The Clark Award

2024 Albert Clark Award

You are invited to submit a paper for:


for the best papers in Religious Studies or Theology

$500.00 award for the best undergraduate paper

$250 for second place

$500 award for the best graduate paper

$250 for second place

Award-winning papers will be published in the

Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa

Sponsored by


The National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology

The National Board of Directors of TAK invites entries for the 2024 Albert Clark Award, given annually for the best papers in religious

studies or theology, as judged by a panel established by the Board. Each winner in each category (undergraduate or graduate) will receive a $500 award, and the runner-up in each category will receive a $250 award. The winners and runners-up will have their

papers published in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa. Other excellent papers submitted for the competition will also be published in the Journal.

Eligibility Guidelines: The competition is open to current students at the undergraduate or graduate level who satisfy one of these conditions:

a) currently enrolled in or having graduated from a school with an active TAK chapter, provided that the paper was written while attending that school and submitted for the competition within 12 months after graduation; or

b) currently enrolled in a school that does not have a TAK chapter, provided that the student was inducted in a chapter of TAK at a school previously attended.

Competition Guidelines:

  • Papers in religious studies and in all fields of theology are welcome.
  • Authors may only submit one paper for consideration, and the paper may not be submitted for publication elsewhere during the duration of the competition.
  • All papers submitted will be considered both for the Albert Clark Award and for publication in the Journal.
  • Papers must be double-spaced and a maximum of 20 pages, including footnotes, with 12-point font size.
  • Papers must have the title on the first page of the submitted file.
  • Papers must be submitted as Word documents or PDFs.
  • Submissions should follow the Chicago Manual of Style 17 th edition (footnotes and bibliography). The citation of all source material, including information drawn from electronic sources or the Internet, should be as complete as possible.
  • The paper must not include any information that could identify the author and may not contain comments by previous readers.
  • Papers must be submitted with a completed Clark Award Submission Form. Clark Award Submission Forms are available at
  • Papers must be titled “Lastname Clark submission”; forms must be titled “Lastname Clark form”.
  • Winners will be chosen and all applicants will be notified of the judges’ decisions in March 2024.

Submission deadline: Monday, January 22, 2024. Send completed Clark Award Submission Form and the paper in one email to: Dr. Andrea Stanton, JTAK Associate Editor (

2023 Winners

Five students were selected as winners of the 2023 Albert Clark Awards and are pictured above in the following order. Kimberly Fromkin (Harvard University, Extension School) took first place in the graduate student category. Earlier she was the recipient of a 2022 Graduate Fellowship Award. Two students were honored for second place in the Clark Awards graduate category, Spencer Danley (Emory University) and Kayla Ray (Loyola Marymount University). In the Clark Awards undergraduate category, Madelyn Starr (Elon University) was the first place winner, followed by Dung Tran (University of Pennsylvania). The articles by all five winners will appear in future issues of the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa.

Clark Awards Previous Winners List:


Undergraduate WinnerSchoolYearGraduate WinnerSchool
Jason BystromCalifornia State University2022Jonathan ContareroEvangel University
Stephanie GemmellGeorge Washington University2021Ryan DuerrUniversity of Dayton
Kathryn GerryElon University2020Molly SmerkoUnion Presbyterian Seminary
Kristina MeyerElon University2019Joshua Paul SmithUniversity of Denver/Iliff School of Theology
Evangeline GiaconiaAppalachian State University2018David D. M. King University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology
Zachary Lewis LudwigLoyola University Chicago2017Sara Ann SwensonSyracuse University
Chance BonarSt. Olaf College2016Timothy GervaisLoyola University Maryland
Elenore LeonardCreighton University2015Danny YencichIllff School of Theology/U. of Denver
Denise MasonNotre Dame of Maryland2014Catherine OrsbornIlliff School of Theology
Rina SadunPomona College2013Patrick D. BowenUniversity of Denver-Illiff School of Theology
Kiva Shiri Nice-WebbElon University2012Jonathan LoarEmory University
Stephanie BrenzelRhodes College2011William MyattLoyola University Chicago
Josh MuglarOklahoma Baptist University2010Michael J. AltmanEmory University
Jessica CoblentzSyracuse University2009Carson WebbSanta Clara University
Anna ZarosThe Catholic University of America2008Miles Adam ParkMissouri State University
Erin CulpElon University2007Paul BuehlerLoyola University, New Orleans
Jeffrey DurkinGeorgetown University2006Carly CrouchOxford University
Joe LencioniGustavus Adolphus College2005Nada UnusHarvard Divinity School
J. Patrick Hornbeck IIGeorgetown University2004Amy PeelerPrinceton Theological Seminary
Meaghann WenigerCreighton University2003Patricia Lipperini LaSalle University
David OdorisioLaSalle University2002Erin E. MountzUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison