A Tribute to Retiring Faculty

Honoring Retiring Faculty

As the 2019-2020 academic year draws to a close, two longtime Candler professors are retiring from the faculty. Professor in the Practice of New Testament Interpretation and Director of General and Advanced Studies Steven J. Kraftchick and Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology Karen D. Scheib have served Candler for a combined total of 59 years. Under normal circumstances, they would be honored at Candler’s faculty and staff end-of-year celebration, with tributes and gifts presented by their colleagues. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, these tributes have been moved to a virtual format—but that shift in no way diminishes the gratitude and celebration that they have each earned over their decades of committed service to their students, the church, and the academy. After you watch these video tributes and enjoy the accompanying photos, we invite you to be part of the celebration and write a message in the guestbook below.

Steve Kraftchick: Connecting Ideas, Connecting with People

Steven Kraftchick Steven J. Kraftchick, professor in the practice of New Testament interpretation and director of general and advanced studies, retires from Candler this spring after 37 years at Candler. An analytical mind paired with a heart for relationships has helped make Kraftchick a beloved professor, valued colleague, and enthusiastic collaborator throughout both Candler and Emory for nearly four decades. Read the full story.

A Tribute to Steven J. Krafchick

Presented by Director of Pitts Theology Library and Margaret A. Pitts Assistant Professor in the Practice of Theological BibliographyRichard (Bo) Manly Adams, Jr., with an introduction by Dean Jan Love.


Karen Scheib: Modeling Care through Compassion, Challenge, and Creativity

Karen ScheibProfessor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology Karen D. Scheib will retire from Candler this spring after 22 years on the faculty. A beloved and important figure for two decades' worth of students, Scheib has been a leader across Candler and Emory University. Her subject matter holds a unique position in Candler’s curriculum that has enabled her to engage with each entering MDiv class, kickstarting their Candler experience. Read the full story.

A Tribute to Karen D. Scheib

Presented by Associate Professor of Christian Ethics Elizabeth M. Bounds and Associate Dean of Methodist Studies and Professor in the Practice of Ecclesiology and Church Leadership Anne Burkholder, with an introduction by Dean Jan Love.

EKGSA Thanks Dr. Scheib

Members of the Emory Korean Graduate Student Association, past and present, offer their thanks to Dr. Scheib, who has served as the student organization's faculty advisor for 21 years.


For the past several years, Pitts Theology Library has made a significant rare book acquisition in honor of retiring Candler faculty. This year is no different, as the library has made two major incunable acquisitions to honor Professor in the Practice of New Testament Interpretation and Director of General and Advanced Studies Steven J. Kraftchick and Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology Karen D. Scheib.

Theologia naturalis (Strasburg, 1496). Photo credit: Wolfgang FriebesTo honor Steven J. Kraftchick’s prolific career and lasting impact on the school, the university, and the library, Pitts has acquired an important work on natural theology, written by a fellow Renaissance man. Raymond of Sabunde (d. 1436) was a Catalonian theologian and scientist. He was master of arts, doctor of medicine, and professor of theology at the University of Toulouse, best known for a work completed in 1436: Theologia naturalis. The first printed edition of the book is undated, but it was likely printed in 1484. This work is thought by some to be the first appearance of the phrase “natural theology,” and it is certainly an expression of ideas about humanity’s understanding of the divine that was decades, if not centuries, ahead of its time. In the work, Raymond declares that the book of nature and the Bible are both Divine revelations, both accessible to humankind.

The Pitts copy, the first dated version, printed in Strasburg in 1496, is bound in contemporary deerskin over wooden boards. The covers are paneled and blind tooled with a small rosette tool. There are remains of paper labels on the book’s spine. The first leaf of the text proper has a large blue painted initial A on a gold ground with pink and green edges and large pink and purple flowers. Strawberries, thistles, and a Tromp l’oeil of a dead fly fill the upper margin.

Stella clericorum (Cologne, 1500). Photo credit: Ann McShaneKaren D. Scheib’s writing and teaching on pastoral care has shaped generations of church leaders. In honor of her career and contributions, Pitts has acquired a rare manual of pastoral care from the 15th century, which shows that she continues a long tradition of Christian leaders compassionately caring for vulnerable populations at their greatest time of need. The Stella Clericorum, a medieval manual for pastoral care in the Catholic Church, was written by an anonymous author in the early 13th century, in the wake of the Gregorian reforms, which placed greater responsibilities on the clergy. The work emphasizes the moral obligations of priests and the need for responsible leadership, calling on clergy to exercise generosity, mercy, and tolerance. The work remained popular throughout the centuries leading up the Protestant Reformation, and there were over 50 printed editions in the fifteenth century alone.

The Pitts copy, printed in 1500 in Cologne, includes an attractive title page woodcut of Christ on the cross, illuminated by an early illustrator. The work includes manuscript annotations throughout, inscribed by an early owner. These annotations illuminate the actual use of this work in moments of pastoral care.

These two books are now part of Pitts Theology Library’s Incunable collection, which now includes over 110 works printed in Europe before 1501. The books will live in the Pitts vault, but will be frequently used for teaching, exhibitions and research.

For more details on these acquisitions and additional images from the books, as well as a list of rare books acquired in honor of previously retiring faculty, visit the Pitts website.

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