Stetson University

College of Arts and Sciences

Student Resources

Students from many majors across the University become fascinated with the study of religion. Presently more than 80 students major or minor in Religious Studies.

Information Links for Religious Studies Students

Sam R. Marks Prize In Religion

The Sam R. Marks Prize in Religion originated with a letter from Sam R. Marks, a Jacksonville lawyer. The letter, dated December 15, 1950, expressed Marks' desire to establish an annual prize to stimulate greater interest among the students in the Religion Department (as it was then called.) Mr. Marks suggested essays dealing directly with the Bible be the main focus of the prize. He wished to encourage those interested in biblical study to sharpen their ability to understand and interpret the Bible and to communicate their knowledge effectively in writing and in speech. The first award was given on May 23, 1952, to Mr. Parker McLendon for "The Meaning of the Prophet Hosea for Today" and second place to Ms. Gloria Kline for "Jesus' Estimate of the Worth of Human Personality."

Competition for the Sam R. Marks Prize in Religion is open to all students. The prize of $350 is awarded to the best paper in biblical research. The competition is advertised during the first week of February on the DeLand campus. Recipients of the Sam R. Marks Prize in Religion will be honored at the Academic Awards Convocation.

» Rules for the Sam R. Marks Prize In Religion

The 2012 Sam R. Marks Prize In Religion Awards

Rachel Burnett, from Lake Placid, Florida, was awarded the first place award for her essay titled, "That Son of Man: Form and Function in Apocalyptic Literature." Ms. Burnett received her award from Dr. Mitchell Reddish, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, at the Spring 2012 Academic Awards Convocation on May 11, 2012. Rachel will be pursuing a masters in Forestry and Environmental Resources with an assistantship at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Mitchell Reddish and Rachel Burnett

Outstanding Junior and Senior in Religious Studies

Every year the Religious Studies Department faculty honors one or more seniors and juniors as Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Junior. This award is given to students who are recognized for their diligence, hard work and stellar achievements as majors in our department. The Outstanding Senior is honored and recognized at the College of Arts and Sciences' Senior Honors Banquet and their names are listed in the program for the Academic Awards Convocation. The Outstanding Juniors are recognized and their names listed in the program for the Academic Awards Convocation. This year's recipients are listed below:

Outstanding Seniors

  • Kiara John
  • Darian Shump
  • Natalie Faria

Outstanding Juniors

  • Elizabeth Fuller
  • Christian Wright

Religious Studies Dessert Social

The Religious Studies Department hosts a biannual Dessert Social for majors and minors in Religious Studies and other interested students in the spring and fall of each academic year. This allows students to find out what's new in the department and socialize with other majors and minors as well as the Religious Studies faculty. The faculty provide a sampling of desserts along with fruit and vegetables. It is an event not missed by many Religious Studies students. The fall dessert social is held in October and the spring dessert social is held in March.

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