Borsch-Rast Book Prize and Lectureship

The Borsch-Rast Book Prize and Lectureship of the Graduate Theological Union has as its purpose the encouragement of the writing and publication of theological scholarship by GTU graduates and current faculty. The endowment for the Borsch-Rast Book Prize and Lectureship comes from the sale of Trinity Press International, a venture dedicated to the publication of scholarly and often interdisciplinary theological studies. The prize and lectureship honor the joint example and collaboration of Frederick Houk Borsch (1935-2017) and Harold W. Rast (1933-2004). Hal Rast, after years as a senior editor at Fortress Press, was the founding director and editor of Trinity Press International, where he championed significant theological and religious studies. Fred Borsch was chair of Trinity Press International’s Board of Governors and then its Advisory Board. Borsch was also (1972-1981) the Dean and President of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and among the founders of the Graduate Theological Union Library. This prestigious prize of $10,000 will be awarded on an annual basis.

Nominations must be submitted to the GTU Dean’s Office using the online nominations form.
Nominations are open again, with a due date of  May 19, 2024. This is for books published in 2023.


Eligibility Guidelines

Books eligible for consideration for the prize will be scholarly books written by GTU graduates (MA, PhD, ThD) and current faculty members[1] and published within the previous calendar year.[2]

Award Process and Timeline

January 1

Nominations open for preceding calendar year

Spring Semester

Borsch-Rast Lecture

Third Wednesday of February

Department chairs encouraged to submit department nominations for prize

Third Wednesday of April

Announcement to CDF to remind them to turn in nominations by the following week

Last Wednesday of April

Nominations close

First Week of May

Selection Committee meets to select 4-8 finalists from nominations

June 1

Books made available to committee members (including one outside reader) to read over the summer if they prefer (they can wait to read books until the fall)

Late October/Early November

Selection Committee meets to select prize recipient and up to two honorable mentions


Announcement of prize recipient at AAR/SBL annual meeting

Promotional Material Released

Award Amounts

Borsch-Rast Book Prize: $10,000

Honorable Mention: $1,000


Nominations for the Prize may be submitted by any person, institution, or publishing company with the exception of the members of the Selection Committee. Self-nominations are permissible. Nominations will be solicited from each GTU Department, with the recommendation that the Prize be discussed at each February department meeting; from GTU member school deans and center directors; from Core Doctoral Faculty members; from alums; from the dean of students, the admissions director, and the library director.

Nominations must be submitted to the GTU Dean’s Office using the online nominations form available on the GTU website. Nominations close the final Wednesday of April.

Criteria for Prize

Nominations will be evaluated upon the following criteria:

  • exemplifies quality scholarship that has applications for a general audience
  • offers a new perspective on biblical or other sacred texts, historical, cultural, ethical, theological, or religious issues
  • exemplifies creativity and an innovative approach
  • some preference for interdisciplinary approaches
  • some preference for topics with relevance beyond a single faith community

Rules and Conditions

  1. To be eligible to receive the award as a current faculty member, the nominee must be listed on the roster of Core Doctoral and Consortial Faculty on the GTU website at the beginning of the fall semester when his/her book is being reviewed. The award winner need not be on the GTU faculty at the time the book was published.
  2. Copyright law allows up to a year’s variation between the actual publication of a book and the date listed for its copyright. If a monograph is published and made publicly available during a given calendar year, it can be nominated and considered for that year’s Borsch-Rast Book Award, even if the copyright date lists the following year. A book nominated and considered for the award during a particular year will be ineligible for consideration the following year.