Keith B. WhitmoreCandler School of Theology at Emory University has named the Rt. Reverend Keith B. Whitmore, Assistant Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, as director of its Episcopal Studies Program. Whitmore has served as interim program director since August 2012 and assumes the director role through the summer of 2015.

In addition, Bishop Robert C. Wright, 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, has agreed to chair Candler’s Episcopal Studies Advisory Board.

“I am thrilled that this team of leaders will build on an already strong foundation in Episcopal Studies at Candler to move us in new and creative directions for the future,” said Candler Dean Jan Love.

Candler offers the oldest university-based Episcopal Studies program in the nation. More than 200 students have gradated since the program began in 1974, and they currently serve in churches, chaplaincies, and social service agencies from California to Maine.

Bishop Whitmore says he hopes to expand the program’s curriculum offerings to reflect the needs of the 21st century church.  “I hope to find creative ways to form women and men for ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church—to build on the already outstanding reputation of Candler School of Theology in preparing people to serve our living Lord and lead the Church in mission,” he explained.

Assistant Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta since 2008, Whitmore previously served as the 5th Bishop of the Diocese of Eau Claire in Wisconsin. Prior to being elected as bishop, he served congregations in Wisconsin, Missouri, and Kansas. He received a master of divinity and a doctor of divinity from Nashotah House Seminary, Wisconsin.

“During this past fall semester, Bishop Whitmore ensured that Candler's long-standing strength in Episcopal Studies was well-tended with substantial attention to the needs of students, the coherence of the curriculum, and strong relations with the Episcopal Church, not only in the Diocese of Atlanta but also across the country,” said Love. “I look forward to his continued creative and steady leadership through the next two academic years.”

One of 13 official seminaries of The United Methodist Church, Candler offers programs of study in several denominations and interest areas, including Baptist Studies, Black Church Studies, Episcopal Studies, Methodist Studies, Religious Education, and Women, Theology, and Ministry.  The current student body of nearly 500 represents 43 denominations from 15 countries and 35 states.