campus wide alert

Alumni Highlights

Where are they now?

  • UCC Pastor
  • Professor of Religious Studies
  • Canon Lawyer
  • Assistant Director of Admissions
  • Former Director of Outdoor Ministries

Featured Alumni


Reverend Zachary (Zack) Mabe '00

"I majored in Religion & Philosophy (and minored in Psychology) while at Catawba because I felt called by God to pursue ordained parish ministry. After Catawba, I attended Yale Divinity School where I received two degrees, the Master of Divinity (’03) and the Master of Sacred Theology (’05). I am currently the Pastor of Terryville Congregational Church, UCC in Terryville, CT, a position I have held since 2005. I am also working on a Doctor of Ministry degree through Hartford Seminary. I look back very fondly on my time at Catawba, both the Religion Dept. and the Psychology Dept. Dr. Sang, Dr. Clapp, Dr. Holtzman, & Dr. Brownlow were all wonderful to work with!"


Mr. Kevin Killough '13

"Occupation: What occupies my time/moments? Being. Dr. Holtzman's and Dr. Sang's pedagogy spoke to my heart/soul/inner being. Their attention and focus on Being and Meaning awoke a dormant consciousness inside of me. I remember my first Philosophy lecture; Dr. Holtzman stood on top of a chair and shouted to the class, "You are here to Be not to Do!" Ever since that moment, that has been my personal challenge - my career."


Dr. Barry Crawford '69

"I decided on a Religion and Philosophy major because I became obsessed with the subject matter. I didn’t officially declare a concentration, but my interest was, and has always been, in the literature and religion of early Christianity. I wouldn’t have had my career as a New Testament scholar if it hadn’t been for my major at Catawba and the professors there who inspired me: Don Selby, King West, and Dan Brown. When I went on to graduate school, first at Wake Forest, then at Vanderbilt, I was more than prepared to succeed in advanced study in the New Testament and other early Christian literature—and cognate religious traditions.

An anecdote: Early in my freshman year, I went to Professor Selby’s office to complain about the lack of any information in our textbooks or in other materials distributed to the class which would indicate how to identify the various literary sources in the Pentateuch. How are we supposed to complete this assignment? Professor Selby leaned back in his chair, took a puff from his pipe (you could smoke in Hedrick Hall in those days), and, with a twinkle in his eye, said, ‘That’s what libraries are for, Mr. Crawford.’ "


Reverend Sharon Solt Harfman '73

"I am about to retire in May after 38 years in ministry--4 of which I worked for the UCC national newspaper, but the rest as a pastor in New York City and PA. I first decided to be a pastor when I was in high school, when my pastor was a woman. As a young teen I decided I wanted to help people, and my pastor inspired me to want to do that through the church. I stayed focused on parish ministry, but developed a deep interest in interfaith relations that led me to study in Bangalore, India for a year. I thought of pursuing a doctorate in that area of study, but stayed in parish."


Dr. Carol Houghton ' 71

"I am a canon lawyer in the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, PA, specifically, a canon lawyer for the Bishop, in the Tribunal (dealing with marriage cases), and Chancellor in the Diocese. I chose this major because I wanted to go on for graduate studies and felt this would serve me best. I actually majored in Philosophy when, for a short period of time, the Department was split and students could major in either Religion OR Philosophy. I knew that I would study Theology later (I went to Seminary after College and then later did further graduate studies abroad), so I chose to major in Philosophy. Philosophy gave me a great foundation on which to build my later Theology studies. It gave me the right tools to think logically, problem solve, and focus on the right issues. My Religion classes kept me on the right moral path, hopefully making the right choices and decisions in life, and always helped me to keep focused on God. My fondest memories are of Dr. Dan Brown and Dr. Selby, both wonderful and gifted professors of the Religion and Philosophy Department during my years at Catawba. Both of these men challenged me greatly and helped me to grow in my capacity for learning and understanding."


Gregory Alexander '15

"I am an Assistant Director of Admissions at Catawba College. I chose to study religion and philosophy because of the introspective nature of its content. I also had a class my freshman year with Dr. Holtzman and enjoyed the content as well as his teaching style. I have found my studies in philosophy to be most beneficial because they have taught me how to think not what to think. In a job as unpredictable as admissions, the critical thinking skills learned through this program have proven invaluable."


Mollie Landers Hatt '08

"I left my call as Director of Outdoor Ministries of the New Hampshire Conference in November of 2016 for a family move, and am seeking a local church call in my new state of Colorado. I love being a pastor because I believe in the transformative power of building community, seeking justice and understanding, and learning to dwell in the mysteries of God's love. I became a religion and philosophy major because I was drawn to the rich yet basic questions of why are we here? and what does it mean to be human? and what do we do with this life? It also helped me broadened my understandings of other religions and faiths, while deepening my own. While religion and philosophy was not a prerequisite of my graduate seminary work, it gave me a deeper and broader base."