The purpose of the Divinity School Prize for Excellence in Teaching is to recognize and encourage the superior preparation of our doctoral students for careers in teaching. This award is given annually on the basis of self-nomination and the evaluation of a candidate's teaching portfolio.
Application deadline: TBA 2015
Applications for the annual teaching prize consist of a teaching portfolio, a dosier of documents that communicates the applicant's teaching philosophy and experience. All Divinity School sudents who have completed the Craft of Teaching Program are eligible to submit a portfolio for consideration.
While the contents of teaching portfolios may vary, submissions for the Divinity School Prize for Excellence in Teaching should consist at minimum of the following items:
- Philosophy of Teaching Statement (1-2 pages): A personal statement that communicates the goals and values that animate one's teaching. For more on teaching statements, see the CCT's website.
- Teaching Biography: A chronological list of all teaching assignments, including a brief description of each with such details as enrollment size, type of course, teaching role, and pedagogical approach. You may also list your pedagogical training and teaching awards in this document.
- Self-Assessment Essay (1-2 pages): A reflective description of the steps taken to evaluate and improve one's teaching both in general and with respect to individual courses. This essay should evidence one's ability to think critically about and learn from one's own teaching.
- Approach to Grading and Student Assessment (1-2 pages): A reflective statement describing one's approach to evaluating student learning. It should indicate how you measure student learning and how such measures are related to your pedagogical aims.
- A representative syllabus from a course you have taught or plan to teach, along with a 1-2 page reflection on the course design and teaching methods (to be) employed.
- Additional items that may also be attached:
Students interested in assembling a portfolio will find the CCT's Workshop and Seminar on Teaching Portfolios particularly helpful. Additional information on teaching portfolios is also available on the CCT's website.
Portfolios should be submitted as a single pdf document by the application deadline to the program coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013: Rick Elgendy, PhD candidate in Theology
"I teach in order to cultivate informed, thoughtful reflection on religious, particularly Christian, conviction and action. Because religious commitments are often seen as intensely personal, or simply non-rational, or merely vestigial -- even by those who hold them -- most students who enter my classroom lack the ability to engage with religion critically and fruitfully. But religion is simply too important to be analyzed only by specialists or ecclesiastics: informed, thoughtful citizenship requires from all of us some facility with the methods and traditions of religious thought."
Other Recognition of Divinity School Teaching
Lauren Osborne, Ph.D. candidate in Islamic Studies, received a 2013 Karen Dinal Memorial Award in recognition of her teaching as a writing intern in the Humanities Common Core.
Kevin Hector, Assistant Professor of Theology and of the Philosophy of Religions, received a 2013 Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. Prof. Hector speaks about his teaching and mentoring in this Q and A.