Emory Report
January 29, 2007
Volume 59, Number 17

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January 29 , 2007
Candler School of Theology

by Elaine justice

Candler School of Theology has a new dean this month, Jan Love, and on March 20 the school breaks ground on a brand-new building.

For Love, and for all at Candler, the new facilities symbolize the school’s overarching goals, the first of which is nothing less than to “enhance the quality of religious and public life in America and the world.”

The $58.5 million two-phase project will begin with a structure behind Bishops Hall to house classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, and the University’s Ethics Center. The second phase will involve demolition of Bishops Hall and the construction of a new home for Pitts Theology Library. The Graduate Division of Religion and the Religion Department of the College will be lodged in what is now Pitts Library on the Quad.

“Altogether, Emory will have a religion complex that will include Candler, the Ethics Center, Pitts Library, Cannon Chapel, the Graduate Division of Religion, and the Religion Department of the College,” said Love.

“It is almost unique in higher education for a university to comprehend, acknowledge and embrace the significance of religion to the human spirit in the way that Emory has done,” she added.

Given the historic role that Candler has played in the life of the University, said Love, “we have an extraordinary opportunity to continue producing Christian leaders who are well trained theologically, ethically aware and engaged in making a positive difference in the world.”

Making a difference in the world, reaching out into the world, across faith groups and across campus, are among Candler’s goals that articulate exactly how Candler faculty, staff and students will go about enhancing religious and public life.

“One of our great strengths is the training of Christian leaders who have experience and depth of encounter with other faith traditions,” Love said. “That’s an exciting part of what it means to come to Candler.”

“Our strategic plan builds on Candler’s strengths,” said David Petersen, professor of Old Testament and co-chair of the faculty strategic planning committee, along with Bandy Professor of Preaching Tom Long and Associate Dean of the Faculty Gail O’Day.

“Emory is unique in its ability to include in a significant way discourse on religion and theology throughout the University,” said Petersen. “There is no other university that does that. It’s a hallmark. It allows us to recruit well, because students are proud to be part of that community.”