Baylor University's Baptist College & University Scholars


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.

Stephanie Peek Stephanie Peek graduated from Southwest Baptist University in 2008 with a double major in Biblical Studies and Psychology. She then completed her Master of Divinity at Truett Seminary in 2012. Stephanie is currently a doctoral candidate in New Testament/Biblical Studies at Baylor University writing her dissertation on issues surrounding the theme of power in the Gospel of Mark. She received the Schmeltekopf Fellowship for Educational Leadership in 2015-2016 and was chosen as a Young Scholar in the Baptist Academy in 2016. Her primary research interests include the Gospel of Mark, social dynamics of early Christian communities, and 1 Peter. As of August 2017, she serves as Department Head and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Judson College. Email Stephanie.


Entering Class, Fall 2014

Peter 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 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. His dissertation uses the phenomenology of Jean-Luc Marion to explain why violence and peace are interdependent in the Middle English Brut. His work on the Pearl manuscript appears in the winter 2019 issue of Renascence. Less professionally, he is involved in translation projects (including St. Athanasius' On the Incarnation) for churches in non-English-speaking countries. He and his wife Krysta have a son, Elijah. Email Joshua.

Natalie 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 M.Ed. is a doctoral candidate studying Higher Education Studies and Leadership at Baylor University. Cara graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2013 with a degree in English literature. Cliburn Allen studies the success factors of various sub-populations in higher education, including faculty (non-tenure track faculty), underrepresented students (food insecure, community college), and student affairs administrators’ faith integration. She has led institutional data gathering and responses to food insecurity at Baylor where she serves as the chair of the Food Insecurity Working Group. She currently serves as a Graduate Research Fellow for the Texas Hunger Initiative, an anti-hunger non-profit organization. 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.


Entering Class, Fall 2017

Russ Browder BCU ScholarRuss Browder graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. He also received a Master of Divinity in global missions from Baylor’s Truett Seminary and an International M.B.A. from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain as a Fulbright scholar. Now as a Ph.D. student in entrepreneurship, his academic interests include commercialization of innovation and technology start-ups in emerging markets. During his 16 years of industry experience prior to pursuing a Ph.D., Russ served as a global marketing leader in health IT for GE Healthcare, in medical devices for St. Jude Medical (now Abbott), and in development with an international medical missions agency. Email Russ.

BCU Jonathan Stanfill newJonathan Stanfill graduated from Carson-Newman University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and minors in Physics and Military Leadership in 2011. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the United States Army and served on active duty until 2015 in the 82nd Airborne Division and was promoted to the rank of Captain. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Baylor University and plans to graduate in 2021. Jonathan’s research is in mathematical physics, specifically spectral theory of partial differential operators with applications to quantum mechanics. He also has interests in operator theory and applications of orthogonal polynomials to mathematical physics. Jonathan enjoys teaching and mentoring students interested in higher level mathematics, was a finalist nomination for Baylor’s Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, has been a BCU Scholar since 2017, and was accepted as a Conyers Scholar and Schmeltekopf Fellow for the 2019-20 academic year. Email Jonathan.


Entering Class, Fall 2018

Jacob Randolph BCU ScholarJacob Randolph graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion in 2011. After earning two master’s degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Jacob is now working on a Ph.D. in Religion. Jacob’s research focuses on religious identity formation in the German Reformations of the sixteenth century. As a student at OBU, Jacob served on the Student Chapel Committee as the Chair of Worship and served various local churches in worship and teaching capacities. Email Jacob.

Taylor Thompson BCU ScholarTaylor (Thompson) Poe graduated from Mississippi College with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics along with a minor in Ministry. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Mathematics at Baylor University and is expected to graduate in 2022. At MC, Taylor graduated Summa Cum Laude and was named a Perry Scholar. She was also active in the Baptist Student Union and a number of academic honor societies. Currently, she is exploring areas of research interest and developing a teaching philosophy. Email Taylor.


Entering Class, Fall 2019

Brandon Johnson BCU ScholarBrandon Johnson is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy at Baylor University, hoping to graduate in 2023. Before Baylor, he graduated from California Baptist University in 2014, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He later earned a Master ofArts in Philosophy from Loyola Marymount University in 2017. Brandon’s philosophical interests include philosophical theology, the history of philosophy (especially Ancient Greek and Medieval philosophy), moral philosophy (especially virtue theory), virtue epistemology and philosophy of religion. Email Brandon.

Sean Strehlow BCU ScholarSean Strehlow graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. He is now pursuing his PhD in Higher Education Studies and Leadership at Baylor University and hopes to graduate in 2022. While at HSU, Sean was a tennis student-athlete all four years and, in 2012, was awarded the Outstanding marketing Student award in the Johnson School of Business. Sean’s research interests include character formation in intercollegiate athletic programs. Email Sean.

Alexis Edwards BCU ScholarAlexis Edwards graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a Biochemistry Emphasis. During her time at UMHB, she was part of the University Honors program, where she met her husband, and worked for the Dean of the college of Humanities and Sciences. Now, she is pursuing her PhD in Chemistry at Baylor University, developing analytical methods for analyzing proteins and complexes. She hopes to graduate in 2023. Email Alexis.

Scott Alexander BCU ScholarScott Alexander graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Psychology. With years of experience in social services, church planting ministry, and higher education, he is excited to be pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education Studies and Leadership at Baylor. As an alumnus, Scott has had the honor of serving on OBU’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Scott’s research interests include student success, institutional identity and culture, and educational access. Email Scott.

Ryan Sinni BCU ScholarRyan Sinni graduated from Union University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Christian Studies. He is now pursuing his PhD in English at Baylor University and hopes to graduate in 2024. Union is currently in the process of publishing Ryan’s undergraduate thesis on John Calvin’s view of the Lord’s Supper. Ryan’s research interests include John Milton, George Herbert, and the influence of Reformation theology on seventeenth-century British Literature. Email Ryan.

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