Student Life

Extensive resources for student life in the seminary and the university enhance theological education at Candler. The Office of Student Programming plans and coordinates the school’s student life and spiritual formation programs and events. The office advises Candler’s chartered student organizations that comprise the Candler Coordinating Council (C3), as well as other student interest groups, and student publications. New student orientation programs, academic enhancement, international student support, international study, and referrals for personal and vocational counseling and spiritual direction are also functions of this office. Student staff in the Office of Student Programming, known as Community and Spiritual Life Coordinators, facilitate the office’s mission, “to enhance and enrich the community, providing programs and services that support the academic mission of the school, nurture students as whole persons, celebrate diversity, and foster an ethos of hospitality, understanding and respect within the Candler community.” Their work includes the coordination of opportunities for conversation, reflection, and relaxation in support of community enhancement and spiritual life. The assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation oversees planning and scheduling events, programs, forums, enrichment opportunities, and other aspects of student and community life.

The Candler Chronicle, an online outlet for community news published by the Office of Student Programming, informs the Candler community of scheduled events, opportunities, and resources available to Candler students. For further information, visit or contact the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation at 404.727.4430.

Student Governance

The theology student body is self-governed by the Candler Coordinating Council (C3), composed of members elected by the student body, representatives selected by chartered organizations, and others appointed by the C3 president. Students serve on all standing committees of Candler School of Theology. In order to serve on these committees (see list below), students must be in good academic standing at the time of their nomination and during the period of their service. Serving on committees, while an important contribution to the life of Candler, should neither interfere with class attendance nor adversely affect academic work in other ways.

Candler Standing Committees

Admissions, Scholarship, and Honors Committee

This committee is concerned with policy and administration in matters of student admission and financial aid for the MDiv, MRL, MRPL, MTS, ThM, and Special Student programs. It reviews and proposes policies concerning admissions and scholarships.

Community and Diversity Committee

As part of Emory’s commitment to being a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive campus, the Community and Diversity Committee seeks to sustain and develop Candler’s capacity to appreciate and value diversity. The committee seeks to implement policies and practices that facilitate access, enhance equity, and strengthen inclusion for faculty, staff, and students. The committee also monitors Candler’s performance in these areas.

Contextual Education Committee

This committee sets policy and develops the contextual education program in consultation with the program directors. The contextual program includes Contextual Education, contextual electives such as internships, and Clinical Pastoral Education. The committee also oversees and reviews the program, including the selection of sites and supervisors, guides student progress in the program, serves in an advisory capacity to the directors of contextual education, and hears grievances from students, faculty, and supervisors concerning contextual programs.

Curriculum and Policy Committee

This committee is responsible for the general and comprehensive review of the academic programs of the school including the DMin, MDiv, MRL, MRPL, MTS, and ThM programs and all certificate programs. It evaluates and, when indicated, proposes revisions to the curriculum. It is concerned with the constant improvement of educational practices in both classroom and clinical contexts. The committee, on behalf of the faculty, also considers and approves all proposals for new courses upon recommendation by the area chairs.

International Studies Committee

This committee coordinates strategic planning for internationalization at Candler. Working closely with other committees and staff, ISC develops long-term policies and planning for international initiatives at Candler. ISC is the home for external grant proposals that relate to internationalization, including faculty and curricular development. New proposals for international initiatives and programming are presented at the ISC for review and comment.

Library, Media, and Technology Committee

This committee functions in an advisory capacity to the director of Pitts Theology Library, especially with regard to the development of policy, the allocation of resources, and general oversight of Candler’s digital and electronic resources. It also provides oversight of the Media Center, information technology, and digital pedagogy functions related to the work of the school.

Personnel and Academic Policy Committee (PAPC)

This committee consists of the chairs of the four areas, three at-large faculty members, and three student representatives, including the president of the Candler Coordinating Council. The seven faculty members serve two-year terms. Ex officio members are the associate dean of faculty and academic affairs and the director of the Graduate Division of Religion. The dean of the theology school chairs the committee, which serves as an executive committee for Candler. The committee regularly reviews faculty needs and advises the dean in all personnel matters, including appointment, promotion, and tenure.

Worship and Spiritual Formation Committee

This committee has general oversight of Candler’s worship and spiritual formation and makes policy decisions concerning worship. As on other standing committees, this committee has student representation.

Student Organizations

Student organizations at Candler include:

Candler Coordinating Council (C3)

The Candler Coordinating Council (C3) is the student governing body for all chartered organizations at Candler School of Theology. Its purpose is to coordinate activities and budget monies for all organizations as well as to legislate policies for chartered organizations. The group is composed of representatives elected by student organizations, and various other student constituencies, and appointed representatives including students serving on Candler's standing committees.

Black Student Caucus

The Black Student Caucus was established to sustain and enhance African American identity, awareness, and cohesiveness on the Emory campus and at the Candler School of Theology. The Black Student Caucus serves as a support group for African American students and as a context for the study of issues facing African American ministry. Through interest groups such as Sistah Circle and the Brothers, the Black Student Caucus seeks to foster better communication between all persons through dialogue that promotes respect for and understanding of cultural and religious differences, and the needs relevant to those differences. The Voices of Imani provides the Candler community with a magnificent blend of gospel and contemporary music. Black Student Caucus is open to all.

Candler African Theological Student Association (CATSA)

CATSA is concerned with the promotion and facilitation of the study of African theologies and cultures. In collaboration with other groups such as the Candler Black Student Caucus and Candler International Student Association, CATSA seeks to foster a sense of fellowship and encourage interaction among African, black (i.e., African Diasporan) and Candler’s diverse student body, staff, and faculty, while also attending to the particular needs of African students. CATSA celebrates the gift and blessing of cultural and religious differences among all persons. CATSA is committed to increasing awareness among Candler and Emory University students of African and international concerns and themes. CATSA believes that the liberation of Africa is bound with the welfare of the world.

Candler Baptist Community

The Candler Baptist Community is a student-led organization that gathers regularly for fellowship and support. The CBC consists of students from several Baptist denominations, and it encourages dialogue among all who share in the Baptist heritage. Periodic luncheons provide an opportunity for conversation and sharing. The purpose of the CBC is fourfold: (1) to provide support for Baptist students preparing for ministry; (2) to provide opportunities for networking and job placement in cooperation with the Baptist Studies Program; (3) to raise awareness of issues of importance that effect Baptist students at Candler; (4) to promote theological education that is enriched and enlivened through ecumenical dialogue and relationships.

Candler Creation Keepers

Candler Creation Keepers offers community for students who want to explore their devotion to God as expressed through Creation care. This group is responsible for maintaining Candler’s Educational Garden. Creation Keepers plan and lead several events as part of Emory’s Earth Month celebrations, including outdoor worship services, a preaching pageant, and an alternative transportation breakfast that aims to provide sustainably grown and justly traded coffee and food for students who travel to Emory via bike, bus, carpool, or any means alternative to single-passenger car. Creation Keepers enjoy fellowship over meals made from locally produced foods and work to promote greater ecological awareness at Candler and in local congregations.

Candler Evangelical Society (CES)

The Candler Evangelical Society is an interdenominational organization whose purpose is to minister to, support, educate, and reach out to the larger Candler community. CES believes the Bible shapes, expresses, and evokes a transformative faith, which is supreme faith in and patterned after Jesus Christ, especially God’s redemptive activity in Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. CES seeks to explore the richness of the Christian heritage, paying special attention to traditions of the evangelical faith culture. Participants in CES seek to grow spiritually and theologically through an open and appreciative encounter with the broad range of theological positions and concerns found within the Candler community.

Candler International Students Association (CISA)

CISA represents the broad variety of international students within the Candler student body. The students delegate a representative from each country to form the association’s executive committee. The purpose of CISA is to create and encourage a harmonious community for Candler students, faculty, and administrators. To this end, CISA aspires to raise awareness of international concerns, provide a forum for discussion of such issues, enable students to share their gifts and talents, and support international students in their academic pursuits at Candler. It is hoped that by participating in and sponsoring activities such as workshops, worship services, community conversations, international lunches, and other special events, CISA will build community. CISA welcomes everyone to be a part of its community.

Candler Latin American Community (CLAC)

Candler Latin American Community is a community of students that provides fellowship, expression, and support for Latino/a students at Candler, and any other students with interest in Latin American culture. CLAC grants Candler’s Latino/as an intentional space of sharing ways in which their cultural backgrounds intersect with their academic, spiritual, ministerial, and personal lives. CLAC seeks to enrich conversations surrounding diversity and culture at Candler by uplifting a distinctly Latin American perspective. As Latin America spans a number of countries with their own unique values, we aim to recognize Latino/as in their similarities and differences. CLAC meets three times per semester. All students at Candler are welcome to join and participate in CLAC.

Candler Reconciling Ministries

Candler Reconciling Ministries affirms Christ's call to engage in ministries that bring reconciliation and wholeness to all persons. CRM’s hearts, minds, and doors are always open to all individuals. CRM strives to be a community of spiritual growth that reflects compassion towards all God's children, engaging in prophetic and pastoral outreach to Church and society. CRM supports both clergy and laity in their ministries, trains new leaders, and advocates for the full inclusion of all persons into the life of Candler School of Theology and The United Methodist Church, especially with LGBTQ+ persons, people of color, and persons with disabilities.

Candler Women

Candler Women seeks to provide community support and advocacy for women. Candler Women also plans and participates in worship services for women, in Women’s Week activities, and in Women’s History Month, and it promotes the Program in Women, Theology, and Ministry. Candler Women cosponsors events with other Candler groups that minister to the whole Candler community and/or support issues of reconciliation and justice. Membership is open to all who are associated with Candler.

Emory Korean Graduate Student Association

Emory Korean Graduate Student Association contributes to the Candler and Emory communities by enriching students’ multicultural, social, and academic experiences. Networking and shared interests in Korean/ Korean American ethnicity are supported through this organization.

Pan-Methodist Connection

The Pan-Methodist Connection seeks to provide educational support, networking, spiritual well-being, and a sense of community for students who are members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Connection’s purpose is to encourage Christian witness at Candler School of Theology by challenging people to recognize the presence of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. In order to achieve this mission, the Connection strives to: provide opportunities for Christian fellowship in an environment that seeks to encourage growth and discipleship; encourage students, faculty, and administration to analyze their values and ethical beliefs from a Christian perspective; provide a connecting link between local African Methodist Episcopal churches and students; and develop ways of working together ecumenically with other campus organizations.

Sacred Worth

Sacred Worth is organized to support the diverse expressions of human love and sexuality among all of God’s children and is committed to acts of justice, education, conversation, and celebration with Candler, Emory University, and the larger community. Sacred Worth hopes to be a prophetic voice challenging institutional practices and personal attitudes that limit the diversity of human sexuality. Sacred Worth welcomes all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual or gender orientation, age, or disability. Sacred Worth supports the full recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and heterosexual persons who feel called to lay or ordained ministry. Sacred Worth seeks to make the community a safer, more loving, and respectful place for all people, regardless of sexual or gender orientation.

Social Concerns Network

The Social Concerns Network (SCN) seeks to support, coordinate, and nurture social actions and activism that emerge from our faith commitments. It promotes the living out of theology in an effort to question and transform political, economic, and social structures in society and the world. Recent activities include participation in protests, letter-writing campaigns, prayer and worship services, a workshop on how to nurture a green university, and direct activism on campus. Group discussions have focused on diverse topics ranging from homeless youth to political involvement in the presidential election to unionization. In general, the people of SCN strive to support justice issues within the Candler community wherever they emerge.

New student groups emerge with changing interests, needs, and commitments in the Candler student community. There are also a variety of small groups, and members of various denominations meet for fellowship and discussion.

International Student Support Programs

The Office of Student Programming provides a number of programs to support international students at Candler. These programs include English for Speakers of Other Languages offerings, a trained staff of writing tutors, a conversation partners program, orientation and acclimation sessions, personal and vocational mentoring, and social gatherings. For further information contact the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation at 404.727.4430.

University Activities and Organizations

School of theology students are welcome to participate in university organizations and activities, including the Graduate Student Government Association, the Graduate Senate, and special interest groups such as Volunteer Emory, Play Emory, the Center for Women, and the Black Student Alliance. In addition to these organizations, there are numerous instrumental and choral ensembles, theater groups, dance troupes, and athletic organizations in which to participate. For a more complete list of student organizations, see the Emory Campus Life Handbook or contact the Office of Campus Life at 404.727.6169 or visit

Guest Speaker Policy

Student organizations, program directors, faculty and staff members, and other members of the Candler community will adhere to these policies and guidelines when developing programs involving speakers from outside the Candler community. These policies and guidelines assume simultaneous review and following of the procedures for external publicity, if such publicity will be undertaken. Candler upholds the principle of academic freedom and supports the active exchange of ideas within the community. At the same time, the school expects respect and civility of expression for all speakers and those in attendance, whether members of, or visitors to, our community. For further guidance regarding controversial speakers, please refer to the Emory University Speaker Policy and Guidelines, available at For all events involving outside speakers, significant time is required for appropriate planning. These steps are expected:

  1. Student organizations should discuss their ideas, plans, and appropriate scheduling regarding events and speakers with their faculty adviser and/or the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation, several months in advance.

  2. Dean Jan Love should be notified of invitations to bishops and other ecclesial or institutional leaders. In some cases the invitation will be issued from the Office of the Dean.

  3. Preliminary inquiries to speakers should include questions regarding expected honoraria and expenses.

  4. All sponsoring groups, whether student organizations or units of the school, must ensure that full funding is available for the program, including the speaker’s expenses, honorarium, and any other costs.

  5. If funding is being provided by groups or individuals other than the primary sponsoring organization (whether units of Candler, Emory, or outside supporters), letters of commitment, detailing the amount of funds to be provided, must be submitted. Students must submit a comprehensive plan including this information to the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation before contracts are completed.

  6. Complete financial documents and contracts must be approved by Dean Jan Love and the chief business officer before the contract is finalized, for honorarium or payment of more than $300 paid by student organizations, or more than $1,500 paid through other accounts. Please submit these materials to the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation and allow two weeks for review. Student organizations, via the organizational treasurer, must first submit all required documentation to the Candler Coordinating Council treasurer to ascertain that sufficient funds are available within the appropriate budget lines and to make adjustments according to the process approved by the Emory University Student Government Association.

  7. Students organizations must submit biographical information (curriculum vitae, resume, or detailed online information) to the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation, before the contract is finalized. Please allow two weeks for review.

  8. All contract arrangements must be made using the approved Emory University or Student Government Association contracts. Student organizations may contact the C3 treasurer for more information.

  9. Appropriate room reservations and catering arrangements must be made, using the approved procedures and including the required signatures. A run-of-show document must be created as part of these event arrangements.

  10. External publicity procedures must be followed for any publicity beyond the Candler community. This information is available from the director of communications. Please note time requirements.

  11. Internal publicity is the responsibility of the sponsoring group. Electronic postings are the primary means of communication. All event notices should be submitted to the Candler Chronicle. Flyers or small posters may be posted on the appropriate bulletin boards in the Candler facilities. Questions regarding other means of internal publicity should be directed to the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation.

Leadership Development

Students may apply for partial funding for professional conferences and educational events not sponsored by Candler School of Theology or Emory University. Applications are evaluated to determine how participation in the event will enhance the student’s academic progress and potential leadership in ministry as well as fulfill Candler’s mission statement. Complete guidelines and applications are available online at index.html.

Emory University Student Health and Counseling Services

The mission of Emory University Student Health and Counseling Services (EUSHCS) is to empower students to take responsibility for their health and to complement the academic mission of the university by providing unified medical, counseling and health promotion services that result in a healthy campus culture. Student Health and Counseling Services is committed to providing caring professional clinical services to a diverse student body and to reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health services. Emory University Student Health Services is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC). Emory University Student Counseling Centers Psychologist Training Program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). EUSHCS provides outpatient care for enrolled Emory students with a valid Emory ID card. Spouses, Domestic Partners and unmarried children over 18 years of age are only eligible for primary medical care if they are currently enrolled in the Emory Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan. (Please note that the enrolled Emory student must have purchased dependent coverage separately; it is not automatically provided by virtue of the student’s enrollment in the plan.) Care for eligible dependents is provided by appointment on a fee-for-service basis. EUSHCS is located at 1525 Clifton Road (first and second floors). For more detailed information, visit our website at


During fall and spring semesters, Student Health Services is open Monday– Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is a Saturday clinic for urgent medical problems and concerns from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During summer session and winter and spring breaks, EUSHCS is open weekdays only from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To schedule appointments, students should call 404.727.7551 (press 1) or use the online scheduling system at

Medical and Health Education Services

EUSHCS offers the following services to enrolled Emory students: primary health care, gynecology, family planning and colposcopy, dermatology and sports medicine specialty clinics, psychiatry, allergy injections, immunizations, international travel clinic, laboratory testing, physical examinations, referrals to specialists, nutrition counseling and education, substance abuse counseling and referrals, anonymous HIV testing, sexual health counseling, and health education/promotion programs and presentations. Emergencies and After Hours Care EUSHCS is not an emergency facility. For life threatening emergencies, please call 911 or the Emory Police at 404.727.6111 or 7.6111 (direct dial on campus) for assistance in obtaining emergency help rapidly. Students needing to speak to the on-call physician after-hours about an urgent medical problem or concern should call 404.727.7551 (press 0) to have the paging operator page the on-call physician. The Emory University Hospital Emergency Room can be reached by calling 404.712.7100.


Emory tuition covers primary care office visits provided by Student Health Services health care providers. Charges for the following services are not covered by tuition and must be paid for by the student: hospitalization and emergency room care, medical procedures, consultations with non-EUSHCS specialist physicians, laboratory tests and X-rays, medications and medical supplies, injections (including allergy shots), physical examinations, anonymous HIV testing and travel consultations. Payment is due at the time of service. Cash, checks, EmoryCard, Visa, and Mastercard are accepted. Student Health Services will file insurance claims to a student’s insurance plan. However, students are primarily and completely responsible for all fees incurred, regardless of insurance coverage.

Mandatory Health Insurance

All new and continuing degree-seeking and all international Emory University students are required to have health insurance. Under this requirement, students must either purchase the Emory University Student Health Insurance Plan offered by Aetna Student Health or, to waive out of the program, provide documentation of enrollment in a comparable United States-domiciled plan. A list of health insurance companies is available on the NAFSA website at

Each fall semester, new and continuing degree-seeking students and all international students will have a “To Do” on their OPUS account from mid-April requiring them to complete the waiver process online by the start of fall classes. If a new or continuing fall semester student has not waived out of the Emory Student Health Insurance Plan by July 1, he or she will be billed by Emory Student Financial Services for the Emory/ Aetna plan. However, the student may still complete the waiver process online prior to the start of fall classes and the charge will be reversed.

New students entering in spring or summer semesters will complete the online enrollment/waiver process prior to the start of classes. These midyear admits will also join all continuing students in completing the process for the next fall. International students, regardless of nonimmigrant visa type, must provide evidence of medical insurance coverage for one year when registering for the fall semester. Students on a J visa must also ensure that any alternate plan meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of State, including coverage for accompanying dependents.

International students who wish to maintain insurance with another insurance company should note that the company must be domiciled within the United States, and must provide coverage for evacuation and repatriation. More information specific to international students is available at the International Student and Scholar Services website,

In 2016–2017, the cost of the annual student health insurance policy was $3,164. Coverage for a spouse/domestic partner and a child or children is available for international students only. For more information about the Emory University Student Health Insurance Plan, visit, choose “Find Your School” and enter Emory University, or contact the Emory University Student Health Insurance Office at 404.727.7560 or mandatoryinsurance@

Counseling and Psychological Services

Emory University Counseling and Psychological Services provides free, confidential counseling for enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students at Emory University. Consultation, outreach and educational workshops are provided for Emory's faculty, staff, and students.

The staff at the Counseling Center knows that student life is a transitional period and can bring pressure and stress. They seek to help students understand this period, find ways of coping with crises, and grow from their experiences.

An Emory student interested in arranging an appointment can call 404.727.7450 or come to the Counseling Center, located at 1462 Clifton Road, Suite 235, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Counselors are on call in case of emergency.

For more information on Emory’s student counseling services, visit

The Emory Helpline is a telephone counseling and referral service providing anonymous peer counseling and confidential support to members of the Emory Community. Helpline volunteers undergo extensive and intensive paraprofessional training prior to commencement of work on the telephone lines. To reach the Helpline, 404.727.HELP (4357), open seven nights a week; 8:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Counseling resources also are available at sites off campus. A list of these resources is available from the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation at 404.727.4430.

Career Development

Candler Career Services

Career Services is a new addition to the Office of Student Programming. Current students and alumni can benefit from help with the practical aspects of employment. Programming and appointments will be sequenced with students’ progress at Candler. Services include identifying opportunities with organizations, making connections, and polishing career tools such as networking, interviewing, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, and more. Career Services weaves together academics, internships, contextual education, and life experiences to help students navigate their way to their vocational calling. Visit Career Services in the OSP suite (311 RARB), or for further information visit or, or contact the director of career services at 404.727.4430.


The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority connects Emory to all parts of the city. With your current school ID, MARTA offers a university pass (U-Pass). This subsidized monthly TransCard offers unlimited bus and rail access with discounted fares for students and faculty/staff. Visit for more details. Emory shuttle buses, which run regularly between campus and Campus Crossings at Briarcliff, are free to residents of those housing complexes and to others for most purposes.

Vehicles on Campus


Students operating automobiles, motorcycles, and scooters at Emory must register their vehicles with the Parking Office, 1945 Starvine Way, immediately after arrival on campus or as soon as the vehicle is acquired. Proof of ownership is required at registration. Automobiles, motorcycles, or scooters operated by students on campus must be registered. For parking registration information visit

Parking and Traffic Regulations

University regulations, strictly enforced in housing areas and on campus, are specified in a regulation booklet furnished at the time of vehicle registration. Persons with vehicles on campus are expected to know and abide by these regulations. Failure to do so may result in fines and/or removal of vehicles from campus. For more information, contact the Parking Office, 1945 Starvine Way, at 404.727.7275; or visit the website at

Athletics at Emory

In 1986 Emory formed the University Athletic Association with seven other urban research universities. Competing within NCAA Division III, Emory offers intercollegiate teams for men and women in cross country, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, basketball, and soccer, as well as golf and baseball for men and softball and volleyball for women. Club sports provide additional competitive opportunities. These teams include crew, rugby, ultimate frisbee, ice hockey, lacrosse, racquetball, and rowing.

The George W. Woodruff Physical Education Center

This modern, spacious facility for athletics enhances Emory’s campus and community life. The center includes a fifty-meter pool, four basketball courts, two Nautilus weight circuits, racquetball and squash courts, and a dance and combatives studio. The facility overlooks a soccer field and a four-hundredmeter, eight-lane track. Seven lighted rooftop tennis courts and six tennis courts adjacent to the center are used year-round. The Emory recreation program offers noncredit classes for six-week sessions in activities such as exercise, aerobics, fitness, racquetball, jazz exercise, swimnastics, and weight training. Students are admitted free with a valid student ID.

Student Activity and Academic Center (SAAC)

Located on the Clairmont campus, the Student Activity and Academic Center provides facilities and opportunities to help its members grow in all areas of human development, including physical, intellectual, spiritual, and social development. The SAAC unites various constituents through intentional programming and events designed to serve the entire membership community. For more information, visit

Statement of Racial Inclusivity

Candler School of Theology is committed to racial equality in all aspects of its community and academic life.

We affirm the dignity and worth of all persons of all races as created in the image of God.

We affirm the value of cultural diversity as represented both within and between racial groups.

We encourage the full and equal participation of all racial groups in the total life and mission of Candler through advocacy and by reviewing and monitoring the practices of the entire institution to ensure racial inclusiveness.

Adapted from The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church and adopted by the faculty of Candler School of Theology.

Inclusive Language

Candler School of Theology seeks to educate faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries throughout the world. We are committed to a community of faith and learning inclusive of women and men who are diverse in ethnic, economic, social, and national backgrounds. We enact such a community when we reject narrowed language and negative stereotypes that discriminate against persons of different genders, races, cultures, abilities, or sexual orientation. We uphold the principle of inclusiveness by seeking to express the unity and equality of all human beings in every area of the school’s work and life.

All human beings are created equally in the image of God, and called equally into redemptive unity with Christ. In light of God’s all-inclusive love and grace, we seek to free conventional Christian language from exclusive patterns of interpretation and inference. Inclusive language expresses God’s redemptive love for all persons and all creation. Candler’s faculty have therefore committed themselves to using inclusive language in every area of our lives together, encompassing our teaching, learning, worship, and administration. This includes our classroom lectures, discussions, handouts, and related materials (except when quoting others’ texts) as well as official communications of the school and internal office communications. The faculty encourage students to use inclusive language in all written and oral presentations for class as well as worship events and other public functions of the school.

No fixed or exhaustive set of rules can capture every case for using inclusive language. But certain forms of usage have been widely adopted in liturgical and academic settings to honor principles of inclusivity, especially with respect to gender. These include:

  • using “humankind,” “humanity,” or “human being,” instead of “mankind,” or the generic “man”;
  • using “he or she,” “his or her,” “they” and “their,” or the regular alternation of masculine and feminine personal pronouns, instead of depending exclusively on the generic use of “he,” “his,” and “him”;
  • using “God’s self ” (instead of “himself ”) as a reflexive pronoun for God;
  • avoiding the exclusive use of masculine personal pronouns when referring to the God of Israel.

Beyond any list of suggested grammatical conventions, Candler’s commitment to inclusive language entails an ongoing effort to express in our speech and conduct alike the community of faith that binds us together in mutual recognition, responsibility, and care.