Jan Love to step down as Emory Candler dean next summer

Love became first female dean of the Atlanta theology school in 2007
Jan Love, the first female dean of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. will step down from that position next summer. CONTRIBUTED BY EMORY UNIVERSITY’S CANDLER SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

Jan Love, the first female dean of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. will step down from that position next summer. CONTRIBUTED BY EMORY UNIVERSITY’S CANDLER SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

When Jan Love was named dean of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in 2007 she knew that she was an out-of-the box choice.

Most theology school deans have a degree in theology. Love didn’t. Nor was she an ordained minister in a church.

Instead, Love had experience as a leader in higher education and was a lay leader in the United Methodist Church.

Love, the Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean of Candler, will step down as dean next summer, according to a press release from Emory. She will remain at Emory as a professor of Christianity and world politics.

She also plans to take a sabbatical from the summer of 2024 until the summer of 2025 academic year before retiring in the summer of 2025.

The reason, she said, is “very simple.”

“By the time I step down I will be almost 72,” she said. “And I have children and grandchildren and writing projects. I want to shift gears in the years I have left to do more relaxing activities.”

Love was the first woman to serve as dean at Candler. Her tenure at Emory also included a stint as interim provost.

Emory President Gregory L. Fenves. said in a release that Love “has ambitiously elevated Candler School of Theology, creating life-changing opportunities for students to deepen their spiritual understanding while preparing to serve society as leaders in the church and beyond.”

Emory University Dean of the Candler School of Theology Jan Love will step down from that position next summer.

Credit: Contributed

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Credit: Contributed

A national search for Love’s successor will be announced this fall, following the selection of a search firm and appointment of a search advisory committee, according to the release.

Before joining Emory, Love taught at the University of South Carolina and worked in a lay leadership position within the United Methodist Church, including serving as chief executive officer of United Methodist Women, now known as United Women in Faith.

In 2019, Love led the launch of The Candler Foundry, an initiative that makes theological education accessible regardless of degree status or profession, according to the release. The Candler Foundry has served more than 100,000 learners since its inception.

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