GTU Announces $10,000 Borsch-Rast Book Prize and Lectureship

For Immediate Release

Berkeley, CA – May 1, 2017 - The Graduate Theological Union is pleased to announce the establishment of the Borsch-Rast Book Prize and Lectureship, an annual award of $10,000 for an outstanding scholarly work written by a GTU graduate or faculty member. The endowment for the Borsch-Rast Prize comes from the sale of Trinity Press International (TPI), a venture dedicated to the publication of scholarly and often interdisciplinary theological studies. “Thanks to this endowment, the GTU is able to offer one of the highest (if not the highest) book prize award for authors and scholars in religion and theology,” says GTU Dean Uriah Kim.

The Borsch-Rast Prize will be awarded annually for a monograph written by a GTU graduate or current faculty member that provides new perspectives on theological or religious issues and demonstrates a creative and innovative approach. Preference will be given to interdisciplinary projects and to topics that have relevance for multiple faith communities as well as applications for a more general audience.

The Borsch-Rast Book Prize and Lectureship is named in honor of two of Trinity Press International’s principal figures: Frederick Houk Borsch (1935-2017) and Harold W. Rast (1933-2004). Harold Rast was founding director and editor of TPI and also served as senior editor of Fortress Press. Frederick Borsch served as chair of TPI’s Board of Governors and on its Advisory Board. Borsch also had close professional and personal ties to the Graduate Theological Union, having served as dean and president of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific from 1972 through 1981, and having been among the founders of the GTU library.

Selection of the $10K prize winner and up to two honorable mentions ($500) will be made during the fall, and will be announced no later than January. The first Borsch-Rast Lecture will take place in the spring of 2018.

Nominations for the first annual Borsch-Rast Prize and Lectureship are open until August 1, 2017, for books published in calendar year 2016. Nominations must be submitted to the GTU dean using the online form available on the GTU website at In future years, nominations for the annual prize and lectureship will be accepted from January 1 through April 30. For additional information and eligibility requirements for the Borsch-Rast Prize and Lectureship, visit

About the Graduate Theological Union
Founded in 1962, the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley is home to the largest PhD program in religious studies in North America. As a consortium of independent theological schools, the GTU includes eight seminaries—two Roman Catholic, five Protestant, and one Unitarian Universalist—as well as a variety of academic centers and affiliates, including the Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for Islamic Studies, the Center for Dharma Studies, the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, and the Center for the Arts & Religion.

Contact: Doug Davidson, Director of Communications
Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA 94709
Ph: 510-649-2423;;