School of Religion



Centers & Ministries

School of Religion: Award Winners 2012

Academic Award Winners

Briannan Byrd
Biblical Studies Award

Briannan was adopted from the Godparent Home here in Lynchburg. Her family comes from West Virginia, but she spent her life near Richmond, VA. She is a double major in Psychology and Biblical Studies. Her plan is getting a master’s degree in counseling, and using it to help people who have experienced traumatic events.

Kaitlin Sones
Intercultural Studies Award

Kaitlin is from Mechanicsburg, PA. She is getting married this summer to her wonderful fiancé, Scott Brodd. They had the opportunity to go with New Tribes Mission to Papua New Guinea this past summer, and they deeply desire to serve the LORD cross-culturally full-time in an unreached people group.

Steven Land
Pastoral Leadership Award

Steven is originally from Kings Mountain, NC. In addition to Pastoral Leadership, he studied Psychology. Next fall he will begin his Masters of Professional Counseling. Steven hopes to become a counselor in the church setting and serve those needing mental health services within the church and community.

Alyssa Kelley
Women’s Ministries Award

Alyssa grew up in Washington State and from a young age knew God was calling her to Women’s Ministries. She graduates in May with a degree in Women’s Ministries. Alyssa is going directly into the position of Camp Director for a new camp for young women called “Chosen.”

Devin Swartz
Youth Ministries Award

Devin is from Lancaster, OH. He enjoys playing softball and disc golf. After graduation he plans to pursue his Masters of Arts in Pastoral Counseling. After getting obtaining this degree Devin plans to start or be a part of a sports ministry aimed at youth.

Bryce McCloskey
School of Religion Award

Bryce was born and raised in Oklahoma. Through the influence of his youth pastor he came to Liberty University. At Liberty, he was on leadership for three years (PL, SLD, RA) followed by a semester as just a student and the current semester as an youth intern in Lyon, France. He just returned to the States last week.


Ministry Award Winners

Ashley Olinghouse
Children’s Ministries Award

Ashley was born and raised in Muskegon, MI.  She transferred to Liberty University in 2009.  Upon her first semester at Liberty, God pursued her heart for Children’s Ministry and that spring she changed her major to Children’s Ministry.  She is very excited to finally be graduating and to see what God has in store for her through Children’s ministry.

Mark Dickson
Preaching Award

Mark grew up in Clear Lake, IA. He is an RA here at Liberty on M32-1, and is studying Philosophy and Religion in hopes to serve the Lord either by teaching at the collegiate level or pastoring a church. He plans to attend seminary after he graduates.

Dustin Wells
Shepherd Award

Dustin is currently 20 years old from Maggie Valley, NC and is in his second year studying Pastoral Leadership. He currently serves with Vision Ministries as a Speaker and Team Leader. After school Dustin wants to preach, encourage fellow believers, and make disciples wherever God leads him.

Samuel Stevens
World Impact Award

Samuel is 22 years old and from Bedford, VA. He enjoys sports and being outdoors. Liberty has been an amazing experience where he has grown in Christ, found his calling to overseas ministry and understood God’s heart for the world. Liberty has made him a champion!

Scott Sheppard
YouthQuest Award

Scott is a Senior from Phenix City, AL studying Youth Ministries and minoring in Business. He has been a member of YouthQuest for two and a half years. It has been a special tool the Lord has used to teach and bless him during his time here.


Center for Worship Award Winners

Stephanie Sanchez
Female Junior Vocalist of the Year

Stephanie is 20 years old, and a senior studying Worship Music to become a Christian music artist grounded in the local church. She rededicated her life to the will of God after learning and understanding the foundations of her faith while attending classes in the Center for Worship; and understanding the meaning behind true worship.

Timothy Williamson
Male Junior Vocalist of the Year

Timmy Williamson is a double major in Worship and Theatre. He grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia where he was raised in a Christian home. He is thankful for his parents’ demonstration of how to follow Christ! His goals are to be a Christian Music Artist, lead worship, and perform in musicals.

Ester Ha
Junior Instrumentalist of the Year

Ester is graduating as a Worship Major. She was born and raised in Brazil as well as in Korea; She came to the U.S. 7 years ago. She accepted Jesus at a very young age and God has blessed her with His grace throughout my life, leading her to LU in 2010. She hopes to in the future use her gifts to proclaim that Jesus is the Savior.

Chara Miller
Female Senior Vocalist of the Year

Chara is from the beautiful Islands of the Bahamas. She grew up in a Christian home and felt called to Liberty University and the Center for Worship. She hopes to continue to pursue God’s calling on her life wherever He takes her next, and to bless others through her obedience to the call.

Bradford Mitchell
Male Senior Vocalist of the Year

Bradford majored in Worship and Music Studies, concentrating in Christian Music Industry. Through his time at Liberty, he has seen the call for ministry the Lord has placed upon his life. Currently he is the worship leader for the middle school ministry at Thomas Road Baptist Church where he has served since 2007.

Jordan Terrell
Senior Instrumentalist of the Year

Jordan grew up in the small town of Sebring, Florida, the youngest of three children to Christian parents. He accepted Christ at a young age and he has been involved in ministry his entire life. This brought him to Liberty University, the Center for Worship, and the Department of Ministry Teams. It has truly been great experience.

Brenton Bailey
Music Theory and Arranging Award

Brent was born on Terceira Island, Azores Portugal and his hometown is Rome, Georgia. A few years after his salvation at 9 years old, Brent felt the call to full time ministry. He is now looking forward to serving as a worship pastor in a church and making an impact as an artist.


Teacher of the Year

Dr. Paul Fink
Professor, Biblical Studies

Dr. Fink has been a professor at Liberty University since 1979. He teaches Inductive Bible Study, Homiletics I and Homiletics II. His joy is watching his students learn to handle the Word of God for themselves, to study it and preach it. Dr. Fink will be going to part-time next Fall. Thank you, Dr. Fink, for your years here at Liberty and the impact you have had on so many students!


Church Planter of the Year

Jon Dupin
Lead Pastor, Brentwood Church

Jon Dupin is the lead pastor of Brentwood Church in Lynchburg, VA. In 1999, he was the interim pastor of a small denominational church in Campbell County, where he soon found himself re-starting it with a vision to reach the un-churched. Today, Brentwood is a growing non-denominational multi-site church, with its first campus plant in Forest, VA, now currently meeting in Jefferson Forest High School. Originally from North Carolina, Pastor Jon graduated from Liberty University in 1999, and is married with three children.