Theology & Religious Studies Scholarships

Theology & Religious Studies Scholarships

Are you fascinated by theology? Are you interested in the study of religion? Entering Theology & Religious Studies majors are eligible for a TRS Scholarship! Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit an application (see details below).

Theology & Religious Studies Scholarships


The Department of Theology & Religious Studies (TRS) at Saint Mary's College of California is pleased to announce a new scholarship opportunity for incoming first-year students. If you intend to pursue a major in TRS, you are encouraged to apply for this merit-based scholarship of $13,000, renewable for three successive years.


The purposes of the Theology & Religious Studies Scholarships are to encourage excellent students to pursue the academic study of theology and/or religion, to support those students committed to that study and to the work of the TRS Department, and to acknowledge and reward high academic achievement.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for a Theology & Religious Studies Scholarship, a candidate must be admitted to Saint Mary's College, express an intention of majoring in TRS, and demonstrate an aptitude for writing and critical thinking.

Review and Selection Procedures:

  1. Applicants must submit all application materials (Common Application, high school transcript, a letter of recommendation, ACT or SAT scores) by January 15, 2021.
  2. Additional application materials for the Theology & Religious Studies Scholarship must be submitted via email to, or by mail to Admissions Office, c/o Jenna Sciarrino, PO Box 4800, Moraga, CA 94575, on or before January 15, 2021. Those additional materials include:

         a. A personal essay of no more than 1,000 words total, which responds to the following prompts:  

             i. Explain your interest in pursuing the academic study of theology and/or religion? What topics most interest you? 

            ii. Provide evidence for that interest in the form of personal experience, study, service, or career expectations. 

           iii. Describe why Saint Mary's College would be a good place for you to pursue the academic study of theology and/or religion. 

If you have questions about the essay, please feel free to contact Tom Poundstone, TRS Chair, at

        b. Two letters of recommendation that address your intellectual interests in pursuing the study of theology and/or religion, at least one of which should be from an academic professional (e.g., teacher or guidance counselor).  

     3. Students with complete applications will interview on Scholarship Saturday (February 27, 2021) with faculty from their department of interest. Normally, the interviews take place on the SMC campus during Scholarship Saturday. However, due to COVID-19, we are planning for the interviews to be done virtually in 2021 (via Zoom, FaceTime, or similar). We will update this information when we know more. Please contact Jenna Sciarrino at (925-631-4526) for more information. 

     4. Students may apply for only one departmental scholarship (i.e., all new Liberal Arts, and previously existing Performing Arts, and Mathematics scholarships).  


To retain the scholarship, the recipient must be a TRS major and contribute actively to the work of the Department of Theology & Religious Studies. Such contributions might include organizing events for students or the larger community, engaging in research with the faculty, leading study groups, and/or assisting with the department's web area.

Other Information:

  • These merit scholarships are awarded based on determinations of academic and competitive ability, not financial need.
  • All scholarships are applied against any demonstrated need first (as determined by the FAFSA); they cannot be "stacked" atop need-based Saint Mary's scholarships once a financial aid offer has been mailed.
  • Recipients must remain enrolled full time, maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0, and must major in the respective departments to maintain their departmental scholarships.
  • These departmental scholarships may be stacked with other merit scholarships, namely the Gael's Scholar's Award, Lasallian Leadership Award, Honors-at-Entrance Scholarship and the Presidential Scholarship. However, an individual may receive no more than three of these merit-based institutional scholarships.
  • All scholarships are renewable for three successive years provided eligibility requirements and obligations are met.

We encourage you to apply!