Five Candler alumni have been selected to receive 2018 Doctoral Fellowships from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). Whitney Bond 16T (Chicago Theological Seminary), Eunil David Cho 15T 23G (Emory University), Diana Rodriguez Click 14T 23G (Emory), Ericka Dunbar 13T (Drew University) and Rachelle Green 14T 22G (Emory) were selected as part of the largest class of Doctoral Fellows since FTE began offering doctoral fellowships 50 years ago. 

FTE awarded its Doctoral Fellowships to 30 students of color across 17 institutions to support their PhD or ThD program in religion, theological studies or biblical studies. Students in this year’s class will either receive the Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent or the Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Students. Each Fellow will receive a living stipend up to $25,000 to help further their studies beyond the coursework stage.

“These students stand on the shoulders of C. Shelby Rooks, Benjamin E. Mays, and others, who created this fellowship at FTE 50 years ago,” said Patrick B. Reyes, FTE director of strategic partnerships for doctoral initiatives. “Each Fellow embodies FTE’s legacy of academic excellence and commitment to communities of color. We’re proud to support them on their journey as they continue to redefine what it means to thrive in the academy.”

As part of the fellowship award, Fellows will have the opportunity to attend the 2018 FTE Forum for Theological Educators, held November 14-16, in Denver, Colorado, prior to the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. The Forum will provide opportunities for networking, professional development, vocational exploration and mentoring.

In addition to its fellowships for dissertation stage doctoral students, FTE provides professional development opportunities for PhD and ThD students in the first two years of their studies. FTE developed these doctoral initiatives to help accelerate the completion of doctoral degrees among students of color and to foster diversity across the academy in North America.

To see a full list of doctoral fellows, visit