Chautauqua Institution recently announced that the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr., director of its Department of Religion, has been appointed the James T. and Berta R. Laney Chair in Moral Leadership within the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
As the inaugural holder of this endowed professorship, Franklin will shape a program in moral leadership at Candler, where Laney was dean from 1969 to 1977 before serving as president of Emory from 1977-93. Candler is one of 13 United Methodist Church seminaries, and shares with Chautauqua a mission to expand knowledge of religion and theology and deepen spiritual life for the positive transformation of church and world. Franklin will be installed at the school's Aug. 28 Fall Convocation and begin teaching a course on moral leadership in the fall semester.
"I am deeply humbled by this honor and grateful for Chautauqua's support of this expansion of my responsibilities," Franklin said. "There will be numerous opportunities for collaborating as both institutions seek to prepare public pastors, theologians, and thoughtful citizens for a better future. My activities at Emory will complement nicely my vision for the next chapter of Chautauqua's Religion Department in fostering civil and vigorous dialogue on difficult issues and preparing moral leaders who are committed to serving the common good."
Franklin, who assumed his duties at Chautauqua on Jan. 1, will continue to serve Emory as senior adviser for community and diversity through 2016. In 2013, he served an appointment as visiting scholar at the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. He is also president emeritus of Morehouse College, a former Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics at Emory and former director of Candler's Black Church Studies program.
"We are so pleased for Robert and excited to have a theologian at the forefront of his field so dedicated to shaping religious life and community at Chautauqua," said Thomas M. Becker, president of Chautauqua Institution. "In this new capacity his mission is a tremendous complement to his work here and will only serve to increase Chautauqua's prominence in theological circles."