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 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!
Currently, Ryan is a doctoral student in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Prior to entering graduate school, Ryan studied history and theology at Taylor University, Oxford University, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. For a while after completing his studies at these institutions, he lived in New England and taught at an independent school. There he began to teach writing--quite a different experience than writing one's own essays! He discovered that he enjoyed the challenge of explaining the finer points of writing to students. Good writing is an art, not a science. The writer attempts to articulate material in ways that inform, delight, and persuade his audience. Finding creative ways to understand and present information is what he loves about teaching writing, and what he enjoys most about his work as director of Candler's Writing and Academic Skills Center and ADVANCE, an initiative for first-year students.
Jenelle is a first 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 8th 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 is an academic advisor for Candler School of Theology. He is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and a second 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.
Tiffany is a third year MDiv student at Candler pursing certificates in Black Church Studies and Women, Theology and Ministry. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio she attended Cincinnati Christian University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies and Leadership in Ministry. Prior to coming to Candler, she worked professionally developing and facilitating programs and trainings in both non-profit and faith based institutions that serve women and children in marginalized communities. Her current research interests involve mental health and the Black Church. In her spare time she enjoys being in nature, reading, laughing and taking naps.
Jasmine is a native of the Atlanta area, and is a 2nd 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.
Emmy is currently in her third year at Candler. She grew up in the booming metropolis of Mentone, Alabama. Emmy is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham Alabama. Before coming to Candler, she worked in Birmingham as a social worker for a non-profit that provided treatment, counseling and care for drug-addicted women and their children. Emmy loves discovering new ways that religion functions in individuals’ lives and in the life of the community. She is passionate about working with others to foster mutual relationships between people of differing socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. She enjoys listening to and/or telling a good story, reading, writing, swimming, singing, and working toward her future career on Broadway.
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 is native of Decatur, Georgia whose affection for smothered and covered hash browns trumps the liking for most Southern cuisine! Currently a first year M.Div 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 goodness. Additionally, 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.
Wes Maston is a third year M.Div. student at Candler. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy of Religion and Classics from University of California, Fresno State. Prior to attending Emory, he studied at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and Wheaton College. When Wes isn’t studying, he likes to play ping-pong, read, and travel with his wife.
Eric is a third year MDiv student at Candler. He works as one of our ESOL writing tutors in the OSP office. Eric comes to Emory from his hometown, Nashville, TN. He studied psychology and English at Trevecca Nazarene University where he graduated with his bachelors degree in 2007. After graduation, he worked in the mental health field as a social worker. He enjoys "playing" the banjo in his spare time.
Ashley Thomas is an ESOL Writing Tutor in the OSP. She is a third year MDiv student at Candler and is pursuing a certificate in Religious Education. She received her bachelor's degree in education at Spelman College and served as a primary school educator prior to Candler. She is deeply committed to listening to the stories of others and empowering others to discover their own wealth. Outside of the realm of the classroom (both teaching and being taught), Ashley enjoys arts and crafts, dancing, engaging in communal activities, and traveling.
Katelyn is a first year MTS student at Candler where she also serves as the editor of the Candler Chronicle. She is a native of Southwest Virginia and attended Emory & Henry College where she received her BA in Religion and Mathematics. Upon graduating from undergrad, Katelyn explored various career paths including a teaching venture in Shanghai, China, before deciding to pursue her MTS degree in the hopes of one day becoming a professor of religion. She hopes to concentrate her studies on social justice with a focus in LGBT and feminist issues. Her primary interests outside of theology include traveling, photography and scrapbooking, reading, and the study of Mandarin and Korean. Katelyn currently resides in Decatur with her husband Brian, their bearded dragon Tiberius, and their kittens Goizueta and Candler.
Meg Lacy is a 2nd year M.Div student at Candler pursuing a certificate in Religious Education concentrating in the intersection of Religion and the Academy. She is from Nashville, TN and completed her BA in Sociology of Religion at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. Meg is interested in nontraditional communities of faith and creative practices of formation and justice. She is passionate about feminist theology and ethics and how these are given voice in local congregations. Meg loves good coffee, good books, and good conversations.
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.
Tyler is a second year MDiv, coming from a Communications degree at Boston University. He enjoys pondering over ecofeminist theology and the intersection between contemplative practice and social justice. He draws great inspiration from the musings of Thomas Merton, Barbara Brown Taylor, Mary Oliver, and Thich Nhat Hanh, and he tries to spend as much time outside as he can. Sit is pursuing ordination in the Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, and looks forward to exploring new models of church life following graduation from Candler.