Religious Education

Religious Education

Candler’s Religious Education program prepares students for educational leadership in congregations, schools and communities, in the context of our diverse and changing world. Students who complete courses in religious education will be able to:

  • Teach in faith communities and school settings
  • Provide leadership for educational ministries
  • Advocate for the strengthening of education in religious communities and society
  • Facilitate conversations on religious education in and among academic and ecclesial contexts

For more information on the program, please email Dr. Elizabeth Corrie, Associate Professor in the Practice of Youth Education and Peacebuilding; Director of the Religious Education Program, or call 404.727.2917.

Certificate in Religious Education

Candler students enrolled in the Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Religious Leadership (MRL) or Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree programs may earn a certificate in Religious Education. The Certificate in Religious Education prepares persons for ministries related to teaching and learning in faith communities, schools and the wider society. It is designed for Candler MDiv, MRL and MTS students who see some aspect of Christian religious education as central to their vocational identity, whether that be in ministry with youth, college students, and young adults; in popular education initiatives in their communities; in academic settings; or in congregations. For a list of courses, visit the link for your degree program: Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Religious Leadership (MRL) or Master of Theological Studies (MTS).

The certificate includes courses that meet requirements of The United Methodist Church for certification in youth ministry and in Christian education. Students seeking UMC certification should consult with the program director about meeting these requirements in conjunction with the Candler Certificate in Religious Education.

Youth Theological Initiative

The Youth Theological Initiative supports the work of denominations, regional judicatories and congregations through its Youth Ministry Education programs, working to enhance the practices of youth ministry in local congregations. The Religious Education program partners with the Youth Theological Initiative to offer the certificate in ministries with youth for Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Religious Leadership (MRL) and Master of Theological Studies (MTS) students. In addition, students from Candler and Emory's Graduate Division of Religion have the opportunity to work with YTI on research exploring the theological perspectives of youth through YTI’s workshops, trips, and residential programs.

Jennifer Ayres, Associate Professor of Religious Education; Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

Elizabeth Corrie, Associate Professor in the Practice of Youth Education and Peacebuilding; Director of the Religious Education Program

Other faculty who teach in religious education

John Snarey, Franklin Parker Professor of Human Development and Ethics

The program sponsors lectures and workshops for all students interested in teaching ministries. For the full list of events at Candler, view the calendar.

For all admissions-related questions, or to receive admissions materials, please visit Admissions.

If you are a student or teacher and seek youth theological education information, please contact the Youth Theological Initiative.

If you have additional questions regarding Religious Education, please call 404.727.2917.

Is a certificate the same as a degree?

No. the Certificate in Religious Education is designed as an opportunity for focused study within the Master of Divinity (MDiv) or Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree program. Requirements for the certificate are to be met while completing one’s degree.


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Is the Certificate in Religious Education at Candler the same as the United Methodist Church Certificate in Christian Education?

No, but the course requirements are similar for UMC certification in Christian Education or Youth Ministry.

Candler’s Certificate in Religious Education is awarded by Candler and certifies that a Candler MDiv or MTS degree student has done concentrated work in educational ministry.

UMC Certification in Christian Education is granted by the UMC. Course requirements for UMC certification in Christian Education may be met through completion of selected Candler courses. UMC students who complete requirements for a Candler certificate in Religious Education will find that they have in fact met most or all course requirements for the UMC certificate as well.


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I heard about a great conference. Can I attend this conference to meet the conference requirement for the certificate program?

Most likely, the answer is yes. Please contact Elizabeth Corrie, for approval and more information.


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What kinds of conferences can I attend for certificate credit?

Conferences, workshops, webinars, or other in-person or online professional development experiences that seek to enhance scholarly or practical knowledge related to education, spiritual formation, or educational ministries with children, youth, adults or local communities. Most will be off campus or online, but the Religious Education Program hosts on-campus educational events 2-3 times each school year. Professional development opportunities will be communicated through the Religious Education Canvas site. If you are interested in being added to this Canvas site, please contact Dr. Corrie. You do not need to be formally pursuing the certificate to participate in these opportunities.


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