The rich legacy of Candler School of Theology’s first one hundred years was palpable throughout the school’s fall Centennial Celebration, which took place over two days on October 23 and 24. Generations of Candler faculty, staff, friends, alumni and students gathered on campus to reminisce, give thanks, and honor the women and men who have given extraordinary service to the school, the church, and society over the past century.

The celebration began with the debut of Candler’s Centennial video prior to morning worship on October 23. Watch the video. An event that evening in Cannon Chapel, titled “Memories of Candler in Word and Music,” told the school’s story through music, drama and dance. Based on a new book on Candler’s history, Religion and Reason Joined: Candler at 100 by Emory’s Vice President and Deputy to the President Gary S. Hauk, the event featured student performers from the Candler Singers and the Candler Players, who presented songs and skits addressing different moments from Candler’s first century. Associate Dean of Worship and Music Barbara Day Miller directed the Singers. Between performances, video presentations by Candler faculty and faculty emeriti highlighted elements of the school’s legacy, including academics, diversity, ecumenism and worship.

Candler’s Centennial Convocation on October 24 in Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church offered a chance for the Emory and Candler communities to acknowledge Candler’s historic significance within the larger Atlanta community. The Candler Singers led the congregation in the debut of a new arrangement of the popular hymn “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart” by Professor Emeritus of Church Music Carlton R. Young. Dignitaries from Emory University, the University System of Georgia, The United Methodist Church and the ecumenical and international communities offered words of congratulations and gratitude, including Yong-Kag Kwon, a bishop of the Methodist Church of Korea.

Dean Jan Love recognized 56 women and men as Candler’s Centennial Medalists, individuals selected by the Centennial Coordinating Committee for their extraordinary service to the school, the church and society over the past century. Medals were presented to honorees or family representatives at a morning event preceding convocation. View a list of the Centennial Medalists.

Luther E. Smith Jr., professor emeritus of church and community, gave the convocation address “Since We Are Surrounded” on the Scripture passage Hebrews 11:32-12:2. Calling Candler “a place for the formation of witnesses…and a place of faithful witness,” Smith evoked the “cloud of witnesses” that formed and transformed the school over its first 100 years. He then summoned a call to action for Candler’s next century.

“Our core values urge us to run now with perseverance the race that is set before us,” Smith said, referring to the Scripture passage. “The race is not run on a smooth track, but on rough and treacherous ground. It’s run in urban areas where many fear to tread, in affluent communities where wealth does not prevent domestic abuse and drug addictions, in hospitals and nursing homes where loved ones and strangers long for visitors, in small towns gasping for economic vitality. The race is run wherever faith, hope, and love are needed.…These Centennial celebrations are to dream and to prepare and to run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”

Watch both events below.