The purpose of the Junior Scholar Grant is to encourage and support the scholarly work of newer scholars who are in the field of Religious Studies and who live in the Southwest Region. The Grant may provide seed money for an initial project, but may also provide support for a project pursued by a Junior Scholar whose research agenda is already established. One or two grants of up to $2000 may be given annually, with funds provided by the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies.


Applicants for the Grant must be members of one of the participating societies and on the faculty or staff of a sponsoring institution of the Commission. Applicants for the Grant shall ordinarily have completed their dissertation and have served in a faculty or staff position no more than ten years. Applicants should complete the Junior Scholar Grant application form, with special attention to the larger research project and how the Grant would assist in completion of the project.  Application and all additional materials should be submitted by December 1.

Among other things, the Grant is designed to integrate junior scholars into the work of the commission. With this goal in mind, the following criteria have been developed:

In the selection process, applicants who regularly attend and participate in SWCRS meeting will be given added consideration.

In the year that they apply, Junior Scholar applicants must attend the Regional Meeting reception in order to receive the grant.

By accepting the award the scholar agrees to come and present a paper at SWCRS the following year; in the year following the Grant, by March 1 the Junior Scholar will also provide the Board of Directors of the Southwest Commission a written report on research completed.

Application Process:

In order to apply for the Junior Scholar Grant, please submit the following to the SWCRS Executive Secretary at by December 1:

  1. A letter of application that includes :
  • Applicant’s Name
  • Email address
  • Position and rank
  • Total number of years teaching and number of years at current institution
  • Title and nature of research project
  • Specific indication regarding how the grant will assist in the completion of the project, e.g., supplies, necessary travel, released time from summer teaching
  • Tentative time schedule for the entire project and current status
  • Some indication of the anticipated form of the published results (books or articles) and where the results might appear (publisher, if known, for a book and journals to which an article would be submitted)
  1. A current CV
  2. Request two persons familiar with your scholarly work to send letters of support. Letters should be postmarked no later than December 15. Letters of support may be emailed to the SWCRS Executive Secretary at


Previous Recipients:

2022-2023  Erik Estrada, Texas Christian University
2021-2022  Rebecca Poe Hays, George W. Truett Theological Seminary
2020-2021  Lora J. Walsh, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
2020-2021  Nicholas R. Werse, Baylor University
2019-2020  Mandy McMichael, Baylor University
2016-2017  Carl Hughes, Texas Lutheran University
2016-2017  Ryan Stokes, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
2014-2015  Marc DiPaolo, Oklahoma City University
2014-2015  Santiago Pinon, Texas Christian University
2013-2014  Angela Tarango, Trinity University
2012-2013  Gregory Cuellar, Texas A & M University
2012-2013  Chad Spigel, Trinity University
2011-2012  Sharon Betsworth, Oklahoma City University
2010-2011  Mark Dennis, Texas Christian University
2010-2011  Michael Homan, Xavier University of Louisiana
2009-2010  Michael Martin, Lubbock Christian University
2008-2009  Rebecca Raphael, Texas State University – San Marcos
2008-2009  Eric A. Mitchell, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
2007-2008 Hjamil A. Martinez, Texas Christian University
2007-2008 Ruben Rene Dupertuis, Trinity University
2006-2007 Heidi Campbell, Texas A & M University
2006-2007 Serge Frolov, Southern Methodist University
2005-2006 Leor Halevi, Texas A & M University
2005-2006 David Jensen, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
2004-2005 Brent Plate, Texas Christian University
2004-2005 Stephen Ortiz, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
2003-2004 Joel S. Burnett, Baylor University
2003-2004 Sarah K. Pinnock, Trinity Univesity
2002-2003 Jack A. Hill, Texas Christian University
2002-2003 Todd C. Penner, Austin College
2001-2002 Matthias Henze, Jr., Rice University
2000-2001 Darren J. N. Middleton, Texas Christian University
1999-2000 David B. Capes, Houston Baptist University
1998-1999 Daphne C. Wiggins, Texas Christian University
1997-1998 Joerg Rieger, Perkins School of Theology, SMU
1995-1996 Richard H. Lowery, Phillips Theological Seminary
1994-1995 Darryl Trimiew, Brite Divinity School, TCU
1993-1994 Danna Nolan Fewell, Perkins School of Theology, SMU
1993-1994 Lynn Tatum, Baylor University
1992-1993 Jon L. Berquist, Phillips Graduate Seminary
1992-1993 Richard W. Cogley, Southern Methodist University
1991-1992 Gregory Walters, St. Mary’s University
1991-1992 Warren G. Frisina, University of Houston
1990-1991 Mark G. Toulouse, Brite Divinity School, TCU
1990-1991 William F. Monroe, University of Houston
1989-1990 Bobby C. Alexander, Southern Methodist University
1989-1990 Mikeal Parsons, Baylor University
1988-1989 William H. Bellinger, Jr., Baylor University
1988-1989 Victor H. Matthews, Southwest Missouri State University
1986-1987 Daryl Schmidt, Texas Christian University
1986-1987 Frank Gorman, Jr., Phillips University
1985-1986 Dennis Smith, Oklahoma State University
1985-1986 Robert Sloan, Baylor University
1984-1985 Andrew J. Dearman, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
1984-1985 James O. Duke, Brite Divinity School, TCU