Real International Engagement

Credit: Sam White 15T.

James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership Robert M. Franklin, Jr., led students in his “Moral Leadership in International Context” travel seminar course on a ten-day trip to South Korea in May. Their jam-packed itinerary included these highlights: meeting and worshiping with families of victims of the Sewol Ferry disaster, visiting the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), taking part in a demonstration alongside Korea’s World War II-era “comfort women,” and participating in a prayer service at the world’s largest church, 800,000-member Yoido Full Gospel Church. They also visited Yonsei University and attended Methodist Theological University’s International Conference for the 277th anniversary of John Wesley’s conversion, featuring the university’s president, Jong Chun Park 82T 86G. Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Gregory C. Ellison II accompanied the group as a guest lecturer. 

Back to School

Credit: Cindy Brown 09T.

Candler welcomes back Don E. Saliers, William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Liturgy, Emeritus, who has returned to the active faculty for a multi-year term as Theologian-in-Residence. Saliers retired from Candler in 2007 after 33 years of teaching systematic theology and liturgy. In his new role, he is focusing on spiritual formation and lifelong learning, including developing and teaching new courses, crafting opportunities for students to practice daily prayer in Candler’s new Wesley Teaching Chapel and new spiritual formation room, and leading retreats and workshops for congregational leaders. It will come as no surprise that one of his great passions will accompany this new journey. “There will be music all along the way,” he says. 

Cambridge Calling

Credit: Ann Borden/EPV.

When Jeania Ree Moore 15T decided to attend Candler, she wasn't sure exactly where the experience would lead. Now that experience is leading her to further studies at the University of Cambridge in England, where she has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, a prestigious full scholarship given to students outside the United Kingdom to pursue a postgraduate degree at Cambridge. The 40 U.S. recipients were chosen from 755 national applicants, with 55 additional scholars coming from other countries. Recipients are selected for outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential, and a commitment to improving the lives of others. Since the scholarship's inception in 2000, Moore is only the fourth Emory student to be named a Gates Cambridge scholar—and the first from Candler. A candidate for deacon’s orders in The United Methodist Church, Moore will pursue a one-year master's degree of philosophy in theology and religious studies, only the fourth Gates Cambridge scholar to do so.

Career High

John Snarey, Franklin N. Parker Professor of Human Development and Ethics, won the 2014 Lisa Kuhmerker Career Award from the Association for Moral Education (AME). The award recognizes those who have made outstanding, long-term scholarly contributions to the field of morality and to the AME. Praised as “an innovative and fearless researcher,” Snarey was noted for his award-winning research and critical review in Psychological Bulletin on cross-cultural morality, as well as for his book How Fathers Care for the Next Generation: A Four-Decade Study (Harvard University Press, 1993). “Snarey has focused on religious ethics and experiences, building a broad foundation for research and theorizing at the interface between morality and religion. He puts his theoretical ideas and research findings into action by honoring multiple voices in the morality conversation at AME conferences and school classrooms,” read the award announcement.

Luminaries Who Lecture

Candler hosted a star-studded roster of guest lecturers this spring. Obery Hendricks, who has been called one of the country’s most provocative and innovative commentators on religion, politics, and social policy, taught a J-term course called “The Politics of Jesus” as the 2015 Sankofa Scholar in Black Church Studies. Former president Jimmy Carter spoke in February as part of the Laney Legacy in Moral Leadership. Georgetown University’s Julia Watts Belser spoke in March at the inaugural Nancy Eiesland Endowment Lecture, named for Candler’s late associate professor of sociology of religion and disability studies. Activist the Rev. Osagyefo Sekou addressed "The Liberation Theology of Ferguson” in April. Read more about these and other lectures in the news section.

Faculty Moves

Credit: Kay Hinton/EPV.

New titles and new opportunities were abundant among the Candler faculty this spring. Professor of Homiletics Teresa L. Fry Brown was selected from a national pool of candidates to become Candler’s fourth Bandy Professor of Preaching, effective September 1. The Bandy Chair in Preaching was created in 1986 with a gift from B. Jackson Bandy, and is considered by many to be the premier chair in homiletics in the country. Bishop Mack B. and Rose Y. Stokes Professor of Theology Ian A. McFarland, who currently serves as associate dean of faculty and academic affairs, will leave Candler thissummer Credit: Cindy Brown 09T.for the University of Cambridge, where he has been named Regius Professor of Divinity. England’s King Henry VIII created the famed Regius Professorships in 1535. Following McFarland’s departure, Associate Professor of Church History Jonathan Strom will serve as associate dean of faculty and academic affairs. Rex D. Matthews was promoted to professor in the practice of historical theology and Wesleyan studies. Gregory C. Ellison II was promoted to associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, Steffen Lösel received a new title, associate professor of systematic theology, and Elizabeth Corrie was promoted to associate professor in the practice of youth education and peacebuilding. Andrea C. White, assistant professor of theology and culture, has accepted a position as associate professor of theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. 

Lighting the Way

Candler and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech have established a joint initiative called the Leadership and Multi-Faith Program (LAMP) to address the need for multi-faith understanding and community building in Atlanta and the surrounding region. The partnership includes the establishment of a faculty position at Candler and the development of public programming to be coordinated by the Ivan Allen College. “More than in any previous period in American history, people of many different faith commitments—or no faith commitments—go to work, schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, grocery stores and malls together, but they often don’t understand each other’s religious identity or communal practices very well,” explains Candler Dean Jan Love. That ignorance, she says, has the potential for breeding contempt that can cause the degradation of public discourse and—in the worst cases—spawn violent acts. LAMP will light the way toward understanding by offering students, civic and business leaders, and the general public training in multi-faith relations through courses at the two schools and continuing education programming such as seminars and experiential learning opportunities that draw on the expertise of Candler faculty and other renowned specialists.

New Degrees of Possibility

Now open for business: Candler’s newest degrees, the Master in Religion and Public Life (MRPL) and the Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work (MDiv/MSW) dual degree. The MRPL is a 30 credit-hour, residential degree program that explores the dynamics of faith in the public sphere. Designed for completion by a part-time or a full-time student in one to four years, the MRPL is ideal for professionals desiring a better understanding of the specific concerns of religious traditions they encounter at work, as well as for lifelong learners interested in developing an appreciation for the ways religion shapes the public landscape. The MDiv/MSW, offered in partnership with the University of Georgia, is designed for those interested in considering the role of faith and religious institutions in community health and development, the care of individuals in poverty and crisis, responses to systemic and institutional injustice, and issues of social transformation. The program allows the MDiv/MSW degrees to be earned in four years, one year less than if the theology and social work degrees were pursued separately. For more information on these and any of Candler’s 17 degrees, visit

The Prize is Wright's

Actually, make that two prizes. Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible Jacob L. Wright has received a $50,000 Templeton Foundation grant to underwrite new research and a book award recognizing his most recent scholarship. The grant will enable Wright’s participation in a philosophy research group at Jerusalem’s Herzl Institute, where he will examine the highly developed discourse regarding the knowledge of God in the Hebrew Bible and undertake comparative work with the New Testament. Wright’s 2014 book, David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical Memory (Cambridge University Press), received an honorable mention in the theology and religious studies category at this year’s PROSE Awards, administered by the Association of American Publishers. Recognizing excellence in professional and scholarly publishing, the PROSE Awards acknowledge pioneering research and landmark work in more than 40 categories. Entries are judged by peer publishers and librarians, and awards are given each year at the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Conference.