Extraordinary Gifts of Service for 100 Years

Like any good story, Candler’s history is best told through the actions of its heroes and heroines. Dean Jan Love and the Centennial Committee have selected 56 such men and women to honor for their extraordinary service to the school, the church, and society over the past century. These 56 individuals—administrators, faculty, alumni, and supporters, including some who are no longer with us—are each receiving a Centennial Medal for demonstrating one or more of the core values by which Candler seeks to define itself: the highest standards of intellectual inquiry, devotion to the Christian tradition, passion for social justice, an egalitarian spirit, and a commitment to practices of transformation. Their outstanding contributions to transforming the world in the name of Christ are Candler’s legacy of these first 100 years.

Asa Griggs Candler

In 1888, Asa Candler bought the formula and the rights for Coca-Cola from its inventor, a purchase that would have an enormous impact on Atlanta and the South—and indeed, the world. Though he is remembered for many things, including guiding The Coca-Cola Company to prosperity, serving as Atlanta’s 44th mayor, and giving generously to Atlantans in need, Candler’s place in Emory history was cemented by writing a letter.

After severing ties with Vanderbilt University in the spring of 1914, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was wavering between Birmingham and Atlanta as the site for a new university and theology school. The choice became clear when church officials read Candler’s letter, which pledged $1 million for the establishment of an institution in Atlanta that would be “directed to the advancement of sound learning and pure religion.” Half of the amount would be set aside to form an endowment for the theology school. At the school’s opening in the fall of 1914, it was reported that Candler spoke earnestly, bringing many in the crowd to tears when he said that what he had done in giving the foundational gift was a very small thing compared with what every minister and layman was privileged and obligated to do.

Warren Akin Candler 1875C 1935H
Methodist Bishop, Chancellor of Emory University

Thirteen years after graduating from Emory College in 1875, Warren Candler returned to his alma mater to become its president. For a decade, he worked to bolster the college’s academic reputation and financial footing. In 1898, he was elected as a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and became one of the most esteemed leaders of the church and the region. It was in his capacity as bishop that he was appointed to chair the Educational Commission tasked with deciding where the church should locate a school to replace Vanderbilt; his older brother Asa’s pledge of $1 million to support the cause cemented Atlanta as the choice. Bishop Candler was appointed to serve as the new university’s chancellor while also maintaining his duties as bishop. His first duty as chancellor was to appoint the original seven-member theology faculty, and in February 1915, just months after classes began, the theology school was named in his honor. Candler guided Emory University through its formative years and retired as chancellor in 1920. He continued writing and preaching until his death in 1941.

Plato Tracy Durham
Dean of Candler, 1914–1918

Plato Durham was the first dean of the theology school, but it seems his gifts lay more in probing the cosmic mysteries of the divine than in administration. Just four years into his tenure, a mutinous faculty meeting took place, in which the entire faculty claimed they would resign if the dean did not. (No minutes of the meeting exist, so the precise cause of the faculty’s discontent is unknown.) Durham ceded the deanship, but not his relationship to the school. He continued to teach his popular courses in church history and shape the school’s burgeoning ethos of prophetic witness. In 1919, he cofounded the Commission on Interracial Cooperation in Atlanta to oppose lynching and mob violence and to educate white Southerners concerning the worst aspects of racial abuse. The following year, Durham led an old-fashioned campus revival at Emory that was remembered for decades. In fact, Durham’s electrifying preaching caused law student John Rustin to abandon the legal profession and transfer to Candler; Rustin became one of Methodism’s most prominent preachers. Following Durham’s death, the chapel in the theology school building was named for him.

William A. Shelton
Original faculty member, collector

William Shelton was a member of Candler’s original faculty, appointed in 1914 to teach Hebrew and Old Testament literature. In 1920, he was invited to join the American Scientific Expedition to the Middle East; he was the only scholar on the trip not from the University of Chicago. At the time, there were few restrictions on exporting antiquities, and so Shelton sent about 250 ancient artifacts back to Atlanta, including Egyptian mummies, caskets, tools, and Babylonian clay tablets and bricks. Shelton’s collection became the nucleus of what is now known as the Michael C. Carlos Museum. He resigned his professorship in 1930 to return to his first love, the pastorate.

Andrew Sledd
Original faculty member, public theologian

Andrew Sledd was one of the original seven members of the theology school’s faculty, but it was actually his second time serving on Emory’s faculty. From 1898 to 1902, Sledd was a Latin professor at Emory College in Oxford, with a reputation as one of the best scholars at the school. All that changed in 1902, when he denounced lynching in an article in the Atlantic Monthly. Sledd’s chastisement of the South for ignoring the rule of law caused a local furor that resulted in his dismissal from the faculty. When Sledd returned in 1914 as professor of Greek and New Testament at the nascent university’s theology school, his views—particularly on the historical context of the Bible—were still viewed as overly progressive. However, in the interim years since Sledd’s firing, a belief in academic freedom had taken strong hold at the new university, a development that played in his favor. And despite the trouble it had caused him in 1902, Sledd continued to display a passion for racial justice that influenced his students and imbued the school with a spirit of actionable theology. In 1963, the white ministers who attended a memorial service for four black girls killed in a church bombing in Birmingham were almost all students of Andrew Sledd, according to one bishop.

Franklin Nutting Parker 51H
Dean of Candler, 1919–1937

Franklin Parker was Candler’s second and longest-serving dean, filling the role for 18 years. He joined the faculty in 1915 as professor of systematic theology and continued teaching until his retirement in 1942, at age 75. Though he was an admired leader and administrator, Parker preferred teaching and preaching to administrative duties. When elected to the episcopacy in 1918, he declined so that he could continue teaching, and he refused to allow his name to be considered in the 1922 episcopal elections. He also demurred when asked to step up as Emory University president in 1920 after serving as acting chancellor for several months when Bishop Warren Candler stepped down. His reluctance to take on administrative roles had no bearing on his ability to lead, however; Parker skillfully navigated the school through several formative moments. In the midst of the Great Depression, he advocated for more scholarship funds. During his deanship, Candler’s faculty voted to offer admission to women and non-Methodists, and instituted a requirement for supervised field work. And Parker supported the intellectual freedom of scholars, standing by Candler’s own Andrew Sledd and Wyatt Aiken Smart, whose views often drew criticism from biblical fundamentalists.  

As a testament to Parker’s prowess in the classroom, the clergy of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church, many of whom were Candler alumni, held a fundraising campaign in 1940 to create an endowment for the Franklin Nutting Parker Chair of Systematic Theology. These former students were able to raise $100,000—the equivalent of about $4 million today—on their clerical salaries to create Candler’s first endowed chair.

Ernest Cadman Colwell 23C 27T 44H
Scholar, administrator

A native Georgian who earned degrees at Emory College and Candler, Ernest Colwell went on to earn a PhD from the divinity school at the University of Chicago in 1930. He joined the faculty there, serving for more than two decades, ultimately as president. In 1951, he returned to Emory to serve as vice president and dean of faculties. Admiring the Committee on Social Thought, which he had observed in Chicago, Colwell founded the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory. From 1957 to 1968, Colwell was president of the Claremont School of Theology in California, establishing the school on a new campus after its separation from the University of Southern California in 1956. For many years, Colwell chaired the executive committee of the International Greek New Testament Project and chaired the board of trustees of Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center.

Arthur J. Moore 14C 34H
Methodist Bishop

Although he never attended seminary, Arthur Moore rose to the level of bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1930. Educated at Emory College at Oxford, Moore was ordained a deacon in 1912 and pastored churches over the next two decades. A gifted orator, he was also dedicated to missionary activities, which took him around the globe and earned him the moniker “Ambassador of Methodism.” He authored eight books and helped create The Upper Room daily devotional guide that has become a global ministry serving all denominations. He was president of Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and held board positions at numerous colleges, universities, and hospitals. Within Methodism, he served on the Board of Social and Economic Relations, the Committee on Overseas Relief, the World Methodist Council, and was the organizer and first president of the Board of Evangelism. Candler’s Bishop Arthur J. Moore Chair in Evangelism is named for him.

Neal Bond Fleming 33C 36T
Dean, Oxford College of Emory University

Named dean of Oxford College in 1966, Bond Fleming was a guiding force behind the campus’s vibrant expansion, adding a new library and athletic facilities and renovating the student center. A gifted administrator, he worked to put Oxford on sound financial footing and strengthen its ties to Emory, where it sent scores of students to continue their education at the Atlanta campus. An ordained Methodist minister, Fleming founded the Oxford Historical Shrine Society and worked tirelessly to raise funds to restore Old Church, the Methodist chapel built in 1841 on the Oxford campus. He was a lifelong leader in education, in the church, and in the community. A beloved teacher and noted orator, he preached at churches throughout the South, lectured at Elderhostel programs, and taught Sunday school until he was 95. 

Henry Burton Trimble
Dean of Candler, 1937–1953

Candler’s third dean and a professor of homiletics, Burton Trimble had the challenge of leading the school through the end of the Great Depression and World War II. He was immensely invested in the Candler community and spent considerable energy garnering resources and making improvements that would positively impact students, both in their professional and personal development. One notable example came after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when a Japanese Candler student was arrested as an alien enemy, and Trimble intervened and had the student released into his care. During the Trimble administration, non-Methodist faculty came to Candler for the first time, and so did tuition—$100 per quarter. He navigated the school’s surge in admission due to the G.I. bill, proposing the construction of dorms for both married and single students to ease the pressure of finding affordable housing. Also under his leadership, the school—the third largest Methodist seminary in 1950—completed a substantial reorganization of the curriculum and increased opportunities for continuing education for pastors, demonstrating Candler’s commitment to the church through such initiatives as the Town and Country School, the School for Urban Ministers, and the School for Accepted Supply Pastors. Trimble’s significant fundraising endeavors led to the formation of a Theological Advisory Committee of laymen and ministers, the precursor to Candler’s Committee of 100, which was formalized in the Cannon era. Together with prominent lay leaders, Trimble imagined and laid the groundwork for creating the One Percent Plan whereby Methodist churches in the Southeast Jurisdiction would donate 1 percent of their budgets to support Candler. Trimble’s deanship came to a close when Emory President Goodrich C. White tapped him for full-time development work to ensure Candler’s future financial stability. He served in this role for four years before retiring in 1957.

Kiyoshi Tanimoto 40T 86H
Theologian, humanitarian

On August 6, 1945, the minister of the Nagarekawa Methodist Church of Christ in Hiroshima, Japan, was two miles from ground zero when the catastrophic power of the atomic bomb was unleashed. The minister—Kiyoshi Tanimoto—survived, but his church was destroyed and his congregation lost 680 of its 800 members. From this devastating experience came a new mission of extraordinary service for Tanimoto: He spent months helping his parish and his city recover and rebuild, and continued to devote the rest of his life to helping other survivors, including the “Hiroshima Maidens,” a group of young women terribly disfigured by the blast. In addition to continuing to serve churches in Japan, he founded the Hiroshima Peace Center Foundation and spoke widely in the United States and elsewhere in behalf of nuclear disarmament. He was posthumously awarded an honorary doctorate from Emory University in 1986.

Mack B. Stokes
Professor, Methodist Bishop, founding director of the Graduate Division of Religion

Mack Stokes joined the faculty in 1941 and became Candler’s first chaired professor in 1953, when he was appointed to the newly created Franklin Nutting Parker Chair in Theology. Five years later, Stokes took on another title, becoming associate dean of faculty and director of Emory University’s new Graduate Division of Religion (GDR). His leadership laid the foundation for the prestigious reputation that the GDR enjoys to this day. In 1972, Stokes was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church and was assigned to the Jackson, Mississippi, area, where he guided the merger of four racially segregated conferences into two integrated conferences. His important work in Mississippi did not take him completely away from Atlanta, though; Stokes served on Emory’s board of trustees from 1972 until just before his death in 2012. Altogether, he served Emory as a faculty member, administrator, or member of the board of trustees for more than 60 years. In 2008, the Stokes family established the Bishop Mack B. and Rose Y. Stokes Chair in Theology at Candler to recognize the outstanding leadership of Mack and his wife, Rose.

Goodrich C. White 1908C 65H
President of Emory University, 1942–1957

A devoted Methodist layman and an alum of Emory College, Goodrich White served as Emory University president during both World War II and the Korean War. Following World War II, the G.I. bill led to an admissions boom, and White oversaw a monumental building program, including—at the request of Candler’s Dean Trimble—housing for theology students with wives and families. During White’s administration, Candler became the largest seminary in Methodism; faculty doubled and the student body quadrupled. White also initiated the planning process for Emory to begin offering more doctoral degrees, including a program in religion. His guidance of Emory’s growth led the school to a more prominent position on the national stage. White was named university chancellor following his retirement of the presidency.

Jack Boozer 40C 42T
Emory professor

As Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religion in the university’s department of religion for more than 35 years, Jack Boozer was an Emory legend beloved by generations of students. Following graduation from Candler, he served as an Army chaplain during World War II, an experience that inspired his later scholarship on the Holocaust. An award-winning teacher of Christian theology, Boozer worked persuasively to further Emory's emerging ethical and academic leadership. He was galvanized by the issues of minority rights early on, and joined colleagues at Candler and Emory in the 1950s to advocate for racially integrating the university. He was similarly committed to studying the Holocaust, earning renown as one of Emory’s early scholars on the topic. Boozer was instrumental in establishing the Jay and Leslie Cohen Chair of Judaic Studies, University Worship, and the ethics program in the School of Medicine. He received Emory’s highest faculty honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award, and the Emory Williams Award for teaching.

G. Ray Jordan 21T
Pastor, professor

After receiving his bachelor of divinity degree from Candler in 1921, Ray Jordan built a distinguished career as a pastor for churches across the state of North Carolina. In 1945, Jordan returned to Candler as a professor of homiletics, a position he would hold until his death 19 years later. He was a legendary preacher with a national reputation who taught his students that preaching was a sacred charge that demanded scholarship and preparation. He was also a prolific writer who published 17 books, more than 200 articles, and some 250 book reviews. In recognition of his academic and teaching excellence, Jordan was among the inaugural recipients of Emory’s first endowed professorships, created in 1960 and named for late board chair Charles Howard Candler, Sr. The professorships were awarded to senior scholars who demonstrated outstanding teaching ability, engaged in productive scholarship, and provided substantial service to the university.

L. Bevel Jones III 46C 49T 97H
United Methodist Bishop

A much-loved leader in The United Methodist Church and in ecumenical circles for more than half a century, Bevel Jones was a pastor in north Georgia when he was compelled to take a strong stand for racial justice. In 1957, he signed the famous “Ministers’ Manifesto,” a statement issued by 80 white members of the Atlanta Christian Council in the wake of the racial desegregation crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas. The statement, which was published in Atlanta newspapers, discouraged city officials and citizens from pursuing a course of massive resistance to federal authority in the integration of public schools, calling instead for moderation, communication between the races, and obedience to the law. Jones pastored six churches in the North Georgia Conference and was elected bishop in 1984, serving the Western North Carolina Conference until his retirement in 1996. After retiring as bishop, he served as bishop-in-residence at Candler. A longtime member of Emory’s board of trustees, Jones remained an enthusiastic ambassador for both Emory and Candler for many years, serving as a special assistant in Candler’s development office and a trustee emeritus for the university. Candler established the L. Bevel Jones III Chair in the Practice of Ministry in his honor.

William Ragsdale Cannon 69H
Dean of Candler, 1953–1968, United Methodist Bishop

Bill Cannon joined the Candler faculty in 1943 to teach church history; ten years later, he became the school’s fourth dean. During his tenure, Cannon made key faculty appointments that would shape the direction of the theology school for decades to come, including William Mallard, Manfred Hoffmann, Ted Runyon, Theodore Weber, Hendrikus Boers, and other early international faculty members. He secured funding for Bishops Hall, built on the work of Dean Trimble to recruit a full complement of 100 members to the Committee of One Hundred, and helped lead to fruition the adoption of the One Percent Plan throughout Methodism as a way to ensure denominational funding for the school. He also guided Candler through two defining controversial moments. At a time when the Georgia General Assembly was fighting efforts to desegregate schools, Cannon and his faculty fought for admission for students of all races, leading the university on the matter. He also defended the academic freedom of Emory professor Thomas Altizer in the midst of the “God is Dead” controversy, even though Altizer was not a member of the theology school faculty. He left Candler’s deanship in 1968 when he was elected bishop in The United Methodist Church. Cannon Chapel is named in his honor.

Gene Zimmerman 54T
Methodist pastor

Gene Zimmerman’s preaching, pastoral presence, and engaging personality have touched people throughout Florida and the Caribbean—and all the way to Candler. A religious and community leader, Zimmerman served United Methodist congregations across Florida for more than 50 years. Even after his “retirement” in 1992, he held pastoral appointments in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, and Nassau, Bahamas. In 1995, Zimmerman began working to construct a children’s home on Current Island in the Bahamas, where there were no child-care facilities; largely due to his fund-raising and planning efforts, The Zion Children’s Home was finally completed in 2013. Closer to home, Zimmerman’s friendship with Candler benefactors Frank and Helen Sherman was instrumental in the Shermans’ establishment of several endowments at Candler, now valued at $17 million.

James M. Wall 49C 55T 85H
Editor, The Christian Century

As an Emory undergraduate, James Wall was the associate editor of the Emory Wheel and worked full time as a sportswriter for the Atlanta Journal. In 1952, Wall was on his way to a writing career when he returned to Emory as a Candler student. He subsequently took on pastorates in small Georgia towns but soon blended his two loves by editing for Methodist publications. In 1972, he became editor of The Christian Century, the flagship publication of American mainline Protestantism, where for 27 years he played a major role in the dialogue on ethical and religious concerns within Protestant denominations. Wall has taught religion and culture at the university level, and has been a representative of the National Council of Churches to the motion picture industry and an advisor to the Motion Picture Association of America. His volunteer commitments have ranged from helping children in developing countries to sitting on a committee for identifying a permanent location to dispose of high-level nuclear waste. Active in politics, he was elected a delegate to six Democratic National Conventions.

Brady Whitehead, Jr.  55T 57G
Course of Study faculty

Brady Whitehead is a retired elder of the Memphis Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He taught for 32 years in the religion department of Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee, where he also served at various times as chaplain, vice president for student affairs, and dean of the school of humanities. He has held adjunct faculty positions at seminaries in the United States and abroad, and has led Bible studies in churches in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Beginning in 1979, he taught each summer in Candler’s Course of Study School, a program to educate and train licensed local pastors for The United Methodist Church. He also taught in Course of Study Schools in Alabama and Tennessee. “Of all the teaching I have done,” he says, “teaching the ministers in the Course of Study has been the most rewarding.” He retired from Candler’s Course of Study in 2014, after 35 years of service.

William Mallard

Bill Mallard joined Candler’s faculty in 1957 as a professor of church history. With his faculty peers—a group that called themselves the “young Turks”—he demonstrated a commitment to civil rights, academic collegiality, and transparency. In his scholarship, he was known for his rigorous analysis and his dogged support of academic freedom. In his teaching, he was known for his unfailingly whimsical presentation, occasionally unconventional methods, and unparalleled broad reach as he taught generations of Candler students about “Old-Time Religion.” When he retired in 2000 after 43 years on the faculty, Mallard was the longest-serving faculty member in Candler’s history, a record that still stands. Over the years, he taught thousands of students at Candler, and over his lifetime, he taught thousands more lifelong learners who sought out his lectures, sermons, and Sunday school classes in Atlanta and beyond.

Mallard is currently the only faculty member from Candler to have received Emory University’s Thomas Jefferson Award, which honors a member of the faculty or staff for significant service to the university through personal activities, influence, and leadership. The Bill Mallard Lay Theology Institute at Candler is named in his honor.

Haviland Houston 58T
United Methodist denominational leader

Drawing on her master of Christian education degree from Candler, Haviland Houston built an impressive record as a lay leader in local Methodist churches, focusing on tackling societal issues at the grassroots level. She became executive director of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta in 1972, where for five years she spearheaded programs that addressed affirmative action, institutional racism, and job and housing discrimination, and designed services for battered women, rape victims, and the disabled. Her work caught the eye of key leaders in The United Methodist Church (UMC), and she was named associate general secretary of the denomination’s Board of Discipleship. In 1981, Houston was elected unanimously to become the general secretary of The United Methodist Board of Church and Society. She was the first woman and only the second layperson to lead an agency in the UMC. Throughout her tenure, she spurred church leaders, activists, and laypeople alike to “move away from elitism” and put the resolutions of the Board into action at the local level, effecting transformation in the community.

D. W. 64 H and Ruth Brooks

Described as “a business leader with a missionary’s heart,” D. W. Brooks was dedicated to the Methodist Church. Raised in rural Georgia, Brooks founded a farmers’ cooperative in 1933 that became Gold Kist, a diversified Fortune 500 company. He led the company for 47 years, and was an agricultural and trade advisor to every president from Harry Truman to Jimmy Carter. He also started Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies in 1941 to provide farmers with insurance. Brooks frequently combined business trips and his responsibilities as a presidential advisor with his duties on the Methodist Board of Missions, a position he held for many years. He was an early proponent of the Ministerial Education Fund, which was originally set up to support theological education at Candler and has since expanded throughout The United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Ruth, were instrumental in founding Candler’s Committee of One Hundred, a cohort of committed ambassadors that has played a vital role in fostering understanding and strong ties between the school and the churches it seeks to serve. Brooks was an Emory trustee, a strong benefactor of the university and its theology school, and the inspiration for the D. W. and Ruth Brooks Chair in World Christianity at Candler, established in his honor. The commons area in Cannon Chapel bears his name.

Donald A. Harp, Jr.66T
United Methodist pastor

Don Harp served as a pastor in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church for more than 40 years. He is pastor emeritus at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta and pastor/theologian-in-residence at Candler. Under his leadership as senior pastor, Peachtree Road UMC established an impressive record of local, national, and global mission engagement and experienced tremendous growth; today it is home to more than 7,000 congregants. Harp is a strong advocate of United Methodist higher education and robust theological education. His position at Candler was created to help students gain insights from pastors with a career’s worth of experience. In addition to teaching in Candler’s Contextual Education program, Harp serves as a special advisor to the dean in the areas of development and church and community relations.

James T. Laney
Dean of Candler, 1969–1977, President of Emory University, Ambassador to Korea

By the time he was 40, Jim Laney had served as a Methodist pastor in Ohio, taught theology and ethics at Yonsei University while a missionary in Korea, completed his doctorate at Yale in two years, and joined the faculty at Vanderbilt, where he served while concurrently pastoring a church outside of Nashville. Even so, the response to the proposal that he assume the deanship of Candler in 1969 was lukewarm, with some questioning how one so young and “unproven” could lead the school. Yet in his eight years as dean, Laney did more than just win over his critics; he elevated the profile of Candler to new heights with his visionary leadership, securing its reputation among the top theological institutions in America.

In his first four years, he grew the faculty by 50 percent, paying close attention to the quality of his appointments and hiring the first full-time African American and the first woman on the faculty. Over the course of his entire tenure, student enrollment climbed 37 percent, making Candler the largest Methodist seminary in the world at the time. He orchestrated the purchase of the Hartford Seminary library collection, tripling the holdings of Candler’s theology library and vaulting it to international status, and he oversaw the formal integration of contextual education into the curriculum, creating a model for service learning now used in seminaries nationwide. His leadership squarely proven, Laney became president of Emory University in 1977, a position he held until 1993, when he was tapped to become the U.S. ambassador to South Korea. In 2009, Emory’s graduate school was named in his honor. Candler honored him by establishing the James T. and Berta R. Laney Legacy in Moral Leadership, anchored by an endowed faculty chair. Robert M. Franklin, Jr. was installed as the inaugural holder of the Laney chair in fall 2014.

Charles V. Gerkin

Chuck Gerkin, a second generation ordained minister and World War II veteran, began his career serving parishes in Kansas before taking on chaplain roles at a Veterans Administration Hospital and a training school for delinquent youth. In 1957, he came to Atlanta as the first chaplain at Grady Memorial Hospital. In 1962, Gerkin founded and directed the Georgia Association for Pastoral Care, and eight years later, he joined Candler’s faculty. With his rich experience, Gerkin was the natural choice to create and implement Candler’s supervised ministry program, now more popularly known as contextual education, or Con Ed. While many theology schools offered a limited fieldwork component, Gerkin led the faculty to develop a three-year program designed to give students a deeper understanding of ministry. The program was unique in that faculty members collaborated with field supervisors to foster, in small student discussion groups, theological reflection on the various ministry settings. Today, Candler’s Con Ed program is a national model for service learning that requires students to complete work in both an ecclesial setting and a clinical or social service setting. For Candler students, it is often one of the most defining experiences of their seminary education.

Credit: Cindy BrownE. Brooks Holifield
Professor, scholar

Brooks Holifield joined Candler’s faculty in 1970 and retired in 2011; in the 41 years between those two points, he won nearly every prize offered by Candler and Emory for exemplary teaching and scholarship. His university-rooted laurels include the Emory Williams Teaching Award, Emory’s Scholar-Teacher Award, an invitation to deliver Emory’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture, and a Charles Howard Candler Professorship. In 2009, the Association of Theological Schools named Holifield an Outstanding Theological Educator. His impeccable scholarship in American church history has earned him two honorary doctorates, numerous research fellowships, and in 2011, election to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most revered honorary societies; he is the only member of Candler’s faculty to have been elected to the Academy. He has authored seven books and more than 175 scholarly articles, book reviews, and dictionary and encyclopedia entries regarding American religious history. His crowning achievement is 2003’s award-winning Theology in America, the first full-scale study of the development of American Christianity from the 17th century to 1865. 

Channing R. Jeschke
Library director

It took Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut more than one hundred years to build their library; Channing Jeschke was just four years into his tenure as Candler’s librarian when he helped to bring that collection to Atlanta. Jeschke and Dean James T. Laney shared the goal of making Candler’s library a world-class institution. So when Jeschke heard that Hartford Theological Seminary was shifting its educational priorities and selling the lion’s share of its library’s fine collection, he persuaded the dean to make an offer. After three years of negotiation, Candler’s bid was finally successful, and in 1975, Jeschke was charged with organizing one of the largest transfers of books in American history, significant both in number of books involved and in distance traveled. With approximately 220,000 volumes, the Hartford acquisition more than tripled the Candler library’s holdings, propelling the school to a new level of public awareness and prestige.

In addition to helping orchestrate the Hartford acquisition, Jeschke also set the course for the library’s future growth by identifying the fields in which the institution should focus its purchasing power and by nurturing relationships with such notable donors as Margaret Pitts and Richard Kessler. Jeschke retired in 1994, following 23 years at Candler.

William L. Self 71T
Baptist pastor, denominational leader

Bill Self first felt the call to preach the gospel when he was 13 years old, seated in the back row of his Baptist church during Youth Week. True to that call, he perfected his craft across a 60-plus year career in ministry, adding denominational and pastoral leadership and a doctor of sacred theology from Candler along the way. His 25 years as pastor of Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta from 1964–1990 saw dramatic growth in membership, facilities, and ministries of outreach and mission. Active in denominational life, Self served as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), president of the SBC’s Foreign Mission Board, and preacher of the keynote sermon at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in 1977. During the denominational struggle Southern Baptists experienced in the 1980s, Self was a well-known voice calling for cooperation despite theological differences, and eventually became a leader in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. In 1991, he founded Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, which ultimately became a $45 million campus with a 2,700-member congregation and a $5 million budget. He served as senior pastor there until his retirement in 2012. A lectureship in preaching was established in his honor at McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, in 1997.

Credit: UNMS/Mike<br /> DuboseLarry M. Goodpaster 73T 82T
United Methodist Bishop

Larry Goodpaster earned both master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Candler. Ordained as an elder in The United Methodist Church, he served as a pastor and district superintendent in the Mississippi Conference, his assignments ranging from a five-point rural charge to a new church start to large-membership churches. He was elected to the episcopacy in 2000 and assigned to the Alabama-West Florida area. Goodpaster accrued an impressive record of conference and general church leadership, contributing his pastoral and administrative talents to such institutions as the Council of Bishops, Methodist Health Systems, and 14 boards of trustees. He was president of the Council of Bishops from 2010–2012. Goodpaster lectures and teaches widely, speaking internationally on topics of social and religious significance, and is an author of books and of numerous denominational publications. He has received honorary doctor of divinity degrees from Birmingham-Southern College and Huntingdon College. He now serves as the resident bishop in the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Don E. Saliers
Professor, scholar

Don Saliers, the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship, Emeritus, inspired the liturgical and worship life of Candler from 1974 to 2007, both in the classroom and in the chapel. It is entirely appropriate that his formal title includes reference to Dean Cannon, the namesake for the chapel where Saliers created so many formative worship experiences for the Candler community. During the planning stages for Cannon Chapel, Saliers helped to guide architect Paul Rudolph in the liturgical uses of the space. When the chapel was completed in 1981, he significantly shaped the worship culture of Candler and Emory with his sermons and deep knowledge of congregational song and sacred music. One of the leading authorities in liturgical studies, Saliers has written more than 15 books on liturgy and worship as well as more than 150 articles, essays, book chapters, and reviews. He is fond of saying that “music is the language of the soul made audible,” and though retired, he continues to teach us how to find ways to express a soul’s complexity, from grieving with lamentations to sounding the trumpet in praise.

B. Michael Watson 74T
United Methodist Bishop

A native of Dothan, Alabama, Mike Watson was ordained a deacon in The United Methodist Church (UMC) while he was a master of divinity student at Candler. He returned to his hometown in 1979 when he was appointed to start a new church. He served as its pastor until 1990, when he was appointed pastor of Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama, a position he held until his election to the episcopacy in 2000. After serving as bishop in the South Georgia Episcopal Area for eight years, he was assigned to his current post in North Georgia, the largest United Methodist annual conference in the country, with more than 362,000 members, 950 congregations, and 1,400 clergy. Watson’s leadership has also been sought outside the church. He has chaired the school board of the largest school system in Alabama, and serves on boards of trustees of nine colleges and universities—including Emory—and on the boards of numerous community service organizations. He served as chair of Candler’s Campaign Committee during Campaign Emory, the most successful fund-raising endeavor in the university’s history, during which Candler raised more than $65 million. He currently serves as chair of Candler’s board of advisors.

Susan Bishop 75T
Chaplain, choir director

You may not expect to hear a ‘joyful noise’ inside a prison—unless it’s Lee Arrendale Women’s Prison in northeast Georgia, where Susan Bishop is chaplain. “Chap,” as the inmates call her, began working in prison ministry in 1984 and quickly found that leading choirs of inmates was a perfect outlet for her dual musical-ministerial calling. “The prison is a great context for combining music, theology, counseling, and worship,” Bishop says. “You don't ordinarily think of music education in a correctional setting, but it encourages the inmates to grow spiritually as well as musically.” Bishop’s ensembles have performed at churches, schools, and denominational gatherings. An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Bishop works with her staff—who include an African Methodist Episcopal chaplain, an Islamic chaplain, and a Catholic nun—to provide counseling and worship programs at the prison. More importantly, they offer a setting where inmates can communicate, work out problems, and confront each other in a spirit of respect. Bishop worked with Candler professor Liz Bounds to create the Certificate in Theological Studies for women prisoners, a transformative program of theological education sponsored by the Atlanta Theological Association.

Susan T. Henry-Crowe 76T
United Methodist denominational leader, pioneer in multi-faith chaplaincy

An ordained elder in the South Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Susan Henry-Crowe was appointed chaplain of Emory University in 1991 and later named dean of the chapel and religious life, the first woman appointed to either role. For 22 years, Henry-Crowe ministered to and with Emory’s diverse community of 14,500 students and 13,000 faculty and staff, focusing on multi-faith and ecumenical work and fostering interreligious dialogue. During her tenure, multi-religious hospitality and engagement became Emory’s hallmark, serving as a model for other institutions of higher learning. The United Methodist Foundation for Christian Higher Education named her Chaplain of the Year in 2000. She used the award gift to establish Emory’s “Journeys” program, which has immersed more than 500 students, faculty, and staff in regions that have experienced strife in order to study the root causes of conflict and search for paths toward reconciliation. She served for 16 years on the United Methodist Judicial Council—the denomination’s “Supreme Court”—and was the first woman elected president of that body, serving in the role from 2008–2012. In 2014, Henry-Crowe became chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, the denomination’s social action arm.

Emmanuel McCall, Sr. 76T
Baptist pastor, denominational leader

Few have worked more constructively to advance racial reconciliation inside the white Baptist political structure than Emmanuel McCall, according to EthicsDaily.com, who named McCall the 2009 “Baptist of the Year.” In 1968, McCall became the first African American professional staff member of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), serving in Black church relations. He remained there for 23 years, steadfastly working within the culture to promote racial reconciliation until 1991, when he left the SBC to join the leadership of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. McCall’s work was instrumental in setting the stage for the SBC’s historic 1995 Resolution on Racial Reconciliation, wherein the denomination apologized to and asked forgiveness of all African Americans for condoning and perpetuating systemic racism, and pledged to eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life and ministry. An adjunct faculty member at Southern Baptist Seminary from 1970 to 1996, McCall developed a program in Black Church Studies that was later used by three SBC seminaries. Highlights from his long record of service include vice president of the Baptist World Alliance, moderator of the National Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, chair of the Board of Trustees for the Interdenominational Theological Center, and chair of the board of governors of the Georgia Association of Pastoral Care. He is interim pastor of historic Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Margaret A. Pitts

The daughter of a prosperous Methodist businessman and philanthropist, Margaret Pitts inherited her father’s generous nature, leaving a rich legacy at Candler and beyond. As a lifetime trustee of the William I. H. and Lula E. Pitts Foundation, established by her father in 1941, Miss Pitts guided the foundation in helping to underwrite Candler’s purchase of the Hartford Seminary collection, which tripled the holdings of the theology library and elevated it to world-class status. In 1976, when the theology building on the Quad was renovated solely to house the expanded collection, the library was named the Pitts Theology Library in honor of her and her father. But when Margaret Pitts died in 1998, she revealed the true depth of her devotion to Candler and the Methodist faith: She bequeathed nearly half of her immense estate to the school, with the rest apportioned to several other United Methodist interests in south Georgia. Estimated at nearly $80 million, the bequest was the largest in the history of Candler and the third largest to Emory. The funds established the Margaret A. Pitts scholarships for master of divinity students, which afford full tuition, fees, and a stipend. The Margaret A. Pitts professorship is named in her honor. 

E. Claiborne Jones 78T
Episcopal priest, social activist

During her 35 years of ministry, Claiborne Jones amassed numerous ‘firsts’ in both the church and the community. She was the first woman rector in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta—and the first in the southeast, according to some—the first woman priest named to Leadership Atlanta, and the first non-Methodist to win Candler’s preaching prize. In 1985, Jones was called as rector of The Church of the Epiphany, a century-old parish church on the border of Candler Park and Druid Hills in Atlanta. She guided the vibrant parish for more than two decades, through two major renovations and the remarkable growth of a diverse and dynamic congregation. In 2005, she became director of Emmaus House, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta that provides education, opportunity, assistance, and advocacy in partnership with the residents of the Peoplestown neighborhood of Atlanta. For nearly a decade, Jones led a staff of eight and hundreds of volunteers as they offered support for residents to weather crises, move toward economic security, and engage in enriching opportunities for youth. She retired in 2014.

Timothy McDonald III 78T
Baptist pastor, activist

Named one of the 100 most influential people in Atlanta, Tim McDonald is pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, which has grown under his leadership from 35 members in 1984 to nearly 1,500 members today. His passion for service is deeply rooted in struggles for civil rights and economic and social justice in Georgia’s African American community. He has served three times as president of Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, an ecumenical organization of black and white clergy and laypersons working on behalf of the poor, and has been an influential leader and board member of People For the American Way since 1995. A founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, he also served as national director of Operation Breadbasket for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was assistant pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church for six years. McDonald has been honored for exceptional volunteerism by the United Negro College Fund, the Georgia Public Service Coalition, and the American Cancer Society.

James L. Waits
Dean of Candler, 1978–1991

Jim Waits arrived at Candler in 1969 to serve as James T. Laney’s chief lieutenant. Following Laney’s appointment as president of Emory University in 1977, Waits served for a year as acting dean before the search committee realized that the best candidate for the job was already doing the job. Thus, Waits became the sixth dean of Candler in 1978. He surmounted great economic and cultural challenges to realize the construction of, Emory’s iconic Cannon Chapel. When it was completed in 1981, Waits invited the entire university into the space for events ranging from worship to concerts to dance performances, ensuring the chapel’s air of inclusivity and infusing it with creative energy. He hired the first woman to hold a tenure-track position and further strengthened Candler’s faculty with appointments including Fred Craddock, Luther Smith, Steve Tipton, and Carol Newsom. Under his leadership, the faculty became more diverse and so did the student body, as more women, minorities, and second-career students began entering Candler. He oversaw a robust development program, cultivating bequests that transformed the school’s endowment. While serving as dean, Waits also served as the founding director of the Carter Center for two years. He left the deanship in 1991 to become executive director of the Association of Theological Schools.

Fred B. Craddock
Preacher, professor

Described by some as “one of the most important homileticians in America for the last forty years,” Fred Craddock is no stranger to appearing on lists marking his impact. In 1996, Baylor University named him one of the 12 most influential preachers in the English-speaking world, and in 2010, his 1985 book, Preaching—widely used as a textbook in seminaries around the world—was ranked fourth on Preaching magazine’s list of the 25 most influential preaching books of the past 25 years. When Craddock came to Candler in 1979 as the first Bandy Professor of Preaching and New Testament, he was already a world-renowned preacher, but he was also a scholar, at a time when it was rare for a teacher of homiletics to be both. His advocacy of an inductive style of preaching, in which the congregation is led on a participative journey toward the conclusion, was groundbreaking in the field of homiletics. Craddock’s innovative approach continues to influence countless pastors in the pulpit today, three decades after its introduction in Preaching.

Credit: FTE/Allison<br /> ShirreffsLuther E. Smith, Jr.
Professor, scholar, advocate for civil and human rights

Luther Smith, who arrived at Candler in 1979 and retired from his post as professor in church and community in 2014, spent three and a half decades teaching students that concern for community is not an elective, impressing upon them the need for justice and inclusivity, and teaching them how to actively work toward transformation in the world around them. The call to community was not a directive that Smith simply handed down, however; he modeled this call through his leadership and service to a variety of organizations, including the Interfaith Children’s Movement, which he co-founded, the Pan-Methodist Campaign for Children in Poverty, and L’Arche, an international organization that promotes intentional faith communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together. Smith’s long career of advocacy took him from homeless shelters to government agencies, and no matter the setting, he made clear his commitment to caring for others. His activism both stemmed from and enlivened his scholarship and teaching. His seminal work on influential theologian and civil rights leader Howard Thurman introduced many at Candler and around the world to Thurman’s teaching and witness, yielding it not simply more accessible, but more formative. In the classroom, Candler students routinely found their spiritual practices and community commitments strengthened as Smith regularly—and gently—challenged them to expand their thinking and push their boundaries, doing so by first providing them with a secure foundation of compassion.

Carol A. Newsom
Professor, scholar

When Carol Newsom interviewed to become an instructor at Candler in 1980, academia still lagged behind other industries in gender equality and was decidedly cool to female faculty. Newsom prevailed, however, and in short time her insightful scholarship and gifted teaching spoke for themselves as she established an international reputation as an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Wisdom tradition, and apocalyptic literature. Now the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament, Newsom was one of the first women to hold a tenured faculty position at Candler, and she has blazed a trail for those who followed her, both at this school and in the wider geography of academia.

Among the 13 books she has written and edited are the acclaimed Women’s Bible Commentary (co-editor), now in its third edition, and the New Oxford Annotated Bible (co-editor). She has received numerous honors, including three honorary doctorates, prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Emory Williams Teaching Award. She served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2011 and became the director of Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion in 2012. Scholarly and administrative talents aside, Newsom’s students celebrate her as a mentor and a “matchmaker”— the one who connects a particular person and a specific biblical passage in magical ways, opening the possibility for meaningful dialogue between the two. 

Kenneth Samuel 81T
Pastor, advocate for LGBT, civil, and human rights

Kenneth Samuel was licensed as a minister of the gospel at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, under Pastor Emeritus Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. He was ordained at Ebenezer in 1982 and five years later organized the Victory for the World Church, which has dual standing as an Independent Baptist church and an active congregation of the United Church of Christ. Located on a 25-acre campus in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Victory Church promotes the spiritual development, educational enhancement, physical fitness, and social empowerment of its congregants and community members. In 2002, the church completed construction of a 3000-seat worship center along with classrooms, offices, a library, a bookstore, a recording studio, and a 500-seat fellowship hall. Ministries offered range from counseling services to a food and clothing bank to athletic leagues to business connections and finance. To Samuel, faith and activism go hand in hand. He has been a prominent voice for LGBT rights and inclusion, and has led Victory Church to be a welcoming and affirming congregation. He has been a delegate to several Democratic National Conventions and has held leadership roles with agencies including the African American Leadership Council of People For the American Way, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the Georgia Council on Adult Literacy. He has served as an adjunct professor in the religion and philosophy department at Clark Atlanta University and is currently on Candler’s board of advisors.

Frank W. and Helen V. Sherman
Business leaders, philanthropists

Though they never visited the Emory campus, Frank and Helen Sherman have played a key role in the lives of more than 1,050 ministers-in-training at Candler across the last three decades. A powerful team in the banking industry in north Florida, the Shermans were devout churchgoers dedicated to the renewal and revitalization of The United Methodist Church. They became interested in Candler as a way to ensure that the denomination would have the faithful and skilled leaders it would need to flourish in the future. In 1984, the couple donated $10 million—their entire fortune—to establish the Sherman Scholarship Fund at Candler to support United Methodist students who are committed to biblical preaching, pastoral leadership, and evangelical ministry. They also established the Sherman Endowment for the Ministry of the Church in Society, which currently supports Candler’s Youth Theological Initiative.  

M. Patrick Graham 83G
Library director, building committee chair

Pat Graham is the director of the Pitts Theology Library and the Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography, a position he has held since 1994. He earned his PhD in Old Testament studies from Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion in 1983 and returned to campus in 1988, working as a catalog and reference librarian at Pitts. He learned the full range of operations at Pitts under then-director Channing Jeschke and furthered his mentor’s goal of making Pitts one of the premier theological libraries in the world. As the library director, Graham continued the work of processing the colossal Hartford Seminary acquisition and oversaw the 90,000-volume General Theological Seminary acquisition. Graham has guided Pitts into the digital age, including scanning rare materials and making them available online through the Digital Image Archive, ensuring that scholars around the world can share in the wealth of Pitts’ treasures.

In addition to his work at Pitts, Graham served for more than a decade as chair of the building committee overseeing the construction of a new 128,600-square-foot facility for Candler. Completed in two phases—the first in 2008 and the second in August of 2014—the new building unites Candler’s classrooms, administration, faculty offices, and Pitts Theology Library under one roof for the first time in more than half a century.

Credit: UMNS/Mike<br /> DuboseJanice Riggle Huie 89T
United Methodist Bishop

Elected a United Methodist bishop in 1996, Huie served as president of the Council of Bishops from 2006–2008. She is currently assigned to the Texas Annual Conference, with 671 congregations and more than 284,000 members. In 2012, she crisscrossed the Conference, holding town hall meetings in local churches to promote a tripartite focus: the cultivation of growing, missional congregations, the formation of transforming lay and clergy leaders, and an investment in the young. The people of the Conference have responded by creating everything from after-school mentoring programs to daily food ministries. Huie received her doctor of ministry degree from Candler, where she won the Bandy Distinguished Preacher Award in 1991. She has served as president of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, president of the board of directors of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and president of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops.

Rosetta Ross 89T 95G
United Methodist elder, religion professor

Rosetta Ross is a leader in The United Methodist Church (UMC) and an acknowledged thought leader in African American women’s issues and civil rights. An ordained elder in the South Carolina Annual Conference of the UMC, she is a professor of religion and chair of the department of religion and philosophy at Spelman College. Ross is the recipient of numerous awards in teaching and research, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion in 2006. She is a sought-after writer and expert in public policy, affordable housing, social justice theory, and feminist theology, and has earned numerous fellowships and grants for ecumenical and cultural research. In addition to her work at Spelman, she has been an instructor of ethics at Candler and at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

O. Wayne 86H and Grace Crum 95H Rollins

It is nearly impossible to measure the importance of the Rollins family to Candler and Emory. Growing up in northwest Georgia and working long hours in a cotton field during the Great Depression, Wayne Rollins never went to college. Yet through drive and a keen business acumen, he built one of the world’s largest service companies and became one of the richest men in America, according to Forbes magazine. As a devoted Methodist interested in strengthening the gifts and graces of clergy in small towns and rural areas of his state, he directed his first gifts to Emory University to Candler School of Theology for the creation of the Rollins Center for Church Ministries. In 1990, he saw the newly formed School of Public Health at Emory as a vehicle for reaching out to underserved communities, and his support helped build what is now the Rollins School of Public Health, today boasting more than 5,000 alumni in 90 countries. Grace Rollins continued her husband’s good works following his death in 1991. In all, five generations of Rollinses have philanthropic relationships with Emory. A $15 million gift from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation in 2012 made possible the construction of the second and final phase of Candler’s building project, completed in August of 2014. The first phase of the building project is named The Rita Anne Rollins Building in memory of Wayne and Grace’s first grandchild. It became the home of Candler School of Theology in 2008.

R. Kevin LaGree
Dean of Candler, 1991–1999

Some second-career students might recognize themselves in Kevin LaGree, Candler’s seventh dean, who practiced law before obtaining a master of divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology and serving as a pastor in Kansas. When he became dean in 1991, the appointment of a senior pastor to Candler’s deanship was seen as sign of the school’s commitment to the church. LaGree was charged with leading a financial assessment to cut spending, but despite these constraints, he remained committed to academic excellence. He appointed fourteen faculty members and facilitated a strong relationship between the school and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. During his tenure, the school raised the GPA requirement for applicants while also strengthening enrollment. He also maintained the robust development program begun by his predecessors. LaGree left Candler in 1999 to become president of Simpson College in Iowa.

Luke Timothy Johnson
Professor, scholar

In 1992, Luke Johnson became Candler’s first Robert W. Woodruff Professor; the title denotes Emory’s most distinguished endowed chair. The title is a fitting one for such a preeminent scholar in the field of New Testament studies: Johnson has written 30 books, more than 70 scholarly articles, 100 popular articles, nearly 200 book reviews, and made more than 175 academic presentations. His 1986 book, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, now in its third edition, is widely used as a textbook in seminaries and colleges. A decade later, Johnson made national headlines with The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels, the first book to systematically challenge the excesses of the Jesus Seminar and popular books on the historical Jesus. In 2011, he won the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, designated for highly significant contributions to religious and spiritual understanding, for his book Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity, which proposes a new framework for analyzing early Christianity in its religious, social and historical contexts. With this prodigious scholarly output, you might expect Johnson to be the kind of professor who remains locked up in his office, spending more time with books than with students, but he is a beloved member of the Candler community who has won numerous awards for his passionate, challenging teaching. He has devoted enormous creative energy and time to his latest role as chair of the Centennial Committee.

Kenneth E. 92T and Cassandra 93T Marcus
Pastors in theAfrican Methodist Episcopal Church

Partners in life and in faith, this “dynamic duo” share a passion for creating ministries of grace, second chances, and putting faith into action. Together, Kenneth and Cassandra Marcus serve as senior pastor and co-pastor, respectively, of the 7,000-member Turner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Marietta, Georgia. The Marcuses also have guided the formation of close to 100 ministries that offer care and comfort to former inmates, teen parents, and those with income and employment needs, among others. Their goal is to connect people to Christ so that they can become connected to their ultimate destiny and purpose, becoming the very best person that God has created and called them to be. Outside of Turner Chapel, Cassandra serves as a learning resource consultant for the Black Women in Leadership Program at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and is a member of the Candler Alumni Board.

Nancy Eiesland 91T 95G
Scholar, professor

Nancy Eiesland came to Candler in 1988 as a master of divinity student. Her master’s thesis evolved into the 1994 book, The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability, which is hailed as the foundational work in the field of disability studies. The book was shaped by Eiesland’s childhood experience of undergoing numerous surgeries for a congenital bone defect. Following completion of her doctorate in the Graduate Division of Religion, Eiesland joined Candler’s faculty, eventually becoming associate professor of sociology of religion and disability studies. In addition to her pioneering work on disability, which included consulting with the United Nations on its Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, Eiesland was known for her work in sociology and congregational studies. In 2000, she published A Particular Place, which examined urban patterns affecting churches.

Russell E. Richey
Dean of Candler, 2000–2006

The eighth dean of Candler, Russ Richey arrived at a time when the relationship between Emory and The United Methodist Church (UMC) was strained. He immediately took up the task of repairing the bond, attending annual conferences and visiting churches and alumni. Richey’s personal and scholarly pedigree made him the right person for this task: He was a cradle Methodist and a consummate scholar of Methodist history. In fact, he authored the books that are required reading for seminary students in the denomination, including the two-volume The Methodist Experience in America. In addition to his work strengthening the relationship between Emory and the UMC, Richey also worked to shore up other denominational programs, including Baptist Studies and Episcopal Studies, rejuvenated Candler’s continuing education programs, and led the school in securing a $10 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to support a multidisciplinary doctoral program in practical theology and religious practices.  Also during his tenure, the long-discussed plans were developed for a new state-of-the-art building for Candler. These accomplishments are all the more commendable considering the severe economic downturn began in 2000, just two months before Richey’s appointment was announced.

Gary S. Hauk 91G

Gary Hauk was first introduced to Candler’s faculty when he came to Emory in 1983 to pursue a doctorate in Christian ethics in the Graduate Division of Religion. Since earning his degree, he has served Emory in senior administrative positions for more than 25 years and is currently the vice president and deputy to the president of the university. He is the author of Emory’s most recent history, A Legacy of Heart and Mind: Emory Since 1836, and co-editor of a collection of essays about Emory’s history, Where Courageous Inquiry Leads. Hauk’s understanding of Emory as a whole, combined with his significant institutional memory and his familiarity with Candler, made him the natural choice to author Candler’s new history, Religion and Reason Joined: Candler at One Hundred, which was commissioned as part of the Centennial commemoration. He meticulously researched and provided interpretive context for Candler’s past, resulting in a beautiful book that will serve as the definitive history of the theology school for years to come. Hauk also has served as an important resource during preparation for the Centennial, guiding the work to ensure historical accuracy. Throughout his time at Emory, he has generously worked to interpret the history and work of the university, as well as Candler, to United Methodist decision-makers and audiences. At a time when many research-intensive universities eschew religion, Hauk has steadfastly advocated and provided eloquent explanation for Emory’s long history of embracing the scholarly study and engaged practice of religion, including theology.

James W. Wagner
President of Emory University

Jim Wagner is an award-winning teacher and scientist who became the 19th president of Emory University in 2003. When he arrived at Emory, Wagner began a university-wide strategic planning process that allowed Candler to engage with every other division of the university, identifying and strengthening cross-disciplinary partnerships. In an age in which theology schools can become estranged from their parent universities, Wagner has understood Candler’s role in anchoring and complementing the entire university. Through his shared experience of the Christian faith, he speaks the language of both church and university, making him an especially effective champion of Candler. His support of the theology school was crucial to the success of Candler’s dual-phased building project.

Woodie W. White
United Methodist Bishop

When the Candler community gathers in worship, academic ceremonies, or other milestone events Bishop Woodie White gives resonant voice to our collective hopes, intoning invocations, benedictions, and any prayers in between with moving eloquence. He has served since 2004 as bishop-in-residence at Candler, a role that calls him to teach, mentor, and serve as a resource for students’ spiritual formation. White’s service to The United Methodist Church is extensive and includes pastoring churches, serving as a delegate to general conferences, and working on numerous boards and committees. Most notably, he was General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church from 1969 to 1984, and early in his tenure at the agency, he oversaw the formal dissolution of the Central Jurisdiction, the segregated administrative structure for African-American churches in the denomination. In 1984, he was elected to the episcopacy. He was president of the General Board of Discipleship from 1988-1992 and president of the Council of Bishops in 1996–1997.  White served as an active bishop for 20 years in both Illinois and Indiana until his retirement in 2004. He is the author of three books and is nationally known for his annual “birthday letter” to Martin Luther King, Jr., in which he recounts the past year’s developments in race relations for the distinguished civil rights leader.