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Baylor University's Baptist College & University Scholars

Entering Class, Fall 2010

Kim Bodenhamer Kim Bodenhamer grew up in Comanche, a small central Texas town. She attended Hardin-Simmons University, during which time she spent a semester abroad at Oxford University studying Greek and the Synoptic Gospels. Kim graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a minor in Biblical Languages. Alongside her studies, Kim worked in the Missions Department of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church and served as a Worship Pastor for Crosspoint Fellowship. Kim went on to earn her Masters of Theological Studies from Duke University in 2010 and began her Ph.D. in Religion with a focus on Hebrew Bible at Baylor University. She aims to teach in a Baptist University. Email Kim.


Entering Class, Fall 2011

Nick PruittNicholas T. Pruitt earned a BA in History from Wayland Baptist University in 2007. Nicholas then completed an MA in Church-State Studies from Baylor University in 2009. Upon receiving his Masters, he returned to Wayland where he taught for two years as a history adjunct. He is now pursuing a PhD in History at Baylor University. Nicholas’s historical interests involve twentieth-century American religion and its relationship to social, cultural, and political trends. His publications include an article on organized religion in the novels of Eudora Welty in the Southern Quarterly and two encyclopedia entries on "Cantwell v. Connecticut" and "Wall of Separation" in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Politics in America. He serves as the Assistant Book Review Editor for the Journal of Church and State.Email Nicholas.

Scott RyanScott Ryan majored in Religious Studies at Gardner-Webb University and received the Greek Award and the Christian Service Award. He also holds the Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Duke University Divinity School, where he received the Excellence in Bible Award. Scott is currently a doctoral candidate in Biblical Studies/New Testament at Baylor University, writing his dissertation on Paul's adaptations of Jewish divine warrior motifs in Romans. Scott has published in journals such as New Testament Studies, Perspectives in Religious Studies, and Baptist History & Heritage. He was selected as a Young Scholar in the Baptist Academy in 2015 and received The Schmeltekopf Fellowship for Educational Leadership in 2013-14. Scott's primary research interests are the Pauline Epistles, the Gospel of Mark, Israel’s Scripture in the New Testament, Material World (Pompeii and Herculaneum), Jewish Messianism, Literary and Rhetorical Criticism, and Reception History. Email Scott.


Entering Class, Fall 2012

BJ ParkerB. J. Parker is a PhD student in the Religion Department at Baylor University. Before beginning his PhD, he completed an MA in Religion at Baylor, his MDiv at the McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University, and his BA in Biblical Studies with minors in Christian Education and Biblical Languages at Atlanta Christian College. After graduating from Atlanta Christian College he worked in campus ministry in Bangkok, Thailand. B. J. plans to focus on Old Testament studies during his PhD at Baylor. Email B. J.

Courtney ParkerCourtney Bailey Parker completed her M.A. at Baylor University and is currently a doctoral student in Baylor's Department of English. Originally from Newnan, Georgia, she graduated from Mercer University in 2010. Her primary research interests include the literature of the English Renaissance (including Shakespeare) as well as Modern Drama. Courtney was the 2014-15 Schmeltekpof Fellow for Educational Leadership. Courtney's husband, B. J. Parker, is also a doctoral student in Baylor's Religion Department. Email Courtney.

Stephanie PeekStephanie Peek completed her Masters in Divinity degree at Truett Seminary in spring 2012 and is currently pursuing her PhD degree in religion at Baylor. Stephanie graduated from Southwest Baptist University in 2008 with a double major in Biblical Studies and Psychology. As the daughter of a Baptist preacher Stephanie's family moved several times during her childhood, but she considers Mascoutah, Illinois, as her hometown. While at SBU Stephanie distinguished herself among the faculty and her fellow students by graduating Summa Cum Laude, earning membership in Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Chi honor organizations, participating in summer mission trips, and, as an SBU Ambassador, represented the President and the University by greeting visitors and hosting major University events. As a long-term goal, Stephanie plans to pursue the teaching of New Testament. Email Stephanie.


Entering Class, Fall 2013

Jared BrandtJared Brandt graduated from Southwest Baptist University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Religion/Philosophy and Chemistry. He is now pursuing his PhD in Philosophy at Baylor University. While at SBU, Jared participated in the University Honors program and served as President of Theta Alpha Kappa. He also received the 2012 Outstanding Theology Graduate award and Summa Cum Laude honors. Jared is the 2016 Schmeltekopf Fellow with the BCU Scholars program. Jared's philosophical interests include Ethics, Ancient Philosophy, and Kierkegaard. Email Jared.

Joao ChavesJoao Chaves is a PhD student at the Religion Department of Baylor University. A native of Recife, Brazil, Joao came to Texas in order to pursue his academic interests in religious history and theology. Joao has a B.Th. from the Baptist Center for Education, Service, and Research (Brazil), a B.A. from the Baptist University of the Americas, and a MTS from George W. Truett Seminary of Baylor University. He has served in a number of positions in Portuguese-speaking, Spanish-speaking, and English-speaking churches. Joao is an adjunct professor at the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas.Email Joao.


Entering Class, Fall 2014

Sarah Arnold BCU Fall 2014

Sarah Arnold graduated from Mississippi College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology Medical Sciences and a minor in Biochemistry. She is now pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Studies at Baylor University. While at MC, Sarah served as the SGA Chief Justice and served on BSU lead team. She also participated in four semesters of undergraduate research and won the Phillip William Russell Memorial Award for Student Research. Email Sarah.

Peter Coogan BCU Fall 2014Peter Coogan Peter Coogan graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Greenville University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. He is presently pursuing his PhD in Mathematics at Baylor University. While at NGU, Peter completed the University Honors program and coordinated the math lab. He maintained a 4.0 GPA and received the Outstanding Senior Project Award for his honors project on complexity and the graph problem. Currently, he is focusing on applied mathematics. One potential research area is Bernstein Polynomials and Finite Elements. Past work involved using GPU’s (Graphical Processing Units). His interests include implementing mathematics on computers, computational complexity, and explaining mathematics to students in small groups. He desires to facilitate others' enjoyment of mathematics.Email Peter.

Joshua Pittman BCU Fall 2014Joshua Pittman Josh graduated with a BA in English and history from Campbell University and with an MA in English from East Carolina University. At Baylor, he studies medieval literature and is in the religion and literature track. He hopes to focus his research either on posthumanist theory or on comparative literature, looking at English and Middle Eastern authors. He and his wife Krysta have a son, Elijah, who is one year old. Email Joshua.

Natalie Webb BCU Fall 2014Natalie Webb graduated from Howard Payne University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Studies. She then completed her Masters of Divinity at George W. Truett Theological Seminary. She is now pursuing her PhD in New Testament at Baylor University and hopes to graduate in 2018. While at HPU, Natalie participated in the Ministerial Alliance, served as President of Chi Alpha Omega, and was a member of HPU's first women's soccer team. She also received the 2007 Biblical Languages Academic award and Summa Cum Laude honors. Natalie's academic interests include ancient Greco-Roman material culture, moral formation in early Christianity, and theological interpretation of the Pauline epistles. Email Natalie.


Entering Class, Fall 2015

Cara Allen BCU 2015Cara Elise Cliburn Allen completed her M.S.Ed. at Baylor University in May 2015. Originally from Ada, Oklahoma, she graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2013 with a degree in English literature. Her interests include Christian higher education and "at-risk" student populations. Her husband is also a Baylor Bear, and is currently working towards a M.Div. at Truett Seminary. Email Cara.

David McClung BCU 2015David McClung graduated from Wayland Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Baylor University with a Masters in Social Work and Master of Divinity. He is now pursuing a PhD in Social Work at Baylor University. David has also been a part of youth engagement efforts across the state. His research interests include natural support systems and the role of congregations in youth mental health. Email David.

Rebecca Poe Hays BCU 2015Rebecca Poe Hays Rebecca Poe Hays graduated from Union University summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Biblical Languages. She then completed a M.Div. at Samford University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Baylor University with an anticipated graduation in 2018. Rebecca’s primary research interests involve Old Testament parables and the rhetorical function of story in the Psalter. She has served in churches and non-profits in Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas and currently serves as the Associate Editor of the journal Perspectives in Religious Studies. Rebecca’s husband, Joshua, works as a researcher for Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.Email Rebecca.

Ryan Womack BCU 2015Ryan Womack Ryan grew up in Moore, Oklahoma, and completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with a B.A. in English and minors in history and biology. He is now a PhD student in Baylor’s English program with a concentration in Religion and Literature where has served as the Vice President and President of the English Graduate Student Association and received Baylor’s Excellence in Student Involvement Award. His awards include the Lumen Christi summer study in Oxford, a Free Society seminar in Slovakia, a fellowship to the National Institute for Newman Studies, and a finalist nomination for Baylor’s Outstanding Graduate Instructor. His main research interests include religion, ethics, and technology, and how we envision the human person in recent American literature.Email Ryan.


BCU Alumni

Katie HalbeslebenKatie Arnhart graduated in 2015 with her PhD in Sociology from Baylor University. She currently holds a position as a senior research analyst at a non-profit organization and as a temporary lecturer at her local university. She enjoys applying statistical analyses to help people make informed decisions and explain everyday life. In the classroom, Katie's vision for teaching is to lead students by example through modeling key sociological ideas and demonstrating the importance of seminal texts. Email Katie.

Nick HoenshellNicholas Hoenshell comes to Baylor University from Houston Texas, where he previously worked with the Alley Theatre as a Scenic Artist. Nicholas is a 2009 graduate of East Texas Baptist University, where he received a bachelor's degree in theatre arts. In May 2016, Nicholas graduated with a MFA degree in Directing from Baylor. Email Nick.

Chris MooreChris Moore is a native of Mount Olive, North Carolina. He earned his B.A. and M.Div. from Campbell University, and later a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School. While at Campbell, Christopher received the B. Donald Keyser Award for outstanding achievement in Church History. Christopher has also taught religion courses for Baylor University, Campbell University, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Sampson Community College (Clinton, NC). In May 2016, he graduated from Baylor with a Ph.D. in Religion (Historical Studies). He continues to teach online courses for Campbell, and is seeking a full-time faculty position with a Baptist college or university. Christopher’s research interests include religion during the American Civil War, Church-State studies, and Baptist history.Email Chris.