Programs and Certificates

All Candler certificates are awarded in conjunction with a Candler degree. Non-degree/special students are not eligible to participate in Candler certificate programs.

Baptist Studies

Baptist students at Candler come from all branches of the Baptist family: Alliance of Baptists, American Baptists, Cooperative Baptists, the National Baptists, Progressive Baptists, and Southern Baptists, as well as smaller Baptist groups and unaffiliated Baptist Churches. Baptists at Candler include students from all parts of the country and diverse ethnic backgrounds. In addition to the core classes, the Baptist Studies Program includes opportunities for Baptist students to get to know one another and work together, typically in conjunction with a Baptist faculty member. Camaraderie, collegiality, and shared learning are thus important and exciting aspects of the program.

Certificate in Baptist Studies

Through the Baptist Studies Program described above, students may earn a certificate in Baptist studies, which prepares students for ministry licensing and ordination in Baptist churches. Students should declare their interest upon matriculation, or as soon as decided, to the directors of Baptist Studies and the Candler registrar. The certificate is 11 hours in length, and the requirements include:


  • DS521. Baptist History and Theology (2 hours)

  • DS523. Baptist Polity and Church Praxis (2 hours)


  • A placement in a Baptist setting for Contextual Education II (6 hours)

  • BAPS500. Baptist Studies Reflection Seminar during the Contextual Education II year (0 hours, both fall and spring semesters of Con Ed II enrollment)

Integrative Colloquy

  • BAPS501. Baptist Studies Colloquy in the final Spring semester of coursework (1 hour)

Professional Development

  • First Year Workshop on financial literacy and planning for Baptist Ministers (in partner-ship with the Candler Faith and Finance program)
  • Second Year Workshop preparing and positioning students for employment in Baptist churches
  • Third Year Workshop on retirement estate planning for Baptist Ministers

Opportunities are provided for formal and informal conversations with Baptist Studies co-directors, local Baptist clergy, and other Baptist faculty and alumni Through these opportunities, the Baptist Studies Program seeks to help Baptist students discern their call, position themselves for licensing and ordination, and best prepare for their next steps in ministry.

For additional information, email Rev Dr Khalia J. Williams, Assistant Dean of Worship and Music,, or Rev Dr Damon P Williams, Senior Pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church,, co-directors of Candler's Baptist Studies Program.

Black Church Studies

Candler’s Program of Black Church Studies prepares men and women to provide learned, prophetic, and compassionate leadership in black and multiracial churches; and, educates the entire Candler community about the origins, development, and contemporary diversity of the black church tradition. The program also explores religious traditions among peoples of African descent across Africa and the diaspora. The program seeks to integrate black church studies into foundational courses at Candler and to expand and deepen black church studies courses. The program also seeks to respond to the need for literature in black religion, in particular the need for primary field research on black congregational life. The Program of Black Church Studies also sponsors chapel worship, orientation, and support events as well as an annual series of lectures on black religious life that include the Howard Thurman Lecture, the Anna Julia Cooper Lecture, and the Bishop James S. Thomas Lecture.

Certificate in Black Church Studies

Candler students who desire to expand their knowledge of the black church may earn a certificate in black church studies in conjunction with the MDiv or MTS degree programs. The Black Church Studies (BCS) certification process provides an opportunity to develop theoretical and practical knowledge about black religion and black church studies. Certification requirements include:

  • BCS504. Black Church Studies Retreat (no credit) at least once
  • BCS505. Black Church Studies Portfolio (no credit)
  • Nineteen hours of course credit, including:
    • BCS601. Introduction to Black Church Studies (3 hours)
    • Contextual Education II, in an approved ecclesial setting (6 hours) or other contextual experience taken for credit
    • BCS500. Black Church Studies Reflection Seminar (no credit, must register both fall and spring semesters of Con Ed II)
    • BCS502. Black Church Studies Colloquy, in the final semester (1 hour, graded S/U)
    • Nine additional hours in approved BCS coursework

Additional details about the BCS Certificate including an updated list of approved courses is available online at To participate in the program, interested students must submit an Application for Certificate Enrollment Form to the Candler Registrar. For further information, contact Nichole Phillips, Director of Black Church Studies,

Catholic Studies

Candler’s Catholic Studies program prepares leaders and scholars for ministry in the Catholic Church and research in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Launched in fall 2018, the Catholic Studies program demonstrates Candler’s commitment to the rich diversity of the Christian tradition and its acknowledgment of the rapid growth of the Catholic Church in the Southeast. Candler also has entered into an affiliate agreement with the Aquinas Center of Theology that will mutually strengthen programming and academic offerings, introducing new opportunities to engage the Catholic community in the Atlanta area and beyond. And in the coming years, we will welcome some of the finest Catholic scholars and practitioners in the world as guest lecturers, presenters, and professors.For more information on the program, email Tony Alonso, director of Catholic Studies, at antonio.alonso@emory. edu.

Episcopal/Anglican Studies

The Episcopal/Anglican Studies program at Candler School of Theology is a fellowship dedicated to the formation and equipping of students for ministry in the Episcopal Church and all the churches in the Anglican Communion. The program is a community of learning, worship, and service within the wider Candler ecumenical community, and it includes faculty, staff, and students (including those with holy orders, those discerning holy orders, and those in all degree programs), including priests , deacons , postulants, aspirants and laity, and , those preparing for parish ministry or chaplaincy and those seeking to pursue God’s call to ministry outside the parish.

The primary gathering of the program is the weekly Solemn Evensong and Holy Eucharist, held in Cannon Chapel or the Wesley Teaching Chapel every Wednesday of the school year at 5:00 p.m. Other events include guest lectures by important figures in Anglicanism such as Visiting Professor of Theology Archbishop Desmond Tutu, periodic meetings of all Anglican and Episcopal students at Candler for discussion and fellowship, and courses taught by world-class scholars and teachers on the Candler faculty who are also active communicants of the Episcopal or Anglican Church.

Certificate in Episcopal and Anglican Studies

The Certificate in Episcopal and Anglican Studies enables MDiv students seeking ordination in the Episcopal Church or another Anglican church to certify their preparation for ordination. The certificate is 31 hours in length, and certification requires the following:


  • DS531. History of the Anglican Church and the Episcopal Church (3 hours)
  • DS533. Anglican Theologians (3 hours)
  • DS534. Episcopal Prayer Book (3 hours)
  • DS535. Episcopal/Anglican Polity and Canons (1 hour)• W622. Practicaum in Liturgical Leadership: Services of the Word and Baptism (1 hour)*
  • W623. Practicum in Liturgical Leadership: Eucharist (1 hour)*
  • W624. Practicum in Liturgical Leadership: Weddings, Funerals and Services of Confirmation (1 hour)*
  • W625. Practicum in Liturgical Leadership: Liturgical Calendar and Occasional Services (1 hour)
  • W626. Practicum in Liturgical Leadership: Hymnody and Church Music for EASP Students (1 hour)
  • Course in Liturgical/Sacramental Theology (3 hours), as determined by the Director of Episcopal and Anglican Studies (usually HC/W627, HC/W628, or HC/W669)

Placement/Integrative Seminar

  • Supervised placement each semester

  • CE551ANGa (3 hours)

  • CE551ANGb (2 hours)

  • CE552ANGa/b (2 hours each semester)

  • CE553ANGR (2 hours each semester)

  • Participation by students, faculty, and supervising parish priests in a weekly reflection and formation seminar

With approval of the director of Episcopal and Anglican Studies, a student may petition to complete the first-year Placement/ Integrative Seminar with CE551a/b and MDiv505. Students seeking ordination or with Holy Orders must complete all three years of Contextual Education through the Episcopal and Anglican Studies Program and should also complete a full unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). While not required to be taken for academic credit, CPE may be awarded up to six hours of elective credit toward the MDiv degree.

Those wishing to enroll for the Episcopal and Anglican Studies certificate must first be accepted and registered for classes in Candler’s MDiv degree program. While not required to complete the certificate, students are also encouraged to enroll in related courses such as Special Topics in Leadership for Episocpal/Anglican studies, Issues in the Anglican Communion, Leadership in Episcopal/Anglican Preaching, and others taught by visiting ecclesial leaders and both permanent and visiting world renowned Episcopal and Anglican scholars in various disciplines. Those preparing for ordained parish ministry under the supervision of a bishop may enroll in the Episcopal and Anglican Studies certificate program in conjunction with the MDiv degree.

All academic courses in the program are open to any Candler student.

For further information, contact Lang Lowrey, Director, at

Methodist Studies

Methodist Studies at Candler promotes the ethos of the Wesleyan heritage through the encouragement of denominational and conference relations, course offerings, mentoring for candidates seeking ordination, and denominationally based and Pan-Methodist activities. A full range of opportunities for study and growth is available including assistance with processes of candidacy and preparation for commissioning and first appointments; hosting denominational guests and conference representatives; and providing programs on pertinent denominational issues. For further information, contact Anne Burkholder, Associate Dean of Methodist Studies, or 404.727.1351.

Ordination in The United Methodist Church

As noted in The Book of Discipline, “within the church community, there are persons whose gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and promise of future usefulness are affirmed by the community and who respond to God’s call by offering themselves in leadership as ordained ministers.” Ordained deacons are called to ministries of word, service, compassion, and justice. Those called to ministry of service, word, sacrament, and order serve as elders.

Candidacy for United Methodist Ordination

Those preparing for ordination in The United Methodist Church explore the call to ministry through a formal process of inquiry and candidacy as required in The Book of Discipline. Students interested in exploring the call to ministry are encouraged to begin the process before starting seminary by contacting the pastor of his/her local church, another ordained deacon or elder, or their district superintendent. Courtesy mentoring is available to students far from home upon the written approval of their district superintendents and home conference mentors. (Note: Students must have begun the candidacy process to be eligible for some United Methodist scholarships.)

Mentoring and Support for Discernment and Preparation for Ordination

Support for students working through the process of candidacy and application to their Conference boards of ordained ministry is provided through one-on-one consultation with the Associate Dean of Methodist Studies and through a variety of programs tailored to address the issues that arise at each of the stages of the process.

Course Requirements for Ordination in The United Methodist Church

The Book of Discipline requires specific courses in United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity. In addition, The Book of Discipline requires courses in evangelism, mission, and worship. Some conferences require specific courses of their students. Students are responsible for knowing if their conference has additional requirements. Persons applying for deacons orders have two options. First, if a student is under 35, he or she must complete the MDiv degree. Second, if a student is over 35 and has a master’s degree in the area in which one will be working in ministry (e.g., social work, counseling, law, or business management), then one may pursue the master of religious leadership (MRL) and shape it to fit the Basic Graduate Theological Studies format. Persons preparing for elders orders take the Basic Graduate Theological Studies courses as a part of the MDiv degree.

Basic Graduate Theological Education The Book of Discipline 2016 ¶324.4.a

The Book of Discipline requires courses in ten subjects basic to graduate theological studies in preparation for ordination. Some annual conference Boards of Ordained Ministry expect candidates to take an introductory survey course covering a particular subject, especially if the candidate does not have previous background in that subject. Other boards will accept any course within a particular subject (as indicated by the course prefix, such as M for missions). Students are responsible for consulting with their board to be certain of its policy. The following courses in Candler’s curriculum meet the basic requirements (depending on your board’s policy):

Old Testament

Credit, three hours.

OT501. Interpretation of the Old Testament or any course with OT course number.

New Testament

Credit, three hours.

NT501. Interpretation of the New Testament or any course with NT course number.


Credit, three hours.

ST501. Systematic Theology or any course with ST (systematic theology) course number.

Church History

Credit, three hours.

HC501. Introduction to the History of Early Christian Thought or any course with HC (History of Christianity) course number.

Mission of the Church in the World

Credit, three hours.

M609. The Church’s Mission in the World or any course with M course number.


Credit, three hours.

EV501. Enabling an Evangelizing Church or any course with EV course number.


Credit, three hours

W501. Public Worship or any course with W course number.

Courses in United Methodism:

United Methodist History and Doctrine

Credit, three hours.

DS501. United Methodist History and Doctrine

United Methodist History and Polity

Credit, three hours.

DS502. United Methodist History and Polity (prerequisite: DS501 or equivalent)

Total 27 hours.

Annual Conference/Jurisdictional Clubs

United Methodist students represent more than forty annual conferences from throughout the world. Students may cultivate networks that not only provide them with community while in seminary but also will last throughout their ministries.

Annual Conference Visits

Bishops, district superintendents, and Board of Ordained Ministry representatives from many annual conferences visit Candler each year. These visits strengthen relationships between students and their annual conferences and also provide an opportunity for students to get acquainted with conferences in which they might be interested in serving. Students are encouraged to make appointments or join in meals with conference visitors.

Teaching Parish Program

The Teaching Parish Program offers mentoring and support for students serving as local pastors while in seminary.

United Methodist Certification Studies

Professional certification is The United Methodist Church’s recognition that an individual has been called in an area of specialized ministry. The church certification in specialized ministry is offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Candler offers certain courses which fulfill various requirements for certification studies in the UMC. Professional certification provides biblical and theological training, knowledge of The United Methodist Church structure and resources, skill development, support, and accountability. Professional certification is available to lay persons, ordained deacons and elders, and diaconal ministers who meet the standards set by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. All nondegree certification and graduate theological studies students who register with the Board of Higher Education and Ministry may be eligible for scholarship assistance from the board. Paraprofessional United Methodist certifications are available, and more information can be found on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website.

Course of Study School for Licensed Local Pastors

The Course of Study School educates and trains local pastors in The United Methodist Church who are not seeking a degree. The Course of Study School at Candler is sponsored by The United Methodist Church General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Candler School of Theology. To be admitted to the Course of Study, a student must be a certified candidate for ministry, must have completed the requirements for license as a local pastor, have been tested in language skills proficiency through a process determined by the annual conference, and received endorsement of the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry. The Course of Study School is offered in multiple scheduling formats throughout the year to fit the needs of both part- and full-time local pastors. For further information about COS please see [ programs-resources/course-study/index.html]( programs-resources/course-study/index.html), or contact the director at 404.727.4587.

Religious Education

The Program in Religious Education of Candler School of Theology prepares students to teach in faith communities and school settings, to provide leadership for educational ministries, to advocate for the strengthening of education in religious communities and society, and to facilitate conversations on religious education in and among academic and ecclesial contexts. The program sponsors lectures and workshops for all students interested in teaching ministries and includes courses that meet requirements of The United Methodist Church for certification in youth ministry and in Christian education. Students seeking UMC certification should consult with the program director about meeting these requirements in conjunction with the Candler Certificate in Religious Education Ministries.

Certificate in Religious Education Ministries

The Certificate Program in Religious Education Ministries prepares persons for ministries related to teaching and learning in faith communities, schools, and the wider society. It is designed for Candler MDiv and MTS students who see some aspect of Christian religious education as central to their vocational identity, whether that be in ministry with youth, college students, and young adults; in popular education initiatives in their communities; in academic settings; or in congregations.

Most requirements for the certificate may be met within a student’s program of study, adding minimal additional burdens to a student’s schedule. Requirements include:

  • Eight hours of professional development through workshops, conferences, and retreats reported to the director of the Religious Education Program. (RE508. 0 credit hours)

  • Design of a curriculum or other educational event, submitted as an assignment in an elective course and forwarded to the director of the Religious Education Program. This requirement is most easily met with work produced for religious education electives (not RE501) or contextual education electives (CEEs).

  • 15–18 credit hours, allocated as follows:

    • RE501. Religious Education as Formation and Transformation (3 credit hours);
    • Contextualized educational ministry experience: For MDiv students, Contextual Education II meets this requirement; for MTS students, an internship (placement approved by the director of the Religious Education Program) of at least three credit hours meets this requirement. This placement may include serving on the staff of the Youth Theological Initiative. (Six hours for MDiv students enrolled in Contextual Education II; minimum of three hours for MTS students enrolled in internships).
    • 9 credit hours in electives, including at least six hours of religious education (RE) electives and an additional three hours in a religious education elective or other elective from the following preapproved list (Other electives may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the program director.):
  • HC609. Early Monastic Thought and Practice

  • HC/SR633. African American Religion and Culture

  • ST631. Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Renewal

  • ES/RP649. Psychology of Moral Development and Education

  • ES671/672. Skills in Conflict Transformation

  • OT637. The Ten Commandments

  • RP648. Readings in Psychology of Religion

  • RP655. Erik Erikson: The Life Cycle and Ministry

  • SR/CC515. Methods of Congregational and Social Analysis

  • SR/CC617. Memory, Culture, and Redemption

  • SR621. Howard Thurman: Spirituality and Community

  • SR/CC622. Ethnographic Research for Ministry in Congregations and Local Communities

  • CC501. Church and Community Ministries

  • CC619/SR620. Nonviolent Strategies for Social Change

  • PC628. Care for Marginalized Populations

  • PC630. Pastoral Care with Adolescents

  • PC640. Pastoral Care of Women: International Perspectives

  • PC655. Care of Souls, Care of the World

  • PC/RP660. Reading Lives

  • PT501. Introduction to Practical Theology

  • LA501. Introduction to Religious Leadership and Administration

  • LA503. Leading the Congregation

  • LA505. Leading the Small Membership Church

  • LA/CC645. Nonprofit Leadership and Management

  • PT600. Creative Writing as Theological and Spiritual Practice

  • PT615. Good Food

  • P634. Preaching with Children and Youth

To participate in the program, interested students must submit an Application for Certificate Enrollment with the Candler Registrar. Additional details about the RE certificate including a list of approved classes can be found at For additional information, contact Elizabeth Corrie, director, at 404.727.2917 or

Women, Theology, and Ministry

Candler’s Women, Theology, and Ministry Program educates women and men to be transformative leaders and advocates for the well-being of girls and women in the church and in the world. The WTM Program seeks to fulfill this vision by offering opportunities to the entire Candler community for the academic study of women and religion, gender and culture, and womanist and feminist theologies; fostering vocational discernment and formation for women students; promoting research on women, gender theology, and religion; advocacy and activism to promote women’s well-being in the church and society.

Academic Study

A range of courses provides students in all degree programs opportunity for the academic study of women and religion and the interactions between gender, Christian theology, history, and practices of ministry. Students may pursue focused study of these issues through the Certificate in Women's Studies in Theology and Ministry. The certificate program builds on the academic offerings of the concentration and also includes structured opportunities for vocational discernment and professional development.

Vocational Formation

Formal and informal mentoring is provided through opportunities for conversation with the WTM director, other women faculty, area clergy and alumna. Through these opportunities the WTM program seeks to help women discern their call, make an effective transition from seminary to the practice of ministry, and prepare them for the joys and challenges of ministry.


The WTM program promotes faculty and student research relevant to its mission through a variety of lectures and workshops. The Women’s Forum Lectures brings outstanding women scholars to campus to address emerging issues in theology and religion relevant to women’s lives and well-being. The Sharing Women’s Wisdom Conversations provides opportunity for conversations between students, women faculty, alumni, and community members on a broad range of topics. WTM also sponsors research forums for women faculty.


The WTM program works in collaboration with other programs at Candler and Emory University, as well as in the church and community, to engage students in advocacy, service, and leadership on local and global issues that affect women’s well-being, such as women’s ordination, women’s leadership in the church, violence against women, women’s health, and economic development.

Certificate in Women’s Studies in Theology and Ministry

MDiv and MTS students who desire to focus attention on women in theology and ministry may enroll in Candler’s Women’s Studies in Theology and Ministry (WTM) Certificate Program. This program integrates required and elective work and seeks to (1) create an intellectual and supportive community focused explicitly on women in theology and ministry; (2) explore critical issues and enlarge perspectives on women and religion; and (3) nurture students’ professional identities and assist vocational discernment. Students in the MDiv and MTS degree programs may enroll in the WTM Certificate Program. A total of 13 hours is required, including:

  • WTM502. Special Topics in Women, Theology and Ministry (3 hours) or PT503. Vocational Discernment for a Sustained Life in Ministry (3 hours)

  • Nine hours of elective credit from the approved list of electives.

  • WTM505. WTM Integrative Project (1 hour taken after the completion of 12 hours of coursework.)

  • WTM500. Professional Development. Met either through participation in an Academic Conference (5 hours) or the WTM Mentoring program (5 hours.) {No credit hours given for either requirement}.

  • WTM501. Women’s Forum. Attendance at the WTM Forum once during the student’s academic program.

Additional details about the WTM Certificate, including an updated list of approved courses, are available online at

To participate, interested students must submit an Application for Certificate Enrollment Form to the Candler Registrar. For additional information, contact Ellen Shepard, director, at 404.727.4160 or

Additional Certificates

Certificate in Religion and Health

The certificate in Religion and Health provides an opportunity for the interdisciplinary study of health and health promotion practices as they intersect with various religious or spiritual traditions and practices. Through the integration of perspectives from a variety of disciplines in the health and social sciences, particularly those in nursing, public health, theology, and religion, students will develop theories and practices in which the personal, communal, and social dimensions of health intersect. This interdisciplinary perspective will provide students with resources to analyze the way in which faith, understood as constituted by a set of religious and/or spiritual beliefs and practices, may contribute to the promotion or inhibition of health of persons and communities from various religious traditions.

Students in the MDiv and MTS programs wishing to complete the certificate must meet the following academic requirements:

  • One of the following courses: CC/SR650. Faith and Health: Transforming Communities (3 hours), or SR658. Health and Healing: Understanding the Role of Religion (3 hours)

  • Nine additional hours of Religion and Health approved electives. Students are encouraged to take at least two elective courses either cross-listed outside of Candler or outside of Candler.

  • FH503. Religion and Health Integrative Paper (1 hour)

  • MDiv students must participate in a Contextual Education I or II site which allows the student to address issues of faith and heath and actively engage these issues.

For further information, please refer to, or contact Emmanuel Lartey, coordinator, at

Emory Graduate Certificate in Human Rights

The Emory Graduate Certificate in Human Rights is an integrated, innovative, and cooperative approach to human rights scholarship and training. The certificate combines the teaching and research strength of Emory University with the applied programs of Emory’s professional partners, including CARE USA, The Carter Center, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among others. The Certificate is available to students in all of Emory’s professional schools, pending approval by each school, and is awarded by each professional school.

The Human Rights Certificate is overseen by the Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Human Rights, Dabney Evans, a faculty member at the Rollins School of Public Health. The certificate is available to students in all of Candler’s degree-seeking programs and only awarded in conjunction with a Candler degree.

Students are required to complete three courses and a practicum or final paper. The director approves the available courses and the practicum, and confirms that requirements have been met.

For additional information, refer to or contact Dabney Evans, Director, at