Dean Jan Love has announced that Celeste Eubanks will join Candler School of Theology as director of its newly established Center for Christian Leadership, effective September 1, 2023.
Eubanks comes to Candler from the Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church (AWFUMC). She joined the conference staff in 2018 as director of leadership strategies before transitioning to director of connectional ministries in 2022. Prior to her time at AWFUMC, Eubanks worked for 14 years in software development and human resources management. She completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Southern Mississippi and a master of arts in communication and leadership studies from Gonzaga University.
A native of Louisiana, Eubanks is a deaconess in The United Methodist Church and has been active in the denomination at district, annual conference, jurisdictional conference and national levels. She currently serves on the AWFUMC Board of Ordained Ministry, as vice-chairperson of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals, and in the Program Advisory Group of United Women in Faith (formerly United Methodist Women). She has served as a lay delegate to the AWFUMC annual conference through St. John United Methodist Church in Mobile and was recently elected a lay delegate to General Conference. In addition to her denominational and church service, she is on the alumni committee of Leadership Montgomery’s Legacy Class XXXVIII and has also served with Boys & Girls Club of America, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Communities of Transformation, among other organizations.
At Candler, Eubanks will manage the day-to-day operations of the Center for Christian Leadership, a new offering that will expand opportunities for United Methodist leaders to learn best practices in onboarding, team building, strategic planning, financial management, and other business areas. The Center’s training modules are based on the work of human resources expert and consultant Claire Bowen, who, together with Bishop David Graves of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, sought a partnership with Candler to bring this training to a wider audience to serve the church. Bowen will continue creating training modules for the Center as Eubanks leads operations.
The Center will initially focus on serving United Methodist leaders nominated by their bishops; longer-term plans will expand offerings to leaders from other denominations, as well as Candler students. More information will be available as plans develop.