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.


Samuel Martinez

Samuel Martinez

Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Sam is a native of “Scratch Out,” Arkansas—more officially known as New Edinburg, population 127—and comes to Candler with experience serving in both the church and the academy. He earned his MTS from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, and is currently finishing up his PhD in Christian theology at Yale, with a focus on the work of the Holy Spirit. He’s served churches in Texas as an associate pastor and as a director of music and media. Outside the office, Sam enjoys, well, being outside, including cycling and snow skiing. And if you’re looking for some good background music while you complete your application, just get him on speaker phone—he moonlighted as a professional pianist in college and can play most anything by ear, with a sweet spot in his soul for jazz, gospel and Johnny Cash. But you may want to come visit in person: Sam always (“ALWAYS,” he stresses) has candy in his office. Jelly beans, anyone?


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.


Abigail Chewning

Admissions Analyst

Born and raised in Atlanta, Abigail is no stranger to Emory: she earned her BA in sociology and history from Emory College, and has three family members who also work for the university. Following graduation, Abby went on to receive her master’s degree in teaching from Marian University. She joins the Candler admissions team after three years teaching U.S. history to high school juniors in Indianapolis, an experience she describes as the most challenging and enriching of her life (so far!). When she isn’t in the office, you might find Abby exercising—she enjoys group fitness classes of all kinds, and is currently training for the 2020 Walt Disney Marathon, her first. She’s also a big fan of The Office (she may or may not have seen every episode more than 11 times…) and proudly claims Slytherin as her Hogwarts house (they’re not all bad!).


Katy Daniel

Assistant Director of Operations and Communications

A native of Cartersville, Georgia, Katy graduated from Auburn University with a BS in apparel design and production management and a minor in human development and family studies. She comes to Candler from John Marshall Law School, where she served as an admissions clerk. Katy is a mentor for the Auburn Alumni Network and serves as a Kid Ministry Volunteer at Trinity Anglican Church in Atlanta. In her free time, you can find her cooking, hiking, camping, or doing yoga. Katy also enjoys crafting of all sorts—she spent time at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, where she took classes in pottery, basketry, natural dying, and millinery (hat-making!), and also learned to contra dance.


Joel LeMon

Joel LeMon

Associate Professor of Old Testament; Chair of Admissions and Scholarship Committee

Joel has been making his mark at Candler ever since he joined the faculty in 2007. An ordained elder in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, he felt called to ministry since he was a teenager and earned his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and his PhD from Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion, where he now serves as Associate Director. But he’s not only a great professor and an able administrator—he’s also an avid musician with a BA in trumpet from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. You can often find him lending his musical skills to Candler worship services, and if you go to the popular Oakhurst Porchfest or other venues around town, you might even see him playing banjo and harmonica. His love and study of music have been integral to his work as a biblical scholar and a teacher (how many profs start their intro to OT classes with a rousing ancient Hebrew chorus?). And Joel carries that joy beyond the classroom; word has it that he frequently treats his fellow faculty members to committee reports in the form of poems.


Eugene Williams

Eugene Williams

Admissions Advisor

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Eugene has been active in church life and ministry from the beginning. He served as a student leader in his high school youth group in Austin, Texas, and continued to work in young adult ministries while he earned his BA in political science from Hampton University. Eugene received his MDiv from Candler along with a double concentration in Homiletics and Justice, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, and a certificate in Baptist Studies. During his seminary years, he served as a worship team leader, Baptist Student Association chaplain, president of Candler’s Committee on Racial Equality (CORE), and student body VP. Eugene serves as associate minister and co-director of outreach ministries at the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. He’s also found ways to pastor those he comes into contact with as a house director for Emory’s Office of Residence Life and Housing Operations, and even as a staff administrator for American Airlines. When he’s not in the office or connecting with prospective students, you can find Eugene gardening, fishing, cooking, or spending time with his wife Chanel.   


Rachel Williams

Rachel Williams

Admissions Advisor

Rachel has the special distinction of being a "Key West Conch," a nickname given only to those born in Key West, Florida. A United Methodist pastor’s kid, she earned her BA in international affairs from Florida State University and her MDiv from Candler, the second generation in her family to do so—both of her parents are also Candler alumni! Between degrees, Rachel served as assistant director of ministry for the FSU/Tallahassee Community College Wesley Foundation, and as volunteer coordinator for Side by Side Kids Inc., a free, faith-based after school program in Austin, Texas. During her time at Candler, she was a pastoral resident at Eastside Church, where she directed justice and outreach ministries, launched the middle school youth program, and led initiatives to build community partnerships.

Rachel and her husband Nick root hard for Florida State football and have a dog named Hooch (part beagle/part monster). She loves books and rereads the Harry Potter series annually—she’s even led classes at Eastside on the boy wizard and the gospel. In her spare time, Rachel also enjoys hiking, traveling, and photography.


Student Workers


Sarah Gresham Barr, MDiv '21

Hometown: Nashville, TN/Jackson, MS

Fun Fact: Coffee is her love language--making, drinking, and sharing it!

Timothy Elofson, MDiv '21
Timothy Eloson

Hometown: Mansfield, MA

Fun Fact: Avid coffee drinker since age 3!

Katelyn Hayes, MDiv '21
Katelyn Hayes

Hometown: Decatur, AL

Fun Fact: Grew up on a small farm with 20 cows.

Tayler Johnson, MDiv '21
Tayler Johnson

Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX

Fun Fact: Was the 2002 Anderson County Mutton Bustin' Champion.

Rosalind Turner, MDiv '21
Roz Turner

Hometown: Tuskegee, AL

Fun Fact: Was once an Active Duty Air Force Airman.


Student Ambassadors

Danielle Campbell, MDiv '20
Danielle Campbell

Denomination: Seventh-day Adventist

Hometown: Williamsburg, VA

Fun Fact: Loves Latin dancing and Caribbean food.

Amy Chatelaine, MDiv '20
Amy Chatelaine

Denomination: ELCA

Hometown: Owatonna, MN

Fun Fact: Channels creativity through making mixtapes.

Ben Fletcher, MDiv '21
Ben Fletcher

Denomination: UMC

Hometown: Summerville, SC

Fun Fact: Solo backpacked 52 miles in the European Alps.

Seul Bin (Sunny) Lee, MDiv '21
Sunny Lee

Denomination: UMC

Hometown: Gwan-ju, South Korea

Fun Fact: Loves dancing and yoga.

Jon-Philippe Ruhumuliza, MTS '20
Jon-Philippe

Denomination: Seventh-day Adventist

Hometown: Berrien Springs, MI

Fun Fact: Loves taking his two sons to the park and digging through historical archives.

Maddie Russo, MDiv '20
Maddie Russo

Denomination: UMC

Hometown: Shreveport, LA

Fun Fact: Loves traveling, Italian food, movies, and pugs.