The generosity of Candler’s alumni and friends continues to energize the school. Philanthropy helps students finance their education, enables the best instructional technology, supports faculty teaching and research, promotes lifelong learning, strengthens relationships with Christian churches, and opens Candler’s doors wide to the world. Read on about a few gifts that are helping Candler make a real difference in the real world.

Hitting a Candler High Note

Those who have had the pleasure of hearing the Candler Singers know that they are some of the best ambassadors our school has. The choir leads worship at Candler and has performed at a wide range of churches, regional events, and denominational gatherings, including the last three General Conferences of The United Methodist Church. The Singers, all students at Candler, are led by the Rev. Barbara Day Miller, associate dean of worship and music and a nationally recognized teacher and consultant in worship practices.

A careful worship planner, Day Miller says that when The Singers perform in concert she often hears from audience members that the performance was a spiritual experience. “I think one of the reasons the choir is so compelling is because it’s obvious they believe what they’re singing—and that comes across to the audience,” she says. “It’s a time of deep and meaningful worship.”

Thanks to a gift in honor of Day Miller, the Candler Singers’ tours will be underwritten for the next five years, giving more people the chance to experience the ensemble’s special brand of worship in song. Look for them at a church near you!

Paying it Forward

Candler is committed to making theological education affordable. At a time when other schools may be trimming their aid budgets, we offer one of the most robust financial aid programs in seminary education, providing more than 80 percent of eligible students with scholarship support each year.

Donors who establish endowments that fund scholarships and stipends make this possible.

That’s where Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor 75T and the Rev. Rusty Taylor 75T, of Knoxville, Tenn., come in. No strangers to supporting their alma mater, the couple has most recently established The Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor and Reverend Rusty Taylor Endowment for Pastoral Ministry, which helps support Candler students who are preparing for parish ministry.

“We made this gift to Candler because we know that the future of The United Methodist Church will depend upon young clergy who will lead the church into the 21st century and beyond,” Bishop Taylor says. "We are committed to the mission of Candler in preparing these leaders.”

Honoring a LegacyBlack Church Studies

Candler School of Theology has established the Erskine-Smith-Moseley Scholarship Endowment in honor of three of the school’s first African American faculty. The endowment will provide students of the school’s Black Church Studies Program with scholarships and stipends to support their theological education.

Named for Noel Erskine, Luther Smith, and Romney Moseley, three pioneer black scholars at Candler, the endowment reached the $100,000 mark this summer, and its income will begin underwriting scholarships in fall 2014.

Key to the endowment’s development was the director of Candler’s Black Church Studies Program, Teresa L. Fry Brown, who considers the fund an important nod to those who prepared the way for future black scholars. “The first purpose in establishing the endowment was to honor the presence, work, and scholarship of those who paved the way for both black faculty and students,” she says.

Dean Jan Love notes how fitting it is that the school has established an endowment that simultaneously honors the past and looks toward the future. “Candler has a rich tradition of raising a prophetic voice in issues of race relations, and this scholarship fund provides another avenue for the development of that legacy,” she says.

Learning from a Legend

Born in 1882, Clovis Gillham Chappell had a ministerial career that spanned sixty-two years, beginning during the presidency of William H. Taft and concluding during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon. Officially, he served the Methodist Church for 41 years, pastoring fourteen churches and circuits. After retiring in 1949 at the age of 67, he continued to preach as a guest lecturer, speaking approximately 5,000 times during his retirement years.

Collection of sermonsEducated at Trinity College (Duke University) and at Harvard, Chappell went on to become one of the most notable preachers in America, particularly gifted in selecting sermon topics that were both timely and timeless. In addition to being a master preacher, he was a prolific writer, penning 35 books of sermons and one book on homiletical theory. 

Davis Chappell 85T, great-nephew of Clovis Chappell, has donated his renowned great-uncle’s papers to Pitts Theology Library. The collection includes the typed sermons and book manuscripts of Clovis Chappell—some with handwritten notes on them—dating from the early to mid-twentieth century. Fully digitized, the collection is accessible via the Pitts Theology Library website,, opening these significant works to a wider audience.

These and other recent gifts sustain us and guide us on to new endeavors that strengthen our ability to educate faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries in the world. Together, we are making a real difference in the real world.


The recent birth of his daughter is one of the most meaningful and joyous beginnings Mathew Pinson has experienced.