The Office of Student Programming (OSP) plans and coordinates Candler's community activities and programs. The office advises chartered student organizations that make up the Candler Coordinating Council (C3), as well as other student interest groups and student publications.
Student staff in the Office of Student Programming facilitate the office's mission, "to enhance and enrich the community, providing programs and services that support the academic mission of the school, nurture students as whole persons, celebrate diversity, and foster an ethos of hospitality, understanding, and respect within the Candler community." Their work includes the coordination of opportunities for conversation, reflection, and relaxation in support of community enhancement and spiritual life.Some of the Candler student, faculty and staff community gatherings include:
The Director of Student Life and Spiritual Formation oversees planning and scheduling events, guest speakers, forums, and other aspects of student and community life. New student orientation programs and referrals for personal and vocational counseling are also functions of this office. The Director of Student Life and Spiritual Formation also coordinates the programs detailed below.
The Office of Student Programming offers opportunities for vocational discernment through a variety of workshops and panels. Students learn from chaplains, pastoral counselors, and campus ministers as well as spiritual directors, nonprofit leaders, social advocates, and others using their seminary education in creative ministries and professions.
The Office of Methodist Studies assists students with information, consultation, and group opportunities for integrating theological education and the candidacy process for commissioning and ordination in The United Methodist Church. A variety of opportunities are listed on the Candler United Methodist Students Blackboard site, including conference/jurisdictional clubs, a future deacons group, and a variety of gatherings that address particular concerns of students such as Itinerancy, Clergy Taxes, and the difference between elders and deacons orders. United Methodist Conference visits, in which members of boards of ordained ministry and cabinets interact with students, are also coordinated by the Office of Methodist Studies.
The Office of Methodist Studies also offers opportunities for students to gather as conference and jurisdictional clubs. In addition, it provides a means for students to establish groups of similar interest and passion through its Blackboard site. YASN, the Young Adult Seminarians Network, has an active chapter here as well. United Methodist students can connect on Facebook at “Candler Office of Methodist Studies.” First-year students are invited to gather for the monthly “10 Spot” fellowship that provides a setting to talk about the pressures of being a first-year student at seminary. For more information contact Anne Burkholder.
Candler offers students the opportunity to enrich their learning experience by participating in a variety of international study programs, from brief travel immersions in Latin America, the Middle East, to a year of study in Germany or Great Britain. Opportunities for ministry service abroad are also available. Other off-campus programs in the United States allow students to pursue internships and service within diverse cultural contexts from Appalachia to Washington D.C.
Candler offers academic support to all interested students through the Candler Writing Program, under the direction of Ryan T. Woods, Candler Writing Program Instructor. The program includes an array of workshops to facilitate academic success. From basic academic skills to refreshers on grammar and writing practices to advice on the particular types of writing required in Candler courses, the Writing Program supports students in doing their best.
For international students and others for whom English is not the first language, OSP coordinates English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) assessment and courses in written and oral communication. Courses are tailored to support students’ academic success in theological studies.
Students at Candler reach out in service to the metro Atlanta area and the world in many ways. Student organizations frequently coordinate collections of items needed by various service organizations, including those working with the homeless and with refugees. Several groups also volunteer regularly in the community.
Candler Women serve monthly as overnight hosts at the Shearith Israel Shelter for Homeless Women and Children.
Sacred Worth provide a meal, devotional reflections, and fellowship at Common Ground, a ministry with persons with HIV/AIDS.
The Black Student Caucus, AME Connection, and Social Concerns Network are also committed to community service and select projects to participate in and support each year. These groups also work together with the Emory University chapter of Habitat for Humanity. In addition, groups of students have traveled twice to areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Many students serve with organizations providing community service as part of the Contextual Education requirement. Along with their required hours, some offer much more of themselves to these important ministries. Students also provide community service through their work with local congregations and youth programs, serving as leaders engaging others in ministries of outreach and community care.
The Office of Student Programming offers support to all international students, beginning with pre-orientation programs and including advising, support, and community gatherings throughout the year. The International Student Coordinator, Min-Ah Cho, provides leadership and direction to these programs.
The Candler Korean Initiative offers particular support to students of Korean ancestry. The Initiative encompasses a series of efforts to expand and strengthen the Korean and Korean-American presence at Candler School of Theology. The program supports the acquisition of Korean resources in Pitts Theology Library, and offers support programs for students of Korean ancestry. These programs include writing tutoring, orientation, and acclimation sessions, personal and vocational mentoring, and social gatherings.
For further information about student and community life at Candler or about academic support services, contact Rev. Ellen Purdum, Director of Student Life and Spiritual Formation , at 404.727.4430 or visit the Office of Student Programming.