Meet the Staff

The Reverend Ellen Echols Purdum, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Spiritual Formation

Ellen Staff

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 Church of the Good Shepherd in the small town of Covington, 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.

Audrey N. Hindes, Program Associate for Academic & International Support

Audrey Staff

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!

Ryan P. Bonfiglio, Writing & Academic Skills Instructor


Ryan is the director of Candler's Writing Center and is the instructor of the ADVANCE class, an initiative for equipping first-year students with critical academic skills. Prior to entering Emory's Hebrew Bible program as a Ph.D. student, Ryan completed a bachelor's degree at Princeton University (2001) and a M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary (2009). Ryan has served as an affiliated campus chaplain through Princeton's Office of Religious Life and has had numerous teaching opportunities at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. As a teacher, he is passionate about helping students reflect on how their theological education can inform their life, calling, and service outside of the classroom.

Ryan was born and raised in Philadelphia but (proudly!) called New Jersey home for many years. He is a former Division I wrestler and coach, an avid runner, and all-around sports enthusiast. When not working at Emory, Ryan enjoys serving as a lay leader in the Presbyterian Church (USA), dabbling in the kitchen trying to recreate his grandmom's ravioli, and spending time with his wife Jamie, who is also a PTS grad. 

Sarah Kegley, TESL Instructor


Audrey Roberson teaches ESL courses for Candler's international students and provides training and support for Candler's writing tutors. She is a doctoral candidate in Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University, where she is completing her dissertation about how undergraduate students learn to write academically in English as a second language. She brings ten years of teaching experience to Candler, including high school Spanish, English as a second language at various university levels, and undergraduate Applied Linguistics courses. A native Atlantan, Audrey completed her own undergraduate work at Emory, worked in Latin America and several places in the US, and then returned home to complete her MA in Applied Linguistics and continue to the doctoral level. At Candler, Audrey enjoys collaborating with the OSP staff to find creative and linguistically sound ways to support international students as they undergo the challenge of completing graduate school in a second language. When she's not doing things linguistic, Audrey enjoys running races from 5Ks to marathons, doing hot yoga, and traveling. She lives in Cabbagetown with her dachshund Star. 

Jenelle Holmes, Academic Skills Tutor

Ryan Staff

Jenelle is a second year MTS student at Candler and an Academic Skills Tutor in the Writing Center.  She graduated in 2006 with a BA in English from Whitworth University in far away Washington State.  Since then she has taught eighth grade English, edited publications for a financial research company and served coffee. She enjoys spending time with her two beloved children and spouse, eating (not cooking) delicious food, reading poetry and being outside.

Lawrence Waters, Academic Skills Tutor

Ryan Staff

Lawrence Waters is an academic skills tutor for Candler School of Theology.  He is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and a third year MDiv student.  He is a licensed minister in the American Baptist Church and has served as a youth pastor for several years.  He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he served for several campus organizations.  Prior to Candler, he studied religion at Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton, Mass. Currently at Candler he is focusing on Scripture and Interpretation.  Outside of his studies, Lawrence enjoys engaging with his community and working out.

Brandon Harris, Student Life Coordinator


Brandon is a first year MDiv student at Candler pursing certificates in Black Church Studies and Religious Education. Originally from Rochester, New York he attended The Lincoln University of Pennsylvania where he obtained a Bachelor's in Political Science and Religion. While there he was involved in campus governance and life. His current research interests involve the historical development of African American Middle Class Churches and racial identity development in African American Churches. In his spare time he enjoys exploring cities, farmers markets, cooking and reading.

Jasmine S. Terry, Student Life Coordinator

Tiffany Staff

Jasmine is a native of the Atlanta area, and is a 3rd year Master of Divinity student pursuing a Women, Theology & Ministry certificate with a Justice, Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation concentration. 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 enjoys studying liberation theology, feminist/womanist ethics, gender studies and African American history and culture. When Jasmine is not studying, she enjoys spending quality time with family and loved ones, learning to cook, listening to soul music and watching HGTV.

Haley Mills, International Student Life Coordinator


Haley Mills is a third year Master of Divinity student. Her research interests are liberation theology, Latin American theologies, Women of the Old Testament, and Short Term Missions. This year is Haley's first year working for the Office of Student Programming, where she is busy assisting the international students and international exchange students as they arrive and settle in to life at Candler. When not working, Haley enjoys cooking, running and learning Brazilian Portuguese. Haley is excited to meet all of the new incoming students and especially the new international students. Come by the office and say “Hi!”  

Hyun Woo Kim, International Student Life Coordinator

Hyun Woo Staff

Hyun Woo Kim is an International Student Life Coordinator. He is currently a second year MDIV student from Korea. He studied theology at Yonsei University. After graduating from college, he joined the Korean army as a ROTC officer in 2007. He served at Gusan Methodist Church as Youth pastor and Auckland International Church as Youth leader. From these leadership experiences, he has set two vocational goals. First, he believes God has called him to devote his life fully as a pastor to convey God's love. Second, he wants to share the knowledge of God at a theological school as a teacher like his father and his role model, Dr. Young Sun Kim, does.

Alisha Gordon, ESOL Writing Tutor

Ashley Thomas

Alisha is native of Decatur, Georgia whose affection for smothered and covered hash browns trumps the liking for most Southern cuisine! Currently a first 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 goodnessAdditionally, 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 8-year-old daughter, singing, laughing and consignment shopping.

David Cho, ESOL Writing Tutor


David is a second year MDiv student at Candler, working as an ESOL Writing Tutor in the OSP. He is originally from Seoul, South Korea and grew up as a Korean American in Tampa, Florida. Prior to Candler, David studied history and Asian studies at the University of Michigan and has taught middle school social science in Pinellas Park, FL. In Atlanta, he is currently serving as the president of Candler’s EKGSA (Emory Korean Graduate Student Association) and as a youth pastor in Marietta, GA. David’s academic interests include intercultural studies, evangelism, mission and pastoral counseling. He has a big heart for people to experience the love of Jesus Christ! In addition, he enjoys playing tennis, reading books, trying out new restaurants, and watching the TV show Master Chef USA and Korea! On a free Saturday, you’ll find David enjoying meals with friends or a good book.

Nia McLean, ESOL Writing Tutor


Nia is a third year MDiv student pursuing a certificate in Women, Theology, and Ministry. A Washington, DC native, Nia attended Howard University, where she earned her BA in Print Journalism. An avid reader, much of her professional life has centered around books, including stints in bookselling and book publishing. Prior to coming to Candler, Nia worked at Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s oldest children’s literacy organization. 

Sarah Corrigan, Communications Coordinator 

sarah-corrigan.jpgSarah is the Candler Chronicle editor at the Office of Student Programming. She is a native of Saskatoon, SK, Canada and a first year MDiv student.  Sarah studied German and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emory University. Of both Jewish and Catholic background, Sarah enjoys learning and growing in interfaith dialogue and is hoping to strengthen her own faith through chaplaincy and learning to listen to the call of God.

Tyler Jackson, Student Spiritual Formation Coordinator


Tyler graduated in 2010 from the University of Georgia earning a B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) with a concentration in Art X - Experimental Arts. During his college years, Tyler was heavily involved at the the UGA Wesley Foundation, eventually interning in the arts ministry there. Currently, Tyler is a third year student earning his Master of Divinity at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he is merging his dual passions, theology and art. Since starting his graduate schooling, Tyler enjoys fostering creativity and the arts within Eastside Church. On Sunday mornings, Tyler helps one of the other five resident artists prepare their pieces for the Sunday service and/or plays cajon during worship. Tyler lives with Natalie in Decatur and they are expecting their first baby to be born this December.

Lynn Miller, Student Spiritual Formation Coordinator

Lynn Miller

Lynn is a second year MDiv student at Candler pursuing certificates in both Religious Education and Women, Theology, and Ministry.  She is a native of Atlanta and studied economics and mathematics at Emory University. Lynn worked in advancing roles in the commercial real estate industry for more than ten years managing projects in various regions of the U.S.  She has also served on community-focused non-profit boards, collaborated to develop an active faith-based first-offenders program, and worked with e-commerce entrepreneurs. Lynn believes God has provided a broad range of experiences preparing her to relate to a wide range of people. She looks forward to bringing her experiences and skills to fulfill what God has planned.  

Lynn is pursuing ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church and is an active leader at Cascade UMC. She is interested in sharing God’s love through teaching, writing, spiritual direction, and pastoral care with plans to pursue doctoral studies. Lynn enjoys cooking, learning about everything, historic architecture, travel, silent retreats, and time with family and friends. She lives with her husband and 16-year-old son.