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 $400 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 Theta Alpha Kappa Induction Ceremony.

Rules for the Sam R. Marks Prize In Religion

Sam R. Marks Prize Application

Outstanding Juniors and Seniors 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 Senior

  • Abigail (Abbey) Carter


The Outstanding Senior for the Department of Religious Studies, Abigail Crater - May 2020

Abigail (Abbey) Crater will graduate with a bachelor's degrees in aquatic and marine biology, and in religious studies. She completed a senior research project in marine biology ("Synchronous Air Breathing as a Response to Hypoxia Exposure in Two Size Classes of Juvenile Armored Catfish, Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus"), as well as a senior research project in religious studies that combined her interests in marine conservation and religious studies ("Creatures of the Deep: Aquatic Myths and How They Can Contribute to Marine Conservation").

Abbey was named an Outstanding Junior in Religious Studies in 2019 and was inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa, the religious studies honorary society. She has been a member of Circle K International, Hatters Down Under: Scuba and Snorkel Club and Women's Chorale. She has volunteered at St. John's River cleanup, oyster bagging at the Marine Discovery Center and Samaritan Ministries Homeless Shelter Café.

Outstanding Juniors

  • Jordan McCormick
  • Bethany Moore

Religious Studies Dessert Social

Updates regarding the Religious Studies Dessert Social will be posted.