Senior religious studies majors have the opportunity to synthesize their academic experience in the major by designing an independent study project under the mentorship of a Religious Studies faculty member.  This is a requirement for all senior majors. Depending upon student schedules, interests, and academic records, individuals can choose between three different project options. One option is for students to pursue research in Religious Studies within the Senior Scholars Program. A second choice is to enroll in the Religious Studies Honors Program (RE 483-84), which involves a two-semester project. Most majors pursue a third option: a one-semester independent study (RE 491 or 492). Regardless of the option they select, students must publicly present their work and final papers are included in Colby’s digital library collection. Students are encouraged to discuss these options with their departmental advisors no later than the first semester of junior year (especially if students plan to study abroad).

Honors Program in Religious Studies

Religious studies majors who have a grade point average at or above 3.65 are eligible for the honors program; applications are completed during junior year (**note: this GPA is based on grades specifically from classes that apply to the religious studies major). Proposals and bibliographies must be submitted to the department chair, Carleen Mandolfo, by April 15. Students who successfully complete the honors program graduate “With Honors in Religious Studies.” If interested, here is the Honors Program Application.

Senior Projects

2017-2018 Academic Year 


Brooke Gentry (Honors Project with Professor Nikky Singh)

From Protagonists to Antagonists: Muslims on the Hollywood Screen


Lucy Soucek (Honors Project with Professor Nikky Singh)

Forging Religious Bonds through the language of Colors


Elizabeth Oakley

The Red Tent: Biblical Women in Contemporary Fiction


Ellie Geo Ellie Geoghegan

Reimagining Sita through a Feminist Lens


Skylar Labbe

            How MLK Jr. Worked to Reach White Christians


Mark Snyder

Respect or Resist? Contextualizing Evangelical Identity in the Trump Era


2016-2017 Academic Year


Kelsey Poole

Sexual Norms for Women in the Bible and Today:  Unfair Expectations?


2015-2016 Academic Year


Anna Spencer

Mishpucha: The familial nature of Jewish pastoral care in Waterville, Maine


Sarah Jean Shimer

Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home:  A New Environmental Ethic


2014-2015 Academic Year 


Annie Friedrich (RE 491, Senior Independent Project)

An Incomplete Completeness: Forming Integrity of Faith Through Youth Involvement in Short-Term Missions


Sonja Hagemeier (RE 492, Senior Independent Project)

The Tractor As Pulpit: Green Nuns and Catholic-Based Agriculture


Jimmy O’Leary (Honors Project with Professor Nikky Singh)

Bridging the Divide: The Religious and the Secular at Colby College


2013-2014 Academic Year


Nora Barnard

The Literature of Near-Death Experiences


Maddie Kurtz

Judaism in Modern and Postmodern Dance


Kristen Robinson

Dante’s Inferno Today