The Divinity School recognizes student achievements through a variety of prizes. 

Some of our prizes are awarded annually; others on a cyclical or ad hoc basis.

Alma Wilson Teaching Fellowship
The Alma Wilson Fellowship Teaching Prize offers doctoral students and candidates in the Divinity School, with a record of outstanding teaching record, the opportunity to design and teach a course of their own design in the University’s Undergraduate Program in Religious Studies.

  • 2023- Kristi Del Vecchio, Ranana Dine
  • 2022- Derek Buyan, Kirsten Collins, Marielle Harrison, Allison Kanner-Botan
  • 2021- Caroline Anglim, Joel Brown, Menachem Kranz, Sara Jo Swiatek
  • 2020- Matthew Creighton, Mark Lambert, Matthew Peterson, Paride Stortini

The Anthony C. Yu Doctoral Student Fellowship 
Anthony C. Yu (1938-2015), was the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and the Divinity School. He introduced a comparative approach to the study of religion and literature that drew on both Eastern and Western traditions. Read more.

The Fellowship offers doctoral students support in completing their dissertation research.

The 2023 awardees:

  • Aslan Cohen Mizrahi
  • Emily Thomassen
  • Matthew Vega
  • Colin Weaver

The 2022 awardees:

  • Miriam Bilsker
  • Ryan S. Bingham
  • Kirsten Collins
  • Allison Kanner-Botan

The Divinity School Prize for Excellence in Service:

The 2023 winners:

  • Derek Buyan
  • Landon Wilcox
  • Hajra Zaid

The Divinity School Prize for Excellence in Teaching
This award recognizes Ph.D students that demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning. Recent winners include:

  • 2023- Allison Kanner-Botan, Matthew John Peterson, Colin Weaver
  • 2022- Marielle Harrison and Mendel Kranz
  • 2021- Caroline Anglim
  • 2020- Seema Chauhan and Christine Trotter
  • 2019- Cathleen Chopra-McGowen, Kelli Gardner, Elizabeth Sartell, and Yonatan Shemesh
  • 2018- Emily Crews, Aaron Hollander, Russell Johnson
  • 2017- Katherine Mershon and Michael LeChevallier
  • 2015- Mary Emily Duba
  • 2014- Rick Elgendy


International Ministry Study Grants 

2023: Lilia Ellis, Hayley Haruta, Buki Ogunseitan, Maeve Orlowski-Scherer, and Charlie Platt. These students will conduct research in England, Turkey, Nigeria, and Mexico on topics including monastic traditions, Byzantine liturgical vestments, and religious women leaders.

2022:  Charlie Grant, Shradha Jain, Hayley Seagall, Emily King, Joanna Zabiega, John Jacob Burns. These students will conduct research in Nepal, India, France, Poland, and Ghana, on topics ranging from spiritual care for the natural world and art as trauma care in the Sikh community, to ministry with African Americans at the Middle Passage memorial sites.  

Martin Marty Center Junior Fellowship
Martin Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity, taught in the Divinity School, the Department of History, and the Committee on the History of Culture from 1963-1998. He was the founding director of what is now the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion. Read more about Dr. Marty. This fellowship provides a unique professionalization opportunity for doctoral candidates to support the completion of the dissertation and aid in the transition to professional life as public intellectuals. Learn more about our Fellows.

  • 2023- Miriam Bilsker, Marielle Harrison, Kelly Holob, Mendel Kranz, Loriane Lafont, Akshara Ravishankar Parmeswaran, Matt Peterson, Shaahin Pishbin, Tzvi Schoenberg, Colin Weaver 
  • 2022- Samuel Baudinette, Derek Buyan, Rachel Carbonara, Samuel Catlin, Alexandra Hoffman, Hannah Jones, Allison Kanner-Botan, Alexandra Matthews, Matthew Messerschmidt, Dhruv Nagar, Foster Pinkney, Doren Snoek, Raffaella Taylor-Seymour, Alice Yeh
  • 2021- Caroline Anglim, Mariam Attia, Joel Brown, Seema Chauhan, Izzet Coban, Nathan Hardy, Lee Hoffer, Harini Kumar, Diane Picio, John Sianghio, Sara Jo Swiatek

The Divinity School Diversity & Inclusion Student Paper Award
This award recognizes academic work by students that represents a diversity of thought or perspective. This could include research on topics as gender, sexuality, race, disability, among others or it could include alternative methodologies like feminist ethnography. This award helps to stimulate new forms of academic knowledge around diversity, equity, and inclusion that often stand outside the disciplinary mainframe of the study of religion. This is a new award; our 2020 winner was Mark Lambert. Read more about his work. 

The Ibrahim Rashed Qur'anic Studies Prize 
This prize is awarded in recognition of the best-written paper in Qur’anic Studies. Papers may be submitted by a graduate student who is enrolled in any department at the University of Chicago. The papers must fall into the broadly defined category of Qur’anic Studies and exhibit a demonstrable engagement with Qur’anic Arabic. This Fund has been established with a gift in memory of Ibrahim Rashed, journalist and devoted student of the Qur'an, to recognize, encourage, and foster outstanding contributions to the field of Qur'anic Studies by promising young scholars at the University of Chicago.

The Ibrahim Rashed Summer Research Grant for Islamic Religious Sciences 
Awarded periodically to MA and PhD students in the Divinity School, these are intended for the study of texts related to Islamic religious sciences.

  • 2022- Alla Alaghbri, Mehmet Emin Gelecyuz, Mehdi Ali, Lien Fina, and Scott Doolin

Susan Colver-Rosenberger Educational Prize
This award is presented  in rotation to a Ph.D. student in education, theology, and sociology. The object of the prize is to stimulate constructive study and original research and to develop practical ideas for the improvement of educational objectives and methods or the promotion of human welfare. The most recent prize winner from the Divinity School is Russell Johnson (2019). Russell is currently the Assistant Director of our Undergraduate Religious Studies Program.  

The Tikva Frymer-Kensky Memorial Prize

Tikva Frymer-Kensky (1943-2006) was Professor of Hebrew Bible and History of Judaism. An expert on Assyriology, Sumerology, biblical studies and Jewish sstudies, she was perhaps best known for her work on women and religion. Read more here. This award is awarded to students who has written the most accomplished essay integrating the materials and insights of at least two of the fields to which Professor Frymer-Kensky’s own scholarship contributed: Hebrew Bible, Biblical law, Ancient New Eastern Studies, and ritual and/or feminist theology. Recent winners include:

  • 2019- David Ridge
  • 2018- Sun Bok Bae
  • 2014- Liane Marquis
  • 2013- Liane Marquis
  • 2012- Jessica Andruss
  • 2010- Matthijs Den Dulk

Milo P. Jewett Prize
When available, this prize awarded “to that members of the student body of the Divinity School who shall be pronounced by competent judges to have submitted the best-written paper translating, interpreting, or applying to a contemporary situation the Holy Scriptures, or a passage therefrom, regard being had to the most effective expression to the meaning and spirit of the sacred text.” In recent years, the money has also funded travel for research by advanced students in Bible. Recent winners include:

  • 2014- Steven Michael Grafton Philp
  • 2013- Kelli Anne Gardner
  • 2012- Jordan Skornik
  • 2010- Aaron Curtis

John Gray Rhind Award
This award is presented annually to an advanced student in the ministry program who excellence in academic and professional training gives notable promise of a significant contribution to the life of the church. Recent winners include:

  • 2023- Shradha Jain and Shannon Page
  • 2022- Brian Louis and Sister Hoa Nguyen
  • 2021- Howard Ruan and Ariz Saleem
  • 2020- Katherine Gerike and Victoria Wick
  • 2019- Sarah Lusche and Sara Lytle
  • 2018- Lucas Allgeyer
  • 2017- Saeed Richardson
  • 2016- Marcus Christian Lohrman
  • 2015- Mary Ellen Jebbia and Kathryn Barnard Ray
  • 2014- Leah Marie Boyd and Steven Michael Grafton Philp
  • 2013- Krista Michelle Kutz and Celeste Grace Kennel-Shank Groff
  • 2012- Jacqueline Ann Clark and Andrew Michael Packman
  • 2011- Annette Leann Thornburg

J. Coert Rylaarsdam Prize
J. Coert Rylaarsdam (PhD'44) was a Hebrew Bible scholar and a member of the Divinity School faculty, which he joined in 1945 as Assistant Professor of Old Testament Studies. His interest in Judaism led him to develop connections between the Jewish and Christian traditions. He delivered numerous papers and lectures that addressed the need for relationships between Jewish and Christian communities, and was the first advocate of a special chair in Jewish studies at the University. He also was one of the first scholars to argue for serious academic study of Islam, and incorporated this into his later work. In 1993 the J. Coert Rylaarsdam Prize was established to honor Rylaarsdam's legacy of promoting interfaith communication. This prize is awarded to a Divinity School student who has made special efforts to promote interfaith relations with particular reference to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. These efforts may be curricular or extracurricular. Recent winners include:

  • 2019- Caroline Anglim
  • 2018- Yitzhak Bronstein and Dahlia Herzog
  • 2012- Rachel Graaf Leslie
  • 2011- Devin O'Rourke