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Students at commencement

G.M. and Minnie Bruce Prize

For excellence in New Testament studies

Gustav M. BruceThe G.M. and Minnie Bruce Prize in New Testament is awarded each year at commencement to one or more graduating students. The prize includes a monetary award.

Gustav M. Bruce was professor of New Testament at Luther Theological Seminary from 1917 to 1949. This award was established in honor of him and of his wife, Minnie Bruce.

Winners of the prize are selected on the basis of an essay in New Testament studies. Papers written by graduating M.Div. or M.A. students are eligible. These may be course papers, independent study projects, or papers written for this occasion. Papers should not exceed 6,000 words in length. Papers may be recommended by members of the faculty or submitted by students independently.

Submission guidelines

To submit an essay for consideration for the Bruce Prize, send it as an email attachment to the Chair of the Bible Division, Kathryn Schifferdecker ( by the last Wednesday in April.

Other requirements:

  • Please include a short cover letter in the body of the email, giving your name and declaring your desire to be considered for this prize. Put "Bruce Prize submission" in the subject line of the email. 
  • The student's name must not appear anywhere on the essay.
  • A student may submit no more than one essay for consideration for the Bruce Prize.
  • The essay should not exceed 6,000 words in length.
  • Eligible students must submit their entries during the academic year in which they intend to participate in the seminary's commencement ceremonies.
  • The essay must be submitted by the last Wednesday in April.

Adjudicating criteria

The following criteria will be used in adjudicating the Bruce Prize:

  • Argument or thesis

  • Engagement with primary and secondary sources

  • Clarity of presentation

  • Use of primary languages

  • Consistent and correct use of citation and bibliography (we recommend The Writing and Style Guide, which also contains instructions for consulting the Society of Biblical Literature's standards for citations in biblical scholarship).

  • Creativity