Four Candler alumni have been selected to receive 2020 Doctoral Fellowships from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). Lahronda Little 18T and Shari Madkins 16T, both PhD students at Emory, Gina Robinson 16T at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Byron Wratee 18T at Boston College make up one-fourth of this year’s FTE Doctoral Fellows class.

FTE awarded its Doctoral Fellowships to 16 students of color across 15 institutions to support their PhD or ThD program in religion, theological studies or biblical studies. Students in this year’s class received either the Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent or the Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Students. Each Fellow will receive a living stipend to help further their studies beyond the coursework stage.

“We received a record number of applications making this year’s selection process the most competitive year-to-date,” said Patrick B. Reyes, FTE senior director of learning design. “The work being done by each Fellow in the 2020 class is exactly what we need during these uncertain times. Their collective projects honor their communities of accountability and cast a vision for an academy that cares deeply about the world we all hope to inhabit.”

As part of the award, Fellows will have the opportunity to attend the 2020 FTE Forum for Theological Educators, held November 18-20, in Boston, Massachusetts, prior to the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. The Forum will provide opportunities for networking, professional development, vocational exploration and mentoring.

FTE developed these doctoral initiatives to help accelerate the completion of doctoral degrees among students of color and to foster diversity across the academy in North America.

These latest awards bring to ten the number of Candler alumni who have earned FTE doctoral fellowships since 2018. Earlier awardees include Whitney Bond 16T (Chicago Theological Seminary), Eunil David Cho 15T 20G (Emory University), Diana Rodriguez Click 14T 23G (Emory), Ericka Dunbar 13T (Drew University), Rachelle Green 14T 22G (Emory), and Nicole Symmonds 13T 23G (Emory).