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!

Jory White

Associate Director of Financial Aid and Admissions

Southerners may be known for their hospitality, but we’ve never met anyone nicer than Minnesota-born-and-bred Jory. She began her admissions experience in the Twin Cities area, where she worked as an Admissions Counselor and Admissions & Enrollment Coordinator with both undergraduate and graduate programs. She is an alumna of the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in biological sciences and studied abroad at Oxford University and the Università di Firenze. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she moved to East Africa to work with a nonprofit organization, then returned to the Twin Cities to work on a master’s degree in teaching, with an emphasis on studies in race relations and graduate education curriculum. She moved to Atlanta in 2014 to join the Candler Admissions & Financial Aid team.

Ashly Cargle-Thompson

Assistant Director of 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.

Wendi Hicks

Assistant Director of Admissions

Wendi is one of those people who can’t get enough of school—she works with students at Candler while she’s a student herself! Born and raised in Moultrie, Georgia, she earned a bachelor of arts in communications and theater arts at Mercer University and a master of public administration at Valdosta State University, where she is currently pursuing a doctor of public administration with an emphasis in higher education leadership. Wendi began her admissions experience as a regional recruiter and admission counselor for Middle Georgia State University and then served as the graduate admissions counselor at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. In her free time, Wendi enjoys writing children’s books with her mother, biking, and coaching tumbling—which gives you a sense of her impressive level of energy and enthusiasm! (Exclamation point required!)

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.

Anna Lautenschlager, MDiv '18

Anna Lautenschlager

Hometown: Alpharetta, GA

Fun Fact: Wants to be a pediatric hospital chaplain.

Gareth Leake, MTS '17

Gareth Leake

Hometown: Houston, TX

Fun Fact: Worked in admissions at his alma mater, Wheaton College.

Christina Schmitt, MDiv '19

Christina Schmitt

Hometown: Johns Creek, GA

Fun Fact: Interested in agricultural sustainability and poverty.

Student Ambassadors

Nathan Cost, MTS '17

Nathan Cost

Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA

Fun Fact: Previously taught high school history and coached soccer.

Natalie Faria, MDiv '18

Hometown: Valrico, FL

Fun Fact: Mentors with the Youth Theological Initiative.

Bridget Hall, MDiv '19

Bridget Hall

Greensboro, NC

Fun Fact: Hopes to be ordained in the Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC.

Tyler Ward, MDiv '18

Tyler Ward

Hometown: Illinois, Kansas

Fun Fact: Serves as president of Candler Reconciling Ministries.

Byron Wratee, MDiv '18

Byron Wratee

Hometown: Kingstree, SC

Fun Fact: Sits on the board of the Aquinas Center and sings with Emory’s Concert Choir.