Honor Society and Student Awards Religion Furman University 

In 2015 Furman inducted its first members into Theta Alpha Kappa.  The honor society offers our students the opportunity to compete for national scholarship awards and to submit essays for publication in the organization’s Journal. Theta Alpha Kappa is an affiliated society of the American Academy of Religion and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.

Furman's First Theta Alpha Kappa Inductees Religion Furman University  

Furman’s First Theta Alpha Kappa Inductees, 2015

We like to acknowledge the outstanding work of our students through several departmental awards. Here are the recipients for our various awards and honors in the past years!

Cate Research Fellowship

The Department is pleased to announce a new departmental honor, the Robert L. Cate Research Fellowship, established in 2006 in honor of Baptist pastor and professor Dr. Robert L. Cate. The award, consisting of a stipend and a research opportunity with faculty, will be given each year to a junior or senior religion major.

  • 2017 Evan Talbert
  • 2016 Taylor Wrobel
  • 2014-2015 Laura Krueger, Alexander Pumphrey, Addison Rothrock, Caitlin Russell
  • 2013-2014 James Griscom, Rebekah Bell
  • 2012-2013 Rebekah Bell, James Griscom, Jacob Waldrip
  • 2011-2012 Stephanie Field, Christine Gwinn, Tucker Hannah
  • 2010-2011 Melissa Carnall, Rachel Harriz, Amanda Pruitt
  • 2009-2010 Mary Leah Friedline, Rebecca Scott
  • 2008-2009 Kayla Wolfe, Maureen Megan
  • 2007-2008 Jimmy Hoke
  • 2006-2007 John William Duval

Scholarly Achievement Award

A reference volume "to honor students who have achieved excellence in biblical or theological studies," awarded to the senior religion major(s) with the highest academic average(s).

  • 2017 Rebecca Lankford, Evan Talbert
  • 2016 Eliza Smith
  • 2015 Laura Krueger, Alexander Pumphrey
  • 2014 James Griscom, Jenna Barnett
  • 2013 Mattson Smith, Catherine Culbertson
  • 2012 Sam Hunley, Susannah Morris
  • 2011 Melissa Carnall, Amanda Pruitt
  • 2010 MaryLeah Friedline, Rebecca Scott
  • 2009 Kayla Wolfe, Sarah Sheehan
  • 2008 Brett McCarty, Adrian Ward
  • 2006 Alicia Belle Wilson
  • 2005 Mark Storslee
  • 2004 Elaine Kelly, Amanda Fowler
  • 2003 Tracy Wells, Hudson Neely
  • 2002 Logan Hambrick, Anna Thurber
  • 2001 Karen Vernice Guth
  • 2000 Carl Gregg, Lori Garland, Keith McCoy

Special Service Award

An ad hoc award for a senior major whom the department wishes to honor for service or achievement falling outside the categories of the above awards.

  • 2003 Marcus Fresia
  • 2000 Mary Catherine Foster, Russ Boyd

The David Anthony Smith Award

This award honors a graduating senior for excellence in the study of world religions and for promotion of inter-religious understanding and dialogue.

  • 2017 Alexander Aboutanos
  • 2016 Liza Veilleux
  • 2015 Nirav Mathur, Caitlin Russell
  • 2014 Melissa Stewart, Finley Trent
  • 2013 Christine Gwinn
  • 2012 Lauren Anderson, Daniel Spisak
  • 2011 Amanda Pruitt
  • 2009 Maureen Megan
  • 2008 Chamberlyn Kitchens
  • 2006 Halah Aziz Buhaisi, Cara Anne Krueger
  • 2004 Melanie Trexler
  • 2003 Tracy Wells
  • 2001 Talia Rashid Gangoo, Melissa Paige Peterson

Baggott Excellence Award

*Given by both the Religion Department and the Chaplain’s office

Endowed by the Rev. and Mrs. James L. Baggott, this annual award is given on the basis of academic achievement and Christian character and for being an outstanding volunteer in church-related vocations.

  • 2017 Elle Hewett, Leah Limbaugh
  • 2016 Carryl Tinsley, Taylor Wrobel
  • 2015 Sarah Lamb, Carolyn Smith
  • 2014 Maggie Austin, Christine Gwinn
  • 2013 Drew Bongiovanni, John Awadalla
  • 2012 Tucker Hannah, Rachel Thompson
  • 2011 Andrew Cannon, Jill Collins
  • 2010 Jonathan Britt, Elizabeth Adams
  • 2009 Christina Bryant, Madison McClendon
  • 2008 Brittany Riddle, Jimmy Hoke
  • 2006 Lydia Balmos, Andrew Floyd
  • 2005 Josh Copeland
  • 2004 Lindley Sharp, Robbie Cloninger
  • 2003 Shelley Hasty, Brandon Henman
  • 2002 Jason Pagan, Beth Brown
  • 2001 Zachary David Morgan
  • 2000 Ethan Friddle, Amy Grizzle

Baggott Ministerial Award

*Given by both the Religion Department and the Chaplain’s office

Endowed by the Rev. and Mrs. James L. Baggott, this annual award is based on Christian dedication, leadership, academic record and promise of outstanding service as minister and preacher.

  • 2017 Nell Herring, Emma Zyriek
  • 2016 Mary Kate Buchanan, Mark Rector
  • 2015 Eileen Brown, Ann Kilpen Snyder
  • 2014 Carrie Siegler, TJ Edwards
  • 2013 Jacob Waldrip
  • 2012 Randy Drafts, Hillary Taylor
  • 2011 Rachel Harriz, Martin Leathers
  • 2010 Scott Parnell, Laura Estep
  • 2009 Tiffany Gibson, Matthew Goodson
  • 2008 Ellen Sizemore, Taylor Cox
  • 2006 Anna Leigh Lovett, Victor Paul Ingalls 
  • 2005 Chris Cox, Bailey Edwards
  • 2004 Betsy Neely, Adam Schultz
  • 2003 Alina Kelman, Hudson Neely
  • 2002 David Shirk
  • 2001 Christa Marie McCain
  • 2000 Lauren Taylor


  • 2017 Rachel Phillips
  • 2016 Laura Bardin
  • 2015 Addison Rothrock
  • 2014 Rebekah Bell

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