Dec 26 2008

Being Baptist at Candler

Our guest blogger this week is Michael Hunt (right), a third-year Master of Divinity student at Candler. An ordained Baptist minister, Michael is a Graduate Assistant Chaplain in the Emory Office of Religious Life, a Worship Coordinator with Candler’s Office of Worship, a member of the Candler Singers, and Candler’s Representative to the Emory Graduate Senate.

Coming to Candler as a Baptist, I knew that I would be surrounded by Wesley and all his peeps. But as I told the First Years during their orientation, it is indeed possible and enjoyable to be at Candler and be Baptist! In fact, I think Baptist students actually have the best of both worlds as they are able to participate in United Methodist events and also have our own Baptist Studies Program and events.

Most weeks in the semester you will find “the Baptist and friends” gathered at Everybody’s Pizza right off Emory’s campus, where local Baptist pastors come and break bread with us. They share what they learned from seminary and how it has or has not helped them now in their churches. These gatherings are normally in conjunction with the Baptist classes taught by faculty member Rev. David Key. We ask the pastors to share with us their favorite Baptist historical event or person, and in the spring they may talk to us about the theology of their churches and their favorite Baptist theologians.

Speaking of faculty, I must also say that we have great Baptist professors who teach a variety of courses. The Baptist faculty members are professors Noel Erskine, Andrea White, David Key, James Abbington, and Jennie Knight. They are all extremely approachable, knowledgeable, and supportive of all their students. They are willing to give of their time and resources to get to know us. They attended and participated in our Baptist Hymn Singing (which I must say was a great worship experience), and they also participated in a forum for students about what it means to them to be Baptist. They shared their own individual testimonies on why they are Baptist and remain Baptist even at a UM school.

Speaking of hymn singing, as I stated before, we had our first ever “Baptist Hymn Singing” where we highlighted different Baptist hymn-writers as well as songs from our Baptist tradition and heritage. This was lead by myself and Dr. James Abbington. We had a wonderful time of worship and can’t wait to do it again next semester. I am also very excited because Baptist will be well represented in Candler’s Worship next semester. We will have several Baptist ministers including gospel music legend Dr. Margaret Douroux. This spring we will also host Dr. Harry Eskew who is Professor Emeritus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he taught Music History and Hymnology and was Music Librarian, and remains an active scholar in hymnology and shape-note singing. Our students and the entire Candler community are in for a treat!

Speaking of students, the state of Baptist at Candler is strong. We have students participating in the Candler Coordinating Council, serving on and leading worship planning teams, actively involved in all levels of student organizations. Baptists at Candler serve churches and communities in a variety of leadership roles in addition to excelling academically!

So all and all, being a Baptist at Candler has its rewards and challenges. I have come to make great friends with many Candler colleagues, Baptist and otherwise. And I have also developed relationships with faculty who truly care about me and my journey of faith at Candler. As I prepare for graduation in May, I want to say thanks to all those who have been instrumental in keeping Baptist faith alive at Candler!

Dec 19 2008

Candler Students Protest Violation of Religious Freedom

On Tuesday, December 16, a Muslim woman was jailed in Douglasville, GA for refusing to remove her hijab (head scarf) upon entering the courtroom. The wearing of a hijab is a common practice among Muslim women, and removing it would be to violate decency, according to many. Municipal Court Judge Keith Rollins ordered Lisa Valentine, 40, to be handcuffed and jailed for ten days.

The case has garnered national and international attention, including articles on MSNBC, ABC News, The Huffington Post,, The Guardian (United Kingdom), The Taiwan News (Taiwan), and The Canadian Press. In response to this incident of religious discrimination, a group of Candler students decided to hold a small peaceful protest outside the Municipal Court. Locally, Fox 5 News in Atlanta covered the protest by Candler students, among them Kim Jackson, Joshua Case, Cindy Brown, Trina Jackson, Karl Kroger and recent graduate Lynn Hopkins. The students felt that the violation of the religious rights of this Muslim woman was an affront to the religious rights of all. As Atlanta native Martin Luther King, Jr., eloquently stated “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Fox 5 News coverage of Candler student protest

Dec 12 2008

Candler Intramurals: Your Glory Days Aren't Behind You Yet!

By Brad Schweers (above, second from right):

One of the main reasons I came to Candler was because it was part of Emory University. I was mainly considering the academic resources I would have as a Candler student when I applied, but I soon found another area of Emory’s life to be a source of great joy: Intramurals! As an MTS student, I did not have as many structured classes in which to bond with fellow students. So one main way I bonded with my Candler colleagues was through playing IM sports. I played flag football, softball, and basketball. As an Admissions Advisor now working at Candler, I still play on the Candler soccer, flag football, and softball teams when my schedule allows! We even played a pick-up Ultimate game on Emory’s main quad with some Tibetan Buddhist monks. Long story.

Here are a few other stories of Candler students and alums and their experiences with IMs and athletics at Emory.

Rachel Small (right), MDiv 06
“I played on a Candler softball team for a year and it was great fun! It was a good way to meet Candler folks I might otherwise not have met, and we got to form a good bond as we pounded or got pounded by teams from other Emory schools. (Mostly we got pounded by them, but it was still fun!)”

Cody Case (top, left), MDiv 10
Cody played intramural racquetball this fall, where he and another Candler student finished in the top ten overall. Cody reports, “I made it to semi-finals. Upon arriving, I was promptly demolished by a 60+ year old biology professor.” Cody also finished fourth overall at the Emory Intramural Turkey Trot 2.5 mile run on campus in November with a time of 15:19 (that’s about a 6-minute mile—not bad!)

Cindy Brown (left), MDiv 09
“I’m playing on the Emory Women’s Water Polo club this semester. It’s been great … a definite relief from classes. Great for my physical and mental health, too, Even though I’m about twice the age of anyone else on the team!”

David Lessner, 07
“Intramurals were not only a good way to get people active and exercising, but the teams were a way that I got to meet and talk to others that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Just because two people happen to enjoy soccer or basketball, they can form a friendship, where they might not have met before. Intramurals also helped me to distress and live a healthy life. I studied 100x better after exercising for 2 hours and then studying then I did by studying for 10 hours straight. Overall, it was just simply fun to get out and compete with other grad students, who yes, will make a ton more than us as doctors and lawyers, and on that rare occasion where we hit a 40 yard touchdown pass over the future MD’s and JD’s of the world, we were on top!”

John Hill (left), MDiv 05
“I played intramurals quite a bit at Candler and always had a lot of fun with it. Intramurals were a great chance to get some exercise, strengthen friendships among classmates, meet new people, and get in some healthy competition. I think it also improved our reputation on campus. People often wonder what kind of people attend the theology school – are we holier-than-thou pietists or what? Intramurals helped others see that we were normal – at least mostly! – people just like everyone else.”

Leslie Houseworth, MDiv 10
“I played intramural football in Fall of 2007. I’m a 2nd year MDiv student. Football was a way to bond with my new classmates.”

Keri Olsen, MDiv 11
“ I’m a first year MDiv student and I played co-ed softball. I was interested in playing any type of intramural sport, so talked to a third year during orientation who had mentioned their experience. Candler had already established a softball team but they let me join anyway! I don’t even really have any experience playing softball! I had a great time getting to know second and third years that I may not have met otherwise. Softball was a great way to take a break from reading and meet new friends! Our team wasn’t really very good but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!”

Brian Tillman, MDiv 11
“I had a blast playing Co-Ed Intramural Basketball this fall. The rules were very fair and made it super important to have the girls score. These are the best rules for co-ed sports!”

Todd McCullough, MDiv 10
“During my time at Candler several of my favorite memories will always be the time I shared with my classmates playing intramural sports. Even though we broke bones and sprained ankles, the bonds we made will last a lifetime. Several of my closest friends at school were the ones I played softball, flag football, or basketball with. For me, it was crucial to take the opportunity to not only get some exercise during study breaks but to meet a few people, some of whom have become my closest friends.”

Jeremy Pridgeon, MDiv
“Several of us from the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, along with a couple of free agent pick-ups from the South Carolina and Mississippi Conferences (played flag football. We were the “Ministers of Defense” and had a gr
eat time playing and beating up on the undergrads. We even advanced into the playoffs and made a run at the title. At least Emory Intramurals doesn’t have a BCS!”

Eric Sanford, MDiv 07
“Intramurals were a lot of fun at Candler. I played softball, basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, tennis, and football. Intramurals provided me another opportunity to make friends who shared the same interests in sports as I do. We weren’t very good at most of the sports; however, we always had fun. Sometimes we would go out to eat afterward. Sometimes it was more fun just playing basketball on Tuesday nights or frisbee on Friday afternoons. These were good ways to meet people and have a good time. Come to think of it, I probably had more fun just playing around those times instead of the competitions with the other schools.”

Come join us!!!

Dec 5 2008

Leadership Candler

These days are exciting ones here at Candler and Emory. As of August of this year, we have a brand-new, state-of-the-art theology building as our home. It’s a LEED certified “green” building, meaning it’s one of the most environmentally friendly theology buildings in the world! Emory, by the way, has more square footage of LEED certified building space than any other university in the country. Go Emory!

Here in the Office of Admission and Financial Aid , the most exciting thing we have going on is the announcement of our Leadership Candler scholarship weekend coming up this March. The event will bring together top prospective Master of Divinity students from across the country and the world to Candler’s campus at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Prospective students will be considered for all of Candler’s top awards, including the Woodruff Fellowships and the Pitts Scholarships, among others. Scholarships range from full tuition awards to our tops awards, which include up to full tuiti
on, fees, plus a $10,000 per year stipend!

Candler will pay all of your travel and accommodation expenses for Leadership Candler. So if you or someone you know is looking at a world-class theological education, have a record of academic excellence, service, and leadership, and are committed to being a leader in the church and the world in the 21st century, you’ve got to check out Leadership Candler!

A top-notch theological education just became more affordable! Come to Candler. Come to Emory.