As the academic days change from midterms to finals, my responsibilities continue to grow and develop in my Internship with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Over the past week, I have made two trips on behalf of Candler, joining the ranks as a “Recruiter on the Road.” I attended a Seminary Fair at Furman University in South Carolina, with twelve other seminaries present, as well as Texas Wesleyan University and TCU, both in Fort Worth, Texas, where I shared in a meal and conversation with current students.
This was my first experience to represent Candler solo to prospective students and future seminarians. Some of us may have been student ambassadors, tour guides, or student hosts during college, but being a Recruiter on the Road comes with new challenges and responsibilities. Luckily, Candler’s main Recruiter on the Road, Jena Black, gave me some pointers to remembering key facts about Candler when doing a presentation or when I may only have three or four minutes to tell people about all the amazing things Candler has to offer. For example, Jena uses a trick to remember the aspects of our new Master of Divinity (MDiv) curriculum, which we launched this fall.
Candler’s curriculum is like the USDA Food Pyramid. We offer a solid base of core classes that will nourish and sustain you in all your ministry endeavors. As you move higher on the food pyramid you find practical ministry classes as well as our Contextual Education program, which work hand in hand to provide you with tools you need to fully engage in your ministry sites from the very beginning. With our concentrations, which you might think of as a minor, you move higher on the food pyramid, as you gain expertise in a particular area of theological and ministerial interest, such as Theology and Ethics; Congregation, Society, and Personality; and Theology and the Arts. And finally, at the top of our food pyramid analogy are electives and free credits. You certainly don’t have to wait until your final year to take electives, for they are available sparingly beginning even your first semester. The electives will add some sweetness and round out your education as Candler, just as fats, oils, and sweets do at the top of the food pyramid. Another reminder trick that Jena uses for helping remember information is the analogy that the United Methodist Candidacy Process is like Dating, but you will have to ask her specifically to explain that one to you.
As I traveled northeast and westward this past week, I found that Candler is truly everywhere I go. I certainly took pieces of Candler with me, from a Candler School of Theology tablecloth to pins and stickers bearing our name and logo. However, what I discovered on both of these journeys is that Candler is already represented well beyond the four walls of the seminary, beyond the borders of Emory University, beyond the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Candler School of Theology is met in the face of Reverend Keith Ray 91T one of the campus ministers at Furman University, who hosted a seminary fair at Furman. Keith and I reminisced about professors and classes at Candler during lunch, and it turns out that Dr. Don Saliers, who before retiring in May, 2007, was the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship and Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program for many years at Candler, baptized both of Keith’s children.
Candler is represented through two of the Texas Wesleyan University Religion Department faculty members, Dr. Jesse Sowell 63T and Dr. Ronald Ballard 60T, who each received a Master of Divinity from Candler before pursuing PhDs. Candler is met in the eager questioning and discernment of one of the prospective students I had the honor of sharing a meal with at TCU. His inquiries, soul searching, and passion for dialog and new discoveries are what makes Candler such a fantastic community to live, serve, learn, and grow in. Most of us who work in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid are Candler graduates, so every time we host visitors to campus, recruit on the road, and answer phone calls and emails, we are sharing our own personal piece of the Candler experience with all of you. Candler has meant so much to us, that we have decided to share this community with others through our vocation and ministry.
Candler has Recruiters on the Road all the time, and I invite you to check out our schedule to see if we will be in your area in the coming months. In addition, we would love to host you here on campus, and you can schedule a visit online at our site as well. I would like to have the opportunity to further explain our Food Pyramid or Dating analogies to you, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue this conversation. You can also contact us by calling 404.727.6326 or check us out online at www.candler.emory.edu/admissions/. In addition, look for my profile on Facebook (Candler Intern-Theology), and the Candler School of Theology Group at www.facebook.com.
Lane Cotton Winn
Candler School of Theology
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid Intern