2024 Divinity Commencement Awards and Certificates

Academic and Service Awards

Sarah Moore in a green dress, wearing the gold Founder's Medal on a gold ribbon

The Founder’s Medal for first honors in the Divinity School’s Class of 2024 for the master of divinity:
Sarah Moore

The Academic Achievement Award for achieving a high standard of scholarship while fulfilling the requirements for the master of theological studies:
Krista Faith Westervelt

The Umphrey Lee Dean’s Award for exemplifying the mission and vision of the Divinity School:
Matthew Nettles

The Saint James Academy Award for composing the outstanding sermon:
Tatayana Richardson

The Frederick Buechner Prize for excellence in preaching:
Claire Hitchins

The Frederick Buechner Prize for the master of theological studies thesis:
Krista Faith Westervelt

The Frederick Buechner Prize for the doctor of ministry project in integrative chaplaincy:
Carmen Jean Battle and Mary Elizabeth Hayes

The W. Kendrick Grobel Award for accomplishments in Biblical studies:
Joon Hyeok Yang

The J.D. Owen Prize for accomplishments in New Testament studies:
Emma May Welch

The John Olin Knott Award for scholarly writing:
Camden Ador, Sarah Moore, and Krista Faith Westervelt

The Elliott F. Shepard Prize for accomplishments in church history:
Jimin Lim

The Wilbur F. Tillett Prize for accomplishments in the study of ethics:
Sarah Moore and Paris White

The Nella May Overby Memorial Award for honors in field education:
Tatayana Richardson

The William A. Newcomb Prize for receiving honors on one’s master of divinity degree project:
Lauren Ileana Sotolongo

The Liston O. Mills Award for academic distinction in pastoral theology and the study of religion, psychology, and culture:
Claire Hitchins

The Robert Lewis Butler Award for service and ministry in the African American Church:
Cameron Robinson

The United Methodist Student Association Award for exemplifying the Wesleyan ideals of Christian servant leadership:
Stacey Haralson

The Doctorate of Ministry Award for distinction in integrative care practices:
Katelyn Elise O’Dunne

The Bettye R. Ford Graduate Student Service Award for significant contributions to Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Department of Religion:
Rebecca Votral

The Student Government Association Service Awards presented to the students and to members of the administration, faculty, and staff for significant contributions to the Divinity School community:

Student: Lauren Ileana Sotolongo
Faculty: Jennifer Quigley, assistant professor of New Testament

Harry Hosier Spirit Award
For this academic year, the Divinity School announces a new award that honors the life and legacy of the Reverend Harry Hosier, one of American Methodism’s greatest preachers. The editors of By Faith magazine have invited Dean Pierce to select a degree candidate for the Harry Hosier Spirit Award, and in the judgment of the dean, the award is presented to:
Thomas Arkansas, Jr.


The Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality:
Natalia Elaine Pierson

Religion and the Arts in Contemporary Culture:
Claire Hitchins

The Kelly Miller Smith Institute in Black Church Studies:
Thomas Arkansas, Christiana Green, and Tatayana Richardson

Learn more about Vanderbilt Divinity School awards here.