With the 2021-2022 academic year set to begin in a few short weeks, Candler School of Theology welcomes new faculty to its ranks and celebrates promotions of current faculty.

crena-lucila-rec.pngLucila Crena joins the faculty as managing director of the Theological Education Between the Times Project and instructor in theology, ethics, and culture. Crena earned her PhD from the University of Virginia and her MA from Regent College. She has taught at innovative theological institutions including the Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios (CETI, in San José, Costa Rica), Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, D.C.), and Regent College (Vancouver, BC), where she was part of the founding faculty for Regent’s new MA in Theology, Leadership, and Society. Crena also served as the faculty liaison during the course redesign of CETI’s MA program while the institution pursued accreditation in North America. She has been awarded fellowships from the Forum for Theological Exploration, Louisville Institute, and Virginia Theological Seminary.

dube-musa-rec.jpgMusa Dube joins the faculty as acting professor of New Testament. Dube comes to Candler from the University of Botswana. She studied New Testament at the University of Durham, earning a master of arts, and at Vanderbilt University, earning a PhD. Particularly known for her work as a postcolonial feminist theologian, her research interests include gender, postcolonialism, translation, and HIV and AIDS studies. Dube’s research has been supported by awards from the John Templeton Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the World Council of Churches, and the Society for Biblical Literature, among others. In 2011, Dube received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, one of academia’s most prestigious funding institutions. She has authored 262 academic works, published in journals, books, encyclopedias, educational modules, and magazines, and has edited eleven volumes. Dube is the 2017 winner of the international Gutenberg Teaching Award and received an honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University (South Africa) in 2018.

lee-sung-il-rec.pngSung Il Lee joins the faculty as missionary practitioner in residence. Lee is a missionary of the Global Board Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving as a lecturer and academic advisor in theology and ministry at the Methodist Lay Training Center in Nausori, Fiji. He has taught and ministered around the world, including in Dominica, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Senegal, Ukraine, India, the Philippines and Myanmar. Lee has served Korean churches for 13 years as an ordained pastor, military and hospital chaplain, and missionary to the Philippines. Most recently, he served as senior pastor at Appenzeller Memorial Nairi UMC in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

moore-eric-rec.jpgEric Moore joins the faculty as postdoctoral fellow. An affiliate instructor at Emory College, Moore previously served as a curatorial fellow with Candler’s Pitts Theology Library. He has taught at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Georgia Central University. Moore’s research focuses on interpretation of the New Testament, particularly in light of ancient Mediterranean community and ritual practices. His first monograph, Claiming Places: Reading Acts of the Apostles through the Lens of Ancient Colonization (Mohr Siebeck, 2020), examines how cultural beliefs about community foundation shape the story of beginnings which unfolds in Acts. Moore is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions, and the Archaeological Institute of America.

lahronda-little2.jpgLahronda Little 18T will serve as interim director of Candler’s Women, Theology, and Ministry program. A Candler graduate and doctoral candidate in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion, Little’s interdisciplinary research centers on soteriology through the lens of public health and religion. She has been a Forum of Theological Exploration doctoral fellow and an Angella Current-Felder Women of Color Scholar through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) for The United Methodist Church. Little has authored multiple book chapters and reviews. She will teach a course on spirituality and health at Candler this fall and is slated to present at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion this November. Little is a certified candidate for ordination as an elder in The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church and currently serves as pastor of religious practice and health at Stone Mountain First UMC.

karen scheibKaren Scheib rejoins the faculty as scholar-in-residence after retiring in 2020 as professor of pastoral care and pastoral theology. Scheib began teaching at Candler in 1998, and served as director of the school’s Women, Theology, and Ministry program for many years. Her research interests include faith and health, theological and cultural dimensions of crises and trauma, and narrative theory and therapy. She is the author of Challenging Invisibility: Practices of Care with Older Women (Chalice Press, 2004), Pastoral Care: Telling the Stories of Our Lives (Abingdon Press, 2016), and Attend to Stories: How to Flourish in Ministry (Wesley’s Foundery Books, 2018). Her current writing explores the intersection of ecclesiology and practices of care. Scheib served on the editorial board of Journal of Pastoral Theology from 2003-2005 and as the managing editor from 2005-2008.

thomas-gabrielle-rec.jpgGabrielle Thomas joins the faculty as assistant professor of early Christianity and Anglican studies. Thomas comes to Candler from Yale Divinity School, where she was a lecturer in early Christianity and Anglican studies. Prior to that, she held a two-year tenure as a post-doctoral research associate at Durham University in the United Kingdom. An ordained priest in the Church of England, Thomas has served churches as both a lay and an ordained leader. She completed her PhD in Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham while working in full-time parish ministry. Thomas is also a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Theological Reflection Group, a small group of academic theologians who gather with the archbishop for an extended visit twice a year to reflect theologically on pressing issues in the church and the world. In addition to authoring a significant number of journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, she has published three books: The Image of God in the Theology of Gregory Nazianzus (Cambridge, 2019), Women and Ordination in the Orthodox Church: Explorations in Theology and Practice (co-edited, Cascade, 2020), and For the Good of the Church: Unity, Theology and Women (SCM Press, 2021).

tumminio-hansen-danielle-rec.pngDanielle Tumminio Hansen joins the faculty as assistant professor of practical theology and spiritual care. Tumminio Hansen most recently served as assistant professor of pastoral theology and director of field education at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, where her courses focused on trauma, practical theology, and pastoral theology, with a feminist, intersectional, and anti-racist lens. She earned her master of divinity and master of sacred theology degrees from Yale Divinity School and her PhD from Boston University School of Theology. She has been a lecturer at Yale and Tufts universities and served as a chaplain and Episcopal parish priest. Tumminio Hansen has authored multiple books in practical theology, including Conceiving Family: A Practical Theology of Surrogacy and Self (Baylor University Press, 2019), God and Harry Potter at Yale (Unlocking Press, 2010), and Expecting Jesus (Morehouse, 2014), a series of daily Advent reflections. She is also the co-editor of When Two or Three Are Gathered, an anthology of spiritual vignettes composed by a diversity of individuals throughout The Episcopal Church. In addition to her books, Tumminio Hansen has written extensively for publications including Huffington Post and The Guardian about the intersection of popular culture and faith. She has served as a member of the Yale Divinity School Alumni Board and The Episcopal Church’s Board of Examining Chaplains.

valdez-barker-amy-recAmy Valdez Barker joins the faculty as visiting associate professor of religious education and mission innovation. Valdez Barker earned her MTS and PhD degrees from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. As the former Executive Director of Global Mission Connections at The General Board of Global Ministries she was responsible for leading five regional offices and two global offices in leadership development and scholarships, as well as overseeing the placements and supervision of 200+ missionaries. Prior to that, Valdez Barker served as the Chief Connectional Ministries Officer for the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church, responsible for coordinating the mission, ministries, and programs of The United Methodist Church. She is the lead researcher for the Foundation for Evangelism’s Impact Study, examining the impact of evangelism courses in everyday ministry settings. She has contributed to the Advent Study by Abingdon Press called “All the Good,” which will be published in the fall of 2021. Valdez Barker is an ordained deacon in the North Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Candler will also welcome Luke Timothy Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins, as the 2021-2022 Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture. In this role, Johnson will present public lectures on Sept. 15 and Nov. 10 and will teach the course “Imitation of Christ: An Inquiry into the Nature of Discipleship.”

Along with these new faculty members, Dean Jan Love has announced that the following faculty have received promotions:

  • Ellen Ott Marshall has been promoted to Professor of Christian Ethics and Conflict Transformation
  • Roger S. Nam has been awarded the rank of Professor of Hebrew Bible
  • Deanna F. Womack has been promoted to Associate Professor of History of Religions and Interfaith Studies
  • Timothy P. Jackson has been appointed Bishop Mack B. and Rose Stokes Professor of Theological Ethics
  • Ted A. Smith has been appointed Almar H. Shatford Professor of Preaching and Ethics

Candler will open the new academic year with Fall Convocation on Thursday, August 26 at 11:30 a.m. EDT in Cannon Chapel. James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership Robert M. Franklin, Jr. will give the convocation address. Timothy P. Jackson and Ted A. Smith will be installed in their new chaired professorships. The event will be livestreamed on the Candler website and available for later viewing on Candler’s Vimeo channel.