Teaching Parish Program

The Teaching Parish Program gives MDiv students the opportunity to fulfill Candler's Contextual Education requirement by serving as the pastor-in-charge of small membership United Methodist Churches. During this three-year program student-pastors earn a salary, reside in parish housing, and meet in geographically based reflection groups for which they receive academic credit. 

Students may submit an application to serve a congregation in the North Georgia Conference, or they may participate in the program as a student-pastor within the bounds of their own Annual Conference. Students must be certified candidates in the United Methodist Church. 
The Teaching Parish Program is a cooperative venture among Candler and the North Georgia, South Georgia, North Alabama, Alabama/West Florida, and South Carolina Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church.

Due to immigration regulations limiting off-campus employment to an 18-month term of service, international students will not be considered for a student-pastor appointment in their first year of study. International students may be considered for appointment during their final 18 months of study at Candler.

For additional information regarding international students and student-pastor appointments, please contact Dr. Thomas W. Elliott, Jr., Director, 404.727.3006, thomas.elliott@emory.edu

Program Structure

All the student-pastors in a geographic area constitute a Teaching Parish group. Each group meets together (presently on Mondays) throughout the fall and spring semesters. Each group is led by a Teaching Parish supervising pastor, an elder serving in that area who has been chosen for this responsibility. The elder's job is to lead the Teaching Parish group in its work, to evaluate each student-pastor's performance, and to provide individual counsel to each student-pastor. Teaching Parish activities are suspended during the summer, though there is an orientation for all student-pastors at the end of the summer.

First Year

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Second Year

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Third Year

A maximum of 12 credit hours is granted for the Teaching Parish Program.



Dr. Thomas W. Elliott, Jr., Director, 404.727.3006, thomas.elliott@emory.edu