Meet the Office of Student Programming Summer Staff
Our Office of Student Programming (OSP) summer staff is here to help you get acclimated to life at Candler and be your source for updated orientation news and events. Meet your OSP summer staff below!
The Reverend Ellen Echols Purdum
Assistant Dean of Student Life and Spiritual Formation
Ellen Purdum is the Assistant Dean of Student Life and Spiritual Formation. She works collaboratively with faculty, staff and student leaders to continue and enrich the many student services, programs and activities at Candler. She also spends a lot of time listening deeply to the lives of students here. On her best days she hopes that these different aspects of her work help to foster opportunities where spiritual and vocational formation--in their many and diverse varieties--will enhance students' theological education and preparation for ministry and service.
Ellen is also an ordained Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Atlanta and leads worship or preaches most Sundays at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur, Georgia. Prior to her becoming a priest, she has taught English and service learning electives at the high school level and worked for a national, ecumenical non-profit that supported young adults exploring or preparing for pastoral ministry. Ellen is an associate at the Green Bough House of Prayer, a retreat center in southern Georgia where she goes to be quiet, and she lives in Decatur with her husband and a rescued rat terrier named Hannah.
Assistant Director of Student Life and Academic Support
Audrey is the Program Associate for Academic and International Support in the Office of Student Programming (OSP). Audrey brings to Candler ten years of experience in theological education, both in teaching and administration. She has taught courses in biblical and religious studies, including Greek and Hebrew, at Fresno Pacific University and Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, and she also has taught Latin and logic at The Wilberforce School in Princeton, New Jersey. Her work in theological education includes project development and management of study abroad programming, as well as experience teaching international students.
A native Californian, Audrey earned a Master of Arts in Biblical Languages at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, followed by a year of doctoral studies in Hebrew Bible at the London School of Theology. She is a chef and cooking instructor who is passionate about food, justice and hospitality, and she enjoys bringing these gifts to her work in the OSP. Audrey's primary areas of responsibility in the OSP include academic support, international student support, and student international exchanges. Audrey's office is CST 318. She has wonderful tea brewing every afternoon, so drop by and say hello!
Jasmine S. Terry
Jasmine is a native of the Atlanta area, and is a 2014 graduate of Candler School of Theology. While at Candler, Jasmine completed a Master of Divinity with a Women, Theology & Ministry certificate and a Justice, Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation concentration. Jasmine worked for two years in Candler’s Office of Student Programming as a Student Life Coordinator, where she helped to create programs to enrich the Candler community. Jasmine received her bachelor's degree in religion & social justice at Agnes Scott College and worked in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors prior to coming to Candler. Jasmine is passionate about issues of incarceration, and enjoys studying liberation theology, feminist/womanist ethics, gender studies and African American history and culture. Jasmine also enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, hanging out with her cat Tubby, learning to cook, listening to soul music and watching HGTV.
Alisha L. Gordon
Alisha is native of Decatur, Georgia whose affection for smothered and covered hash browns trumps the liking for most Southern cuisine! Currently a third year MDiv student, Alisha has over a decade of professional writing experience and worked four years as a high school English teacher before attending Seminary. A 2004 graduate of Spelman College, Alisha has written for various online and print publications including Upscale Magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Beautiful and her own personal blog Find the Pieces where she fuses faith and culture together as a tool to teach people about God's goodness. Additionally, Alisha worked as the Editor-in-Chief for the digital magazine, Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine, and authored a book in 2010. In her spare time (if there's anything such as that), she enjoys spending time with her 9-year-old daughter, singing, laughing and consignment shopping.
International Hospitality Coordinator
Stephanie is a rising third-year student at Candler pursuing a Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in religious education and conflict resolution. This summer, she is excited to welcome international and exchange students to Candler and make their transition to Atlanta smooth and comfortable. In her free time, Stephanie loves to soak up as much time as she can with her husband, Bryan. She also enjoys cooking, hiking, quilting, painting, rock-climbing, dog-sitting, and pursuing her passions for community development and justice-building among under-resourced communities, both here in Atlanta and abroad.