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.

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

  • Bethany Moore                                          

Bethany Moore

The Outstanding Senior for the Department of Religious Studies, Bethany Moore - May 2021

Bethany Moore graduated magna cum laude in December 2020 with a major in religious studies and a minor in history. She was an excellent student in the classroom — inquisitive, eager to learn, and filled with wit and good humor. She completed an insightful senior research project on the writings of C.S. Lewis, titled "Finding C.S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia."

Beyond the classroom, Bethany was actively involved in campus and community activities as part of Stetson's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, working on the Stetson Grounds Division Recycling Team, serving as a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club in DeLand and at a local church, and working as a summer camp counselor at a YMCA in Orlando. She was also a member of Theta Alpha Kappa, the religious studies honor society. All the while, Bethany was characteristically engaged, intelligent, affable, attentive and adaptable.

Bethany has recently accepted a position with The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida. She is a Volunteer Coordinator and helps manage the volunteer programs and recruiting people for assistance.

Outstanding Juniors

  • Kirk Mattern
  • Madison Goff
  • Rebecca Hett

Religious Studies Dessert Social

Come join faculty, fellow majors, and minors for a wonderful gathering of conversation and sweet treats at the Spring Dessert Social! It will be held on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, outside at Dr. Houston's home, at 7:00 p.m. To RSVP, please email [email protected]. Directions to Dr. Houston's home are below. We hope to see you there!


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