Candler New Masters' Student Orientation 2017

Newsletter #2

Dear New Students,

It is my great joy and privilege to welcome you to the Candler School of Theology.  Soon we will gather on this campus to begin the adventure of engaging faithfully the challenges and possibilities of theological education—through study, through worship, through community, through service.

I suspect most of you participated in an orientation for college.  While some aspects of a new student orientation remain the same—getting lost, standing in a few lines, hearing about school policies, being welcomed over and over again—do be aware that Candler’s orientation will be focused largely on academics.  Whether you are pursuing the academic study of religion, preparing for some type of ministry, non-profit work, or teaching, enhancing your current profession with additional coursework, or discerning whatever may be next in your vocational journey, all of you will be asking important questions, engaging and reflecting on texts and experiences, and expanding your minds, souls, and hearts.  In other words—seeking, processing, and growing.

So - we invite you to dress casually, but it won’t be like summer camp!

Our hope is that the planned activities will make you more familiar with the particular purposes, framework and components of a theological education at Candler.  We hope to initiate your growing acquaintance with the shapes, colors, textures, voices and resources of the Candler community, the Emory community, and the communities of Atlanta.  We hope to ensure that you have the information and assistance you need to make a smooth transition from your current home to your new one.


Blessings on the remainder of your summer.  We will be glad to see you face to face.

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

Introducing the 2017 Orientation Theme:

Orientation Theme.png

Career Services Orientation Checklist –

REQUIRED Assignments

Career Services is looking forward to working with you during your time at Candler. You will interact with Career Services at Orientation, within your classes, and through other workshops and appointments. Please complete the REQUIRED checklist prior to Orientation.

Creating some building blocks before you arrive will allow us to have richer and more productive sessions when you begin your time at Candler. Your assignments are listed on the Candler Chronicle, Career Services page.

Meet the Summer Staff



Who are you? Ellen Purdum, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Spiritual Formation, with overall responsibility for Candler’s Office of Student Programming (OSP). The OSP provides resources for student health and well-being, community life, spiritual formation, academic success, and career services.

What's one of your favorite parts of this job? I call this my “Martha and Mary” job, and while I enjoy both student life and spiritual formation, it’s pretty wonderful to walk away from my email box over to the spiritual formation room and do centering prayer with students for 30 minutes. Not talking or being talked to in the midst of a busy day is restorative!

Describe yourself in 1-2 sentences: I’m an Episcopal priest who loves swimming in the ecumenical sea that is Candler.  My Myers-Briggs is right down the middle, which means I need quiet like I need water, and I’m the first one out on the dance floor at our end-of-the-year party.

How can I reach you? You can find me in the OSP, Suite 311 in the Rita Anne Rollins Building, and emailing me is the best way to get my attention if you don’t find me in person.

Who are you? Anne Kelly, Director of Career Services

What's one of your favorite parts of this job? I have the best job at Candler. I love helping students prepare and secure employment that furthers their goals. I also love the challenge of helping employers see the value of a Candler degree for their organization.  Professional Development is great fun as it lets your talents shine.

Describe yourself in 1-2 sentences: I am a singer, leadership coach, marketer, mom and wife, traveler, beach bum, TV addict, Episcopalian, tea drinker, and food lover, in no particular order. I earned my Master of Organizational Leadership while working full time. I have written and performed Sketch comedy, am Improv Certified, have watched SNL for 3 decades, and hope to live in the United Kingdom at some point ever since Study Abroad.

How can I reach you? My office is inside the OSP, RARB Suite 311.  My email is

Who are you? Karen A. Sawyer ’17T, Orientation Coordinator

What's one of your favorite parts of this job? The best part about being Orientation Coordinator is the opportunity to work with departments, administrators, faculty, and staff throughout Candler.

Describe yourself in 1-2 sentences: I am a Atlanta native who loves animals, traveling, and dancing in my car. I am an Episcopalian and look forward to serving as a lay leader in the church.

How can I reach you? Find me in the Office of Student Programming (RARB Suite 311), via email at and by phone at (404) 727-4430.

Who are you? Rocky Major, MDiv '18, International Student Hospitality Coordinator

What's one of your favorite parts of this job? 
My favorite part of the job is working with such a great team of people who are invested in continually creating a better Candler. The professional development that this office offers is great as well. 

Describe yourself in 1-2 sentences: I am a 3rd year MDiv student who is passionate about Pastoral Care and Counseling. I am married with my first baby on the way. I love to sing and whistle. My whistling may be better than my singing.

How can I reach you? Find me in the Office of Student Programming (RARB 311), via email at and by phone at (404)727-4430.

Who are you? Clayton Harrington, '17T, Communications Coordinator

What's one of your favorite parts of this job?  I love my wonderful coworkers and getting to be a part of welcoming new students to Candler.

Describe yourself in 1-2 sentences: I am a Candler graduate who is on the lay staff of the Cathedral of St. Philip. I love liturgy and its role in Christian formation, and I'm also one of those people who still play Pokemon GO.

How can I reach you? Find me in the Office of Student Programming (RARB 311), via email at and by phone at (404) 727-4430.

Who are you? Mollie Lemon, MDiv '19, Communications Coordinator

What's one of your favorite parts of this job? I enjoy getting to know more about the incoming students via the Admitted Students Facebook page as I post questions and (hopefully!) helpful information to the page. It's great to see students connecting already on social media and building connections that will make the transition to Candler and Atlanta easier in the fall.

Describe yourself in 1-2 sentences: I'm originally from Bloomington, Indiana but spent nine years living and working in Washington, DC for the federal government prior to coming to Candler. I love spending time outdoors, camping (especially in the western U.S.), walking meditations, and bad jokes.

How can I reach you? Find me in the Office of Student Programming (RARB 311), via email at and by phone at (404) 727-4430.

Register for Parking

Parking registration for students is currently open. If you are planning on driving to and parking on campus, register for your parking pass as soon as possible. As a Candler student, you will want to get a pass in the Peavine Deck (29 Eagle Row). It will be essential for you either to secure a parking pass from Emory’s Parking Services or find alternative ways to commute, such as through the Cliff Shuttles, biking, or carpooling. 

For information, click here.

Looking for Housing?


Check out the Candler Off Campus Housing Listing here.


All international students who are traveling to the US from another country are required to contact Hospitality Coordinator Rocky Major as soon as possible. He needs to ensure you have adequate housing and transportation from the airport when you arrive. The deadline to respond to him is July 14, 2017.  Rocky can be reached at or (404) 727-4430.

Mark Your Calendars!


Be sure to check out the Candler Chronicle on July 21 for new content under the Orientation tab. Current and former students will share their tips and advice for navigating Candler, as well as their favorite things to do and places to go in the Atlanta area.


This is the second Orientation newsletter from the Office of Student Programming at Candler School of Theology. If you recently were admitted and/or did not receive the first newsletter, or if you would like to view the first newsletter again, please click here to view all archived newsletters on the Candler Chronicle.

The Candler Chronicle is the Office of Student Programming’s online outlet for community news at Candler School of Theology. The Chronicle will be important and helpful during Orientation and throughout the year, as it provides details about upcoming events, opportunities to supplement your seminary experience, and resources and information to help you navigate life at Candler and Emory.

By now you also should have received information from Admissions, Pitts Theology Library, the Registrar's Office, and the Contextual Education Office. Consult this list of Candler contacts if you need assistance: 

Financial Aid
Jory White
Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

Shelly Hart
Director of Academic Registration and Registrar

Contextual Education I
Letitia Campbell
Director of Contextual Education I

Lisa Parker
Program Coordinator, Office of Contextual Education

Teaching Parish Program
Tom Elliott
Director of the Teaching Parish Program

Career Services
Anne Kelly
Director of Career Services

Khalia Williams
Assistant Dean of Worship and Music

Richard (Bo) Manly Adams, Jr.
Head of Public Services, Reference and Systems Librarian

Rebekah Bedard
Reference Librarian and Outreach Coordinator

Sarah Bogue
Reference and Instruction Librarian

Questions about Orientation
Karen Sawyer
Orientation Coordinator

Rocky Major
International Hospitality Coordinator