Frequently Asked Questions

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.

What is the Episcopal Studies Certificate Program?

The Episcopal Studies Certificate program 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 on 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.

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.

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 M.Div. at Candler. The Director of Episcopal Studies is available to consult with bishops on the particular needs of individual students.

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.

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.

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.

What sort of parish placements are available?

All kinds. 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.

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.

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 dialague and scholarship 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.

Are there scholarships available for Episcopal Studies?

Absolutely. Candler will distribute over four million dollars in awards each year, and scholarships are available to students of all denominations. Typically over seventy-five percent of eligible students receive a scholarship. Visit Candler's financial aid page for information on Leadership Candler and other scholarship programs.

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 page for more information. Those wishing to enroll for the Episcopal Studies Certificate must first be accepted and registered for classes in Candler's M.Div. 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.