Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Partners in planning your next step.

The staff of Candler’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid aren’t just emissaries for Candler; they are servant leaders committed to supporting you in your theological journey. Part Sherpa, part counselor, part career coach, they partner with you to discover where your interests and passions and Candler’s unique brand of theological education intersect. Sure, they love to talk about Candler, but they equally love to listen to the stories and context each prospective student brings with them. Through that listening, they can help you discern your call, consider the range of academic options available, and determine how a theological degree will help prepare you for your next step. Email Candler’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.


Mary Lou Greenwood Boice

Mary Lou Best

Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Born and raised in Boston, Mary Lou has lived in Atlanta for more than 20 years and has served Candler in multiple leadership roles, so she knows both the school and its environs inside-out. Initially Candler’s Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services, Mary Lou then spent several years as Associate Dean of Development and External Relations, and now has returned to her first love, working with students in Admissions and Financial Aid. She holds a bachelor of arts from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a master of theological studies from Boston University School of Theology. A facilitator for the Stewards of Children Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training program, she offers training for seminary students, local churches and community agencies. Mary Lou and her family are members of Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, where she is on the Staff-Parish Relations Committee. If you’re lucky, you’ll come to the office on a day when Mary Lou has made her famous apple pie. Come early!


Ashly Cargle-Thompson

Associate Director of Financial Aid & Admissions

Hailing from the Midwest, Ashly began her career at Candler as the program coordinator for the Doctor of Ministry, International Initiatives, and Theological Education Between the Times programs. She earned her BA from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, majoring in comparative religion with an emphasis in Islam and triple-minoring in anthropology, psychology, and English. Before pursuing graduate studies, Ashly realized a longtime dream by playing professional basketball for the Stirling Senators in Perth, Western Australia. Upon returning to the U.S., she completed her MA at the University of Chicago Divinity School with an emphasis in Islamic studies and anthropology of religion. Her research focused on the formation of identity and selfhood among conservative Muslim women through their evolving interpretations of Qur’anic passages about menstruation and purity. In her spare time, Ashly enjoys reading, cooking, swimming, and hiking.


Nikki Jackson

Sr. Office Assistant, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid

Chatting with Nikki when you first arrive in the Admissions and Financial Aid office, it doesn’t take long to discover that she’s deeply committed to two things: her family, and Atlanta Falcons football (she’s been a season ticket holder for the last 15 years!). And those priorities often overlap; when she’s not serving as the front line of hospitality at Candler, you’ll find her cheering from the sidelines of a Falcons game alongside her mom. Nikki also enjoys reading, watching NASCAR, and working towards her bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in secondary education. A veteran employee of Emory (since 1995) and Candler (since 1999), Nikki’s knowledge of our community is deep, and she loves working in Admissions, where she can live out her passion for helping students. She’s also lived in Atlanta since she was eight years old, so you can ask her anything about the city—not just Falcons trivia!


Stewart Voegtlin

Assistant Director of Admissions

A former newspaper editor, Stewart has the inside story on being a student at Candler, because he’s been one. He is a 2015 graduate of Candler’s Master of Theological Studies program, where he studied biblical hermeneutics and the intersection of Scripture and Greco-Roman literature, putting to excellent use his BA in philosophy with a concentration in classics from Georgia State University. He has fond MTS memories of exegeting New Testament texts in Greek, searching for the Markan Kingdom of God, and discussing Thomas Merton and prayer with the inimitable Don Saliers over a cup of tea. As former assistant youth director at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, Stewart put his theology into practice, accompanying youth on domestic and international mission trips and leading Bible studies for middle- and high-school students. We’re glad to have his big ideas, keen insights and dry wit back at Candler.


Student Workers

Leea Allen, MDiv '19

Leea Allen

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Fun Fact: Loves zip lining and fishing.

John Barnes, MDiv '17, ThM '18

John Barnes

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Fun Fact: Plays the piano (listen for him in Chapel).

Elyse Cooke, MDiv '20

Elyse Cooke

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Fun Fact: Has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.

LaRyssa Herrington, MDiv '20

LaRyssa Herrington

Hometown: Tolono, IL

Fun Fact: Is a certified Open Water Scuba Diver.

Anna Lautenschlager, MDiv '18

Anna Lautenschlager

Hometown: Alpharetta, GA

Fun Fact: Wants to be a pediatric hospital chaplain.


Student Ambassadors

Brad Biggerstaff, MDiv '19

Brad Biggerstaff

Denomination: UMC

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Fun Fact: Has been active in six different denominations at various times in his life.

Danielle Campbell, MDiv '20

Denomination: Seventh-day Adventist

Hometown: Williamsburg, VA

Fun Fact: Plays the flute and tenor saxaphone.

Natalie Faria-Campbell, MDiv '18

Denomination: Still exploring

Hometown: Valrico, FL

Fun Fact: Has traveled to 16 countries.

Bridget Hall, MDiv '19

Bridget Hall

Denomination: UMC

Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Fun Fact: Almost minored in art.

Sarah Kothe, MTS '18

Sarah Kothe

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Hometown: Tallahassee, FL

Fun Fact: Worked at an interfaith retreat center for three years.

Khalfani Lawson, MDiv '18

Khalfani Lawson

Denomination: Baptist

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Fun Fact: Before he could type, his grandmother used to type his papers for him. Now he's her tech support.

Daniel Reffner, MDiv '20

Daniel

Denomination: UMC

Hometown: Wichita, KS

Fun Fact: Drove to the Arctic Ocean in the summer of 2017 with his twin brother.

Maddie Russo, MDiv '20

Maddie Russo

Denomination: UMC

Hometown: Shreveport, LA

Fun Fact: Has been skydiving, scuba diving, and paragliding.

Brody Scott, MDiv '20

Brody Scott

Denomination: Still exploring

Hometown: Williamsburg, VA

Fun Fact: Is a proud Canadian citizen.

Byron Wratee, MDiv '18

Byron Wratee

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Hometown: Kingstree, SC

Fun Fact: Loves to sing and write music.