Candler presented its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards in September. The recipients were W. Waite Willis Jr. 75T 83G for Service to Church; B. Wiley Stephens 65T for Service to Candler; and Thomas A. Summers 59T for Service to Community.
In the fall of 2014, Candler will welcome its first cohort of Doctor of Ministry students in 20 years. This new degree program provides experienced pastors with advanced training and the skills necessary to analyze ministry practices through sustained biblical and theological reflection, and to discern, shape, and disseminate new practices in the service of the gospel. The program requires 30 hours of course work over 3 years, including a final project that involves innovation in ministry practice. Most course work will take place online, so that pastors have the opportunity to learn while remaining deeply rooted in their places of ministry.
Just two weeks before the 2012 presidential election, prominent Christian activist, best-selling author, and self-proclaimed “ordinary radical” Shane Claiborne appeared at Candler with a lecture entitled “Jesus for President.” At the time, talking heads were arguing about blue state and red states, but Claiborne’s message before a packed house in Glenn Memorial Auditorium on October 23 was about the Christian state. He urged the audience not to put their hope in a candidate to change the state of the world, but to realize that “our last best hope is Jesus.”
The next day, Claiborne presented a second lecture, “Resurrecting Church,” about his work in an inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood, detailing how he and his collaborators decided to stop complaining about the church they had experienced and start becoming the church of their dreams.
Videos of both lectures are available on Candler’s channel on Emory University’s iTunes U, found at www.itunes.emory.edu.
Bernard LaFayette Jr., distinguished senior scholar-in-residence at Candler, was the recipient of the National Civil Rights Museum’s 2012 National Freedom Award, presented in October. LaFayette, a leader in the 1961 Freedom Rides, is an ordained minister, a longtime civil rights activist, and an authority on nonviolent social change. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to civil rights and who have laid the foundation for present and future leaders in human rights activism.
Candler was well represented at November’s American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature annual meetings in Chicago. Seventeen faculty members presented or responded to papers, participated on panels, presided over sessions, or conducted business meetings.
In 2011, the Henry Luce Foundation awarded Candler a $325,000 grant to create an international model curriculum for accredited North American seminaries. Faculty and student exchanges are a major component of the grant: Over three years, 12 faculty members and 12 students will serve as Luce Exchange Fellows and Luce Exchange Scholars, respectively.
The first of these exchanges occurred in the fall semester of 2012, when second-year MDiv student Haley Mills spent a semester at the Universidade Metodista de São Paulo (Methodist University of São Paulo)in Brazil. Mills, who chose Candler because of its opportunities for international study, took classes in Latin American theologies and liturgies. She is pursuing a career in international development as well as ordination in The United Methodist Church.
Luce Exchanges continue with the Methodist University of São Paulo this winter and spring: Professor Margarida Ribeiro taught a class on specialized ministries and society during Candler’s January term, and student Rodrigo Ribeiro Dos Santos joins Candler for the spring semester. Future exchanges will occur with other schools in Africa and Asia.
Luke Timothy Johnson’s book Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church: The Challenge of Luke-Acts to Contemporary Christians, was awarded first place in the Scripture category of the Catholic Press Association’s 2012 book awards. In their announcement of the award, the Catholic Press Association wrote, “Johnson clearly, passionately and persuasively challenges Christians to embrace four hallmarks of a prophetic church—prayer, itinerancy, servant leadership, and voluntary poverty. All church leaders would benefit from incorporating this book into an adult Bible or continuing education class.”
William T. McAlilly 81T was one of five bishops elected by the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church at its quadrennial meeting in July 2012. He was assigned to serve the Nashville Episcopal Area, which includes the Memphis and Tennessee conferences.
Eduard Khegay 01T was elected as bishop of the Eurasia Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church in October 2012. The position is based in Moscow. Born in Kazakhstan, Khegay is the first United Methodist bishop from the former Soviet Union.
Teresa L. Fry Brown, professor of homiletics and director of the Black Church Studies program, was elected historiographer and executive director of research and scholarship of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Fry Brown is the first woman to hold this position, and the third woman to serve as a general officer of the A.M.E. Church.