Today is my first day as the Candler Admissions Blogger—my first day as any kind of blogger, for that matter. Lane Cotton Winn has left us here at Candler to serve as Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Amite, Louisiana. Our blog will continue every two weeks throughout the summer.

There is actually a lot going on at Candler this time of year. We are offering ten courses this summer, including Dr. Joy McDougall’s Doctrine of God: Women’s Voices Past and Present, Dr. Steve Kraftchick’s Seeing Jesus: The Gospels and Cinema, and Dr. Ian McFarland’s Christian Creeds and Confessions. Additionally, Candler students will be attending the Africa South Regional Evangelism Seminar in Johannesburg, South Africa, with Dr. Wesley de Souza in August.

This summer, the admissions office is continuing to help students who are entering Candler’s MDiv, MTS, ThM and ThD programs starting this fall. We’re processing I-20s for our international students, preparing for the Hampton Ministers’ Conference in June, answering questions about fall classes and the MDiv curriculum, and help process students for Candler’s new need-based financial aid grants. We are also eagerly anticipating our move to the new theology building going up right before our eyes and out our windows. We are starting to pack our books, files, and belongings, and are recycling a lot of paper!

One of the projects I am working on this summer is putting together a resource guide for current and prospective students about some of the wonderful things there are to see, do, smell, eat, and take part in here in Atlanta. I grew up outside Chicago and moved to Atlanta in 1997 right out of college. I was a US-2 United Methodist missionary and came to Atlanta for a two-year term of service. I loved my first two years and decided to extend my stay for a third. Three turned into four then five. Six years after arriving, I felt the call to come to seminary, and the best fit for me was right here at Candler. So my two years has turned into ten, in no small part because of what a fantastic city Atlanta is. I love Atlanta for its community and diversity, its arts, sports, recreational opportunities, food, theater, live jazz, outdoor festivals, and proximity to mountains, beaches, hiking and camping.

In anticipation of my forthcoming and more extensive resource guide, I have begun to interview my coworkers here in the Admissions and Financial Aid Office about what they love about Atlanta. So here you have it, the Candler School of Theology Office of Admissions and Financial Aid’s 5 Things I Love About Atlanta, listed in no particular order.

Lisa Parker,Financial Aid Advisor

Lisa has lived in Atlanta for nearly twenty years, moving here from Brooklyn, New York. “I’m just as much a peach now as I am an apple!” she noted when she realized she’d been down in Georgia for about long as she’d lived in NYC.

Lisa’s Top Five Things She Loves About Atlanta
1. Fun independent theaters for shows, plays, and performances. Lisa sees the Alvin Ailey Dance Company perform every year when they come to town (this year was at the Fox Theatre) and also caught Daniel Beaty in his one-man play Resurrection at the 14th Street Playhouse.

2. Atlanta Dream, Atlanta’s new WNBA basketball team.

3. The Sundial Restaurant, an upscale, tri-level, revolving restaurant that sits atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel, the tallest hotel in the western hemisphere. Lisa recommends going for drinks and jazz.

4. MARTA—Lisa takes public transportation to work every day. MARTA is the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Lisa catches the train and the #6 bus to get from home to Emory. Not only does she not have to pay for gas, but she receives a Cash for Commuters reward of $3 a day to not drive her car to work. Pretty cool.

5. The newWorld of Coca-Cola. In addition to helping pay your tuition at Emory, the Coca-Cola Company, headquartered right here in Atlanta, has a fun, interactive museum/tasting center. The Admissions Office saw Jimmy Kimmel there last summer. He was kinda thin. TV really does add a few pounds.

Jena Black,Admissions Advisor

Jena moved to Atlanta from Philadelphia in 2002 to begin the MTS program at Candler and has stuck around ever since.

Jena’s Top Five Things She Loves About Atlanta
1. The DeKalb Farmers Market. This family-run, international farmers market occupies 140,000 sq. ft. and serves up to 100,000 people per week! Try the fresh-baked breads and homemade pizzas. Check out the >virtual tour.

2. Proximity to the country-side. Jena enjoys living in the city, while also being less than 45 minutes away from the working farm she goes to where she can relax or work with the animals.

3. Festivals in theCity of Decatur. Check out the BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival, the Decatur Beach Festival—with 60 tons of imported sand—and Jena’s favorite the Decatur Book Festival.

4. The Freedom Park Trail. Jogging, rollerblading, or walking the dog—the trail dead ends into a fantastic panoramic view of downtown Atlanta.

5. The Flying Biscuit. One of Atlanta’s many award-winning restaurants, tucked in the Candler Park neighborhood. The biscuits are un-sane, Jena’s a fan of the Love Cakes, and you can get breakfast all day! She thinks their pastry chef might have been on Hell’s Kitchen Season 1.

Check back in two weeks for more Atlanta favorites!