Baylor Religion Professor Mikeal Parsons Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies

March 13, 2018
Mikeal and Heidi

Baylor religion professor Mikeal Parsons, Ph.D., and wife Heidi Hornik, Ph.D., professor of art history

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WACO, Texas (March 13, 2018) — Mikeal Parsons, Ph.D., professor and The Kidd L. and Buna Hitchcock Macon Chair in Religion in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences, has received the 2018 John G. Gammie Distinguished Scholar Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies (SWCRS).

SWCRS is the umbrella organization for the regional American Academy of Religion, American Schools of Oriental Research, Association for the Scientific Study of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. The award, established in 1984, was named for John G. Gammie, a prominent Old Testament scholar who taught at the University of Tulsa and was a founding member of SWCRS in 1974. He died of cancer in 1989 at age 60.

The Gammie Award is given to a scholar who teaches at a SWCRS-affiliated school and honors scholars who are recognized by their peers nationally or internationally for the quality and importance of their work.

Parsons, who has taught at Baylor since 1986, has authored or edited some 25 books and dozens of articles. He previously served as vice president and president of SWCRS, vice president and president of the Southwest Region of the Society of Biblical Literature and vice president and president of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion.

“I am honored to receive the Gammie Award and to join this group of distinguished recipients,” Parsons said. “I have been a part of SWCRS for over 30 years, and I have always appreciated the quality of scholarship and the collegiality of the scholars in this region.”

W.H. “Bill” Bellinger Jr., chair of religion and W. Marshall and Lulie Craig Professor of Bible at Baylor, noted that “Professor Gammie was himself a distinguished scholar of the Hebrew Scriptures and of the field of Classics. Dr. Parsons stands strongly in this tradition as a scholar and teacher of the New Testament. His publications and his teaching have contributed to many and continue to further a vibrant scholarly tradition.”
Parsons is the fifth Baylor professor to receive the Gammie Award in its 35-year history. Previous Baylor recipients include Glenn Hilburn (1993), Bruce Cresson (2001), Bill Bellinger (2009) and Stephen Reid (2012). In the history of SWCRS awards, Parsons and Bellinger are the only two Gammie recipients who also received the SWCRS Junior Scholar awards near the beginning of their careers (Bellinger, 1989; Parsons, 1990).
This year’s Gammie Award was presented March 10 at the annual SWCRS meeting in Dallas.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines.