Jan Love

Jan Love

Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean; Professor of Christianity and World Politics


PhD, Ohio State University, 1983
MA, Ohio State University, 1977
BA, Eckerd College, 1975


(404) 727-6324


Dr. Jan Love is an internationally recognized leader in church and ecumenical arenas and a scholar of world politics, particularly issues of religion and politics, conflict transformation, and globalization. The daughter of a Methodist minister, Love was raised in parishes throughout south Alabama, where she began a lifelong commitment to denominational service. She has been a lay leader at state, national, and international levels since she was in high school, including representing The United Methodist Church (UMC) on the World Council of Churches from 1975-2006 and serving on the boards of several United Methodist agencies. From 2004-2006, Love was the chief executive officer of United Methodist Women, the largest denominational women’s organization, with more than 800,000 members who raise up to $20 million annually for programs and projects related to women, children, and youth in the United States and abroad.

Love earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in political science and served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina for more than two decades in the departments of religious studies and government and international studies. Known across her 40+ years in higher education for her administrative acumen and effective leadership, Love was named interim provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at Emory University in December 2019, a post she held until July 2021. In this role, she guided the university through the COVID-19 pandemic, through processes of reckoning with past and present racial injustice, and through high-level leadership changes at Emory. She was tapped again to lead at the university level in 2022-2023, chairing the search committee for the dean of Emory’s Oxford College.

Love has served in leadership positions in numerous professional organizations within theological education, including eight years on the board of directors of the Association of Theological Schools, terms as president of both the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools and the Atlanta Theological Association, and as secretary of the University Senate of The United Methodist Church.


Southern Africa in World Politics: Local Aspirations and Global Entanglements. Westview Press, 2005

The U.S Anti-Apartheid Movement: Local Activism in Global Politics. Praeger Publishers, 1985


“Practicing Consensus at the Table: Doing Democracy Differently.” Conflict and Communion: Reconciliation and Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table, Discipleship Resources, May 01, 2006

“Multilateralism: Faithful Reflections on International Relations.” For the Peace of the World: A Christian Curriculum on International Relations, Friendship Press, January 01, 2005

“Walking and Talking: A Tribute to Konrad Raiser.” The Ecumenical Review, vol. 56, issue 1, World Council of Churches, 2004

Named among the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2023 Women of Influence

Elected to Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Scholars, Morehouse College

Alice Lee Award, Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church Commission on the Status and Role of Women

College of Liberal Arts Scholarship Support (CLASS) Award, University South Carolina

Walker Institute of International Studies Faculty Summer Research Grant, University South Carolina

Hewlett Foundation Curriculum Development Grant, Freshman Year Experience, University South Carolina

Excellence in Teaching Award from the Alpha Chapter of Mortar Board, University South Carolina

Exceptional Leadership in Ecumenical Arenas, United Methodist Council of Bishops

Head of Delegation for the World Council of Churches Delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, in September, and the NGO Forum on Women in Hairou, in August

Suzanne Armacost Medal for Alumni Service to Community, Eckerd College

Faculty Research and Productive Scholarship Grant, University South Carolina

In the media

August 11, 2023

Jan Love to step down as Emory Candler dean next summer

August 9, 2023

Candler School of Theology Dean Jan Love to step down in 2024, return to faculty

October 18, 2022

Going the Distance: How long-tenured leaders in theological institutions continue to inspire and be inspired

July 8, 2021

No Excuse for White People: Jan Love

May 13, 2020

Opening Remarks by Dean Jan Love, Candler Commencement 2020

March 11, 2019

Can the UMC Sustain 13 Seminaries? A New Study Investigates

March 5, 2019

Divided Methodists: Church Upholds Ban On Same-Sex Marriage, Openly Gay Clergy

July 20, 2017

Beyond Tolerance and Offense: Insights from an Ecumenical and Multifaith Journey

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