Wittlinger Scholars Program

Earn funding to support your research! 

The Wittlinger Scholars Program provides advanced undergraduate students at Messiah College with funding to support research in Anabaptist, Pietist, Wesleyan or Brethren in Christ studies.

One scholarship is available for the current academic year.

About the Program

Successful Wittlinger Scholars will register for an independent study with a full-time Messiah College faculty member. The study will be conducted during the fall of their senior year and will result in a major research paper, minimally 25 pages, and a public presentation regarding their research.

Upon completion of the independent study and presentation of the findings, each scholar will receive a scholarship of $2,000. This research program carries with it up to $1,000 for research expenses.

The program is named in honor of Dr. Carlton O. Wittlinger, a long-time member of the Messiah College faculty and a historian of the Brethren in Christ Church. Dr. Wittlinger's major work, Quest for Piety and Obedience: The Story of the Brethren in Christ, remains the definitive study of this denomination.

Selection Criteria

  • Current member of the junior class and senior status the following term
  • Completed at least 75 credit hours by the end of the fall term prior to applying, with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher and at least 30 credits earned at Messiah College
  • Exemplary accomplishments in scholarship, especially research, critical thinking, and writing skills as certified by letters of reference
  • All requirements for graduation completed in time for commencement during the academic year in which the student receives the scholarship

Application Process

All eligible students are encouraged to apply.  An application consists of the following items:

  • A completed application form which can be downloaded from the Sider Institute website ( or from Jennifer Zellers, Administrative Assistant to the Sider Institute (
  • A résumé, not to exceed two pages, including:
    • Name, major, class standing, current address and telephone number
    • Academic projects and achievements of special merit
    • Previous academic scholarships received
    • General research interest and specific area of intended research for this particular project
  • Two recommendation forms completed by two members of the full-time faculty at Messiah College, one of which has agreed to serve as your independent study instructor if you are named as a Wittlinger Fellow.  Place your name and ID number on the recommendation forms.  Please ask the faculty members to complete the recommendation forms and return them directly to the Sider Institute, PO Box 4003.
  • A brief, two-page maximum summary of the applicant's specific area of research

Applications must be submitted to the Sider Institute, either by email ( or campus mail (Suite 4033), no later than the due date.

Selection Process

  • Applications are reviewed by the Wittlinger Scholar Selection Committee
  • For the current academic year, one Wittlinger Scholar will be named. Should no students apply for the program, funds will not be expended.

Announcement and Recognition

  • Applicants will be notified of their selection.
  • Wittlinger Scholars will be recognized in the Fall Honors Convocation and at Commencement.

Questions may be addressed to Devin Manzullo-Thomas, Director of the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan Studies, at