Bishop William Ragsdale Cannon joined the Candler faculty in 1944 as a professor of church history and historical theology. He served as dean of Candler from 1953 to 1968, when he was elected to the office of bishop of the United Methodist Church. As bishop, he served the Atlanta area from 1972 to 1980, and was a member of Emory’s Board of Trustees. Throughout his career, he served as a church emissary to national and international leaders and councils. He became bishop-in-residence at Northside United Methodist Church after his formal retirement in 1984.

Since its establishment in 1997, the William Ragsdale Cannon Distinguished Professorship has been held by highly acclaimed church leaders and scholars: Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Don E. Saliers, theologian-in-residence and William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theology and Worship; and Russell E. Richey, former dean of Candler.

Strawn joined the Candler faculty in 2001. His most recent book, The Old Testament is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment (Baker Academic), was published in 2017.