Portrait of Jan Love

Jan Love Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean of Candler School of Theology

Contact Information

Mailing Address
Emory University
Rita Anne Rollins Building
1531 Dickey Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30322

Jan Love is the Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean of Candler School of Theology, and Professor of Christianity and World Politics.

An internationally recognized leader in church and ecumenical arenas and a scholar of world politics—particularly issues of religion and politics, conflict transformation, and globalization—Love arrived at Emory in 2007 as Candler School of Theology’s first female dean.

Immediately prior to her appointment as dean, she was chief executive officer of United Methodist Women, whose 800,000+ members raise millions annually for programs and projects related to women, children, and youth in the United States and more than 100 other countries.

For 22 years before that, Love was on faculty at the University of South Carolina, with dual appointments in the departments of religious studies and government and international studies. She earned a BA in political science from Eckerd College and an MA and PhD in international relations from Ohio State University.

In addition to her work in the academy, Love represented the United Methodist Church on the World Council of Churches (WCC) for 30 years, serving terms on its executive committee, as chair of the program area on justice and service, and as head of the WCC delegation to the United Nations FourthWorld Conference on Women.

During her time as Candler’s dean, the school has accomplished a number of strategic goals, including the cultivation of an eminent, diverse faculty; completion of a new, 128,600-square-foot building complex; the launch of three new degree programs and five dual-degree programs; increased opportunities for student international engagement and contextual learning; a major expansion of financial aid and career services to ensure student success; the addition of faculty specializing in multifaith relations; a strong and generous donor base to support the school; a yearlong celebration of the school’s centennial, captured in the publication of two books about the intersection of theology and higher education; and the establishment of a deeper institutional commitment to equity and inclusion.

An expert in conflict transformation, Love is known for facilitating constructive relationships among people with deeply held differences and for her work in racial justice. She has contributed significantly to the literature examining how to live productively with intractable conflict, allowing it to fuel positive change. Both her scholarly study and her applied experience support that people from different backgrounds, places, faith traditions, and ideological perspectives can learn to cooperate rather than collide.

She is the author of The U.S. Anti-Apartheid Movement: Local Activism in Global Politics (1985) and Southern Africa in World Politics: Local Aspirations and Global Entanglements (2005), and a contributor to Conflict and Communion: Reconciliation and Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table (2006), as well as the author of numerous articles.

Throughout her career, Love has demonstrated a singular commitment to the fundamental academic endeavor expressed in the mission of Emory: to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity. 

Please visit the Candler website to learn more about Love’s scholarly expertise.