At their meeting in May, the Emory University Board of Trustees approved the appointments of Musa W. Dube to William Ragsdale Cannon Distinguished Professor of New Testament, and Ted A. Smith to Charles Howard Candler Professor of Divinity. Both appointments were effective immediately upon action by the board. 

“Appointment to a named professorship is perhaps academia’s highest recognition for scholarly achievement and distinction,” says Dean Jan Love. “Musa Dube and Ted Smith have consistently provided a clear demonstration of dedication to excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service, and we celebrate this accomplishment with them.”

The William Ragsdale Cannon Chair was established at Candler in 1997 through a bequest from the estate of the late Bishop William R. Cannon, who was the school’s dean from 1953 to 1968. It is not tied to a particular field of study and is intended to recognize a lifelong commitment to intellectual excellence, energetic faith, and deep piety that were characteristic of Bishop Cannon.

Musa W. DubeMusa Dube joined Candler’s faculty in fall of 2021. A world-renowned scholar, she is particularly known for her work as a postcolonial feminist theologian, with research interests in gender, postcolonialism, translation, and HIV and AIDS studies. She has authored more than 260 academic works, and her research has been supported by awards from the John Templeton Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the World Council of Churches, and the Society of Biblical Literature, among others. In 2011, she received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, one of academia’s most prestigious funding institutions.

The 2017 winner of the international Gutenberg Teaching Award, Dube has given upwards of 162 papers in at least 26 countries, and has served in institutions in Switzerland, the U.S., Germany, and South Africa as well as her native Botswana. She received an honorary doctorate in 2018 from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and is currently vice president of the Society of Biblical Literature.

The Charles Howard Candler professorships at Emory University honor senior scholars who have shown outstanding teaching ability and productive scholarship in one or more fields of learning, and who have further distinguished themselves through long and substantial service to the university and in furthering the cause of higher education.

Ted A. SmithA member of the Candler faculty since 2012, Ted A. Smith 04G works at the intersections of practical and political theology. He has authored two monographs, The New Measures and Weird John Brown, the second of which was a finalist for the American Academy of Religion’s Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion. He co-edited Questions Preachers Ask and Spirit and Capital in an Age of Inequality, and is currently editing a series of books on the meanings and purposes of theological education in a time of great change. His articles have been published in several academic journals, such as Studies in Christian Ethics, Homiletic, and Political Theology, as well as in those geared toward a wider audience, such as The Christian Century and Commonweal.

Smith has also generated a great deal of meaningful research for wider use. He served as the principal investigator for the multi-year, multi-phase grant project “Theological Education Between the Times” funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., and has been deeply involved in Lilly Endowment’s “Pathways for Tomorrow” initiative at Candler. Both projects have yielded revelatory findings that benefit not only Candler, but theological education as a whole.