Stain Glass view from inside the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel

Student Success

Wimberly School of Religion Graduating Top Scholars

This spring as always, college seniors around the country are waiting to hear from graduate schools for acceptance and fellowship offers. Among Wimberly School of Religion (WSOR) seniors and recent graduates, this spring has been an exceptionally exciting time. Two WSOR seniors have been named Dean's Scholars at Boston University's School of Theology: Molly Kate Been and Trey Witzel. There were approximately 100 applicants for these scholarships, and they selected five students; two of them are from WSOR. Similarly Claremont School of Theology in California selected fifteen finalists to interview for their top scholarships; two of them were WSOR students whom they flew out for the meetings: Molly Kate Been and 2013 graduate Clint Keller. Before Christmas, Allison Bevers began hearing back from schools with great offers; she is now weighing Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Wesley Theological Seminary and Perkins School of Theology. Another WSOR senior, Alley Agee, was honored to be interviewed for the prestigious Marshall Scholarship in the fall.

A recent WSOR Master of Arts in Religion graduate, Jill Nelson has been accepted into the PhD program at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Biblical interpretation with a focus in New Testament.

These current highlights are only part of the still-unfolding story for WSOR seniors and recent graduates. A number of students have received multiple full ride and/or full ride with stipend offers from seminaries. Several other students are still waiting to hear about acceptance and scholarship offers; several are agonizing over which one to choose. What a good problem to have!

Among the United Methodist-related schools students have applied to this year are the Boston University School of Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University, Claremont School of Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, Iliff School of Theology, Duke Divinity School, and United Theological Seminary. Other schools students have applied to this year include Vanderbilt Divinity School, Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School. Keep posted to the WSOR Facebook Page, and the Petree Dish for ongoing exciting news from our seniors and alums!

Bishop Scholars

Every year the Wimberly School of Religion has three Bishop Scholars, who go through an application and interview process. Current Bishop Scholars include:


Morgan Mitchell from Bixby, Oklahoma

Emily Jordan Pittillo from Bixby, Oklahoma

Sarah Wasikowski from Keller, Texas


John Hiller from Ringling, Oklahoma; Religion/Philosophy major

Philip Younts from Yukon, Oklahoma; Youth Ministry major


Samantha Erickson from Durant, Oklahoma; Religious Education major

Hannah Frye from OklahomaCity, Oklahoma; Religious Education major

Leigh Smith from OklahomaCity, Oklahoma; Religion major


Allison Bevers from Lindsay, Oklahoma; Religion major

Molly Kate Been fromPocola, Oklahoma; Religion major

Kaleb Oakleaf from Pond Creek, Oklahoma; Double major in religion and music


Keith Bethel, a 2013 graduate, is the youth minister at Choctaw UMC in Choctaw, Oklahoma

Joanna Chenoweth, a 2012 graduate, is an M. Div student at Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, N.J.

Brandon Blacksten, a 2008 graduate from Norman, received the Turner Fellowship for a full scholarship to Vanderbilt Divinity School and graduated in May 2011.

Blake Huggins, a 2008 graduate from Stilwell, will begin his Ph.D in Theology at Boston University in the fall 2013.

Kevin Hall, a December 2006 graduate from Tulsa, is Ph.D. student at Drew Theological University

Rev. Linda Harker, a 1993 graduate, serves as senior pastor at McFarlin UMC in Norman.

Esther Grabow, a 2008 Wimberly School of Religion graduate is beginning a Ph.D program at Louisiana Tech. in Psychology, with an emphasis in Psychology of Religion.