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, Spring 2017
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 their Certification in the Craft of Teaching (or will have done so by the end of the academic year) 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. This essay should evidence one's ability to think critically about, learn from, and improve one's own teaching. For more on teaching statements, see the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (University of Michigan).
- 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.
- A representative syllabus from a course you have taught or plan to teach, along with a 1-2 page reflection on the course design, teaching methods (to be) employed, and indication of how student learning was/would be evaluated and how such measures are related to your pedagogical aims.
- Teaching/course evaluation sample: 5-10 (single) student evaluations of your choice, noting the name and date of the course in question. These should include qualitative commentary on your teaching and not only circled numbers! If evaluations are unavailble or come in a format that cannot be isolated and attached, please note this and consider them optional.
- Optional items that may also be attached:
Additional information on the role of teaching portfolios in professional development is also available on the CCT's website.
Portfolios should be submitted as a single pdf document by the application deadline to the program coordinator at email@example.com. Recipients will receive commendation in their transcripts and on the Divinity School website, as well as a generous honorarium.
Other Teaching Award Opportunities
Chicago Center for Teaching, Excellence in Course Design Award
Application Deadline: July 1, 2016
With this annual award, the Chicago Center for Teaching and its Teaching Consultants program acknowledges the accomplishments of graduate students in the area of course design. All graduate students who have taught a course of their own design in the College or at other colleges and universities are eligible.
See http://teaching.uchicago.edu/graduate-students/excellence-in-course-desi... for more information.
2015: Mary Emily Duba, PhD candidate in Theology
"Teaching is a practice of hospitality. It is the work of making ancient texts and living questions not merely accessible to students, but inhabitable by them. As a teacher of theology and religious studies, I welcome my students into the discipline’s greatest questions—questions of ultimate concern about the holy, the human, and the storied mysteries of their mutual encounter. By design—that is, by the way I structure and lead my courses—I invite my students to see these questions as their own, as questions in which they have a stake and a voice, questions which matter for the life of the world."
2013: Rick Elgendy, PhD '14, 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.