pastoral Services at Emory University Hospital Midtown. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist (LMFT), a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia and an approved LMFT supervisor. She is a Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
Mrs. Flo Sapp Martin is a Christian Educator who is currently serving as a Regional Curriculum Representative for the United Methodist Publishing House. She has served local United Methodist churches in Christian Education in Florida, Kentucky and Georgia. Flo served on the national training team for the DISCIPLE Bible Study Program, training for all phases of DISCIPLE and Jesus in the Gospels. She has been involved in leadership at all levels of the United Methodist Church including Local, District, Annual, Jurisdictional and General.
The Reverend Dr. Bill McKoy is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a retired member of the North Georgia Conference. He has served as conference director of youth work, a pastor in eight diverse churches (100-3500 members), and as a district superintendent. Bill and his spouse Martha enjoy traveling around the world when he isn’t teaching at Emory or one of the extension schools.
The Reverend Dr. Amy Morgan is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference where she has served both large and small churches. She completed her Master of Divinity Degree at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in 1986 and her Doctor of Ministry Degree at Columbia Theological Seminary in 1999. Her doctoral work focused on power of story and ritual in spiritual formation. Amy has served on numerous district and conference committees including Conference Trustees, Committee on the District Superintendency and the Conference Board of Ministry. Amy has taught Preaching in ACOS and Worship and the Sacraments in COS.
The Reverend Tavye Morgan is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a member of the North Georgia Conference. She is a graduate of Candler School of Theology and received a Masters of Divinity. Currently she serves part-time as Minister of Congregational Care at Duluth First United Methodist Church. She also has a Spiritual Direction Practice and is in process of obtaining her Masters in Clinical Mental Health through Mercer University.
The Reverend Dr. Philip Ott is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and a member of the Indiana Annual Conference. While in graduate school at Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D) he served appointments in the New Jersey Annual Conference. He spent his professional career at United Methodist colleges and universities, first at the University of Evansville in Evansville, IN as a faculty member, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Coordinator of the World Cultures Program, and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. After 28 years in Evansville he moved to Athens, TN where he held the position of Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Tennessee Wesleyan College. He retired in 2001 and took up residence in Savannah, GA. During the academic year of 2007-2008, he served as Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. His research and writing interests have focused on John Wesley and eighteenth century medicine.
The Reverend Dr. L. Edward Phillips is Associate Professor of the Worship and Liturgical Theology at Emory University, Candler School of Theology. Before coming to Emory, he taught at Duke Divinity School (2005-2008), Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (1997-2005), and Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky (1991-1997). An elder in the Memphis Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church since 1981, he has served pastoral appointments in Tennessee and Indiana. Phillips is the author or co-author of several books and articles on liturgy and church history, including The Apostolic Tradition: A Commentary (in the Hermeneia Commentary Series, co-author), and In Spirit and Truth: United Methodist Worship for the Emerging Church (co-author). His most recent publication (editor and contributor) is Courage to Bear Witness: Essays in Honor of Gene L. Davenport (2009). He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Liturgy. From 2001-2004, Phillips served as chair of the Holy Communion Study Committee for the United Methodist Church for the General Conference of 2004.
The Reverend Elaine Puckett is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and a retired member of the North Georgia Annual Conference. She is a graduate of the Candler School of Theology where she was a Woodruff Scholar. Since 1988 she has served diverse appointments in the Atlanta area. Elaine has been an instructor at Emory University's Candler School of Theology teaching courses in Wesleyan theology and Women in Ministry and has been an instructor in the Emory COS since 1996.
The Reverend Dr. Richard Puckett is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. After receiving his doctorate in Biblical Studies, he served several local church appointments in North Georgia before being appointed as Director of Public Relations and Development at the United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur, Ga. He has served on the board of the national United Methodist Association and is currently a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Georgia Planned Giving Council. Dr. Puckett also has a law degree and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia in the inactive category.
The Reverend Dr. Joy Samuels is an ordained deacon in the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. She is a licensed professional counselor (Mental Health Service Provider) in the State of TN. Supporting her active duty military spouse (GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY) has taken the family to duty stations across the United States and Europe, where she has served local churches as education minister, provided counseling services in both private practice and for the Department of Defense and has worked as a Hospice/Hospital Chaplain. Currently she is in private practice in Franklin, TN and teaches in the undergraduate and graduate psychology department at Lipscomb University.
The Reverend Shively T. J. Smith is a doctoral candidate in New Testament Studies at Emory University. Her research area includes studies in 1 Peter, Hellenistic Jewish Diaspora literature and studies, and call narratives. She is a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She has worked as both a student assistant and now faculty member for the Course of Study for several years. Shively teaches in the area of New Testament for the program. She is the wife of Rev. Brian R. Smith and mother of two beautiful little girls.
Mr. Kyle Tau is currently a PhD student in Emory University's Graduate Division of Religion. He graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a BA in Theology and Philosophy and from the Candler School of Theology with an MTS degree. His core interests are in narrative theology, the doctrine of the human person (identity, desire, embodiment and sensory experience), liturgical and sacramental theology, and the thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar. He is an active associate member of Grace United Methodist Church in Atlanta.
The Reverend Virginia Tinsley is an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church and currently serves as Director of the Housing and Homeless Council for the North Georgia Conference, where she has been appointed since 2003. She has been involved in ministries that serve poor and homeless people for more than thirty years. Her passion is to provide opportunities for people representing the church to get involved with poor people in ways that are empowering for all the people involved. Before that she was Director of Action Ministries' programs in Atlanta.
Dr. John B. Weaver is the Dean of Library Services and Educational Technology at Abilene Christian University, providing leadership for ACU’s academic information resources and a consortium of libraries in the Abilene area. His responsibilities at ACU include The Brown Library, The Adams Center for Teaching and Learning, and The AT&T Learning Studio. Weaver’s current research includes work on Christian practices of receiving faith and transforming self and community through technology, especially virtuous habits related to hospitality, literacy, and pedagogy among churches in the ancient and modern world. Weaver is married to Vivi, and the couple has four children: Josephine, Adela, Thessaly, and Eben.
The Reverend Dr. Brady Whitehead, Jr. is a retired ordained elder of the Memphis Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He is also retired from Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee where he taught in the Religion Department for thirty-two years, serving also at various times as Chaplain, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dean of the School of Humanities. He has served as Adjunct Professor of New Testament at Memphis Theological Seminary and as Adjunct Professor of Old Testament at The Evangelical Seminary of Almaty, Kazakhstan. He co-taught with Dr. Charles Page in the Holy Land on two occasions, has taught in the Emory Course of Study each summer since 1979, teaches Old and New Testament courses in both the Alabama COS and the Tennessee COS extension schools, and served as the first director of the latter. He has led Bible studies in churches and districts in thirty-six states and the District of Columbia. In 2008 he led the Bible Study at the meeting of the Memphis Annual Conference. "Of all the teaching I have done," said Brady, "teaching the ministers in the Course of Study has been the most rewarding."
The Reverend Dr. Waite Willis is the Edward J. Pendergrass Professor of Religion at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, where he also serves as the chair of the Humanities Division. Since 1992, Waite has taught in the COS at the Candler, where he earned his Masters of Divinity before attaining the Ph.D. in systematic and constructive theology from Emory’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is an ordained elder in the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church and for twelve years served as a theologian on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. He has been the director of the Florida Conference Ministerial Licensing School since 2001 and now also serves on the Conference Board of Directors for Camping and Retreat Ministries. Waite is also a part-time staff person at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, where he is the Director of Contemporary Worship and weekly leads the music and worship of the 9:30 service, which currently is averaging over 800 people. At Florida Southern, Waite has been honored by students and colleagues with various awards for teaching excellence, including the Phi Eta Sigma Lover of Wisdom Award, the Omicron Delta Kappa Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award.
The Reverend Dr. Winston O. R. Worrell is an experienced evangelist, lecturer, administrator, pastor and preacher in national, international, multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multilingual settings worldwide. He serves as Director of the World Methodist Evangelism Institute, a ministry of Emory University and the World Methodist Council where he has served for twenty years. He holds a doctorate in evangelism from Emory University and a master’s degree in media communications from Georgia State University, and has served in pastoral positions in several countries. He is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, and a former circuit superintendent minister of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean. He has served in ministries in 55 countries.