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  • CUERG Distinguished Scholar-Leader Award and Nomination Process

The Committee for Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups  annually grants the CUERG Distinguished Scholar-Leader Award to a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America. 

Purpose of the Award

  • To honor a member of the CTSA whose work as a scholar-leader has carried forward the theologizing of underrepresented and underrecognized communities in the academy, Church, and/or wider society.

Nominations for the Award

  • Nominees should be past or present members of the Society.

  • Nominations are solicited in the Fall via e-newsletters from the CUERG leadership team to the CUERG general membership.

  • Nominations are reviewed by the CUERG leadership team during the Winter, so that a selection may be chosen in advance of the June convention.

CUERG Distinguished Scholar-Leader Award Committee

  • The Award Committee is composed of the CUERG leadership team, typically composed of representatives from the Latino/a Catholic Theology Consultation, Black Catholic Theology Consultation, and Asian/Asian American Theology Consultation, though not exclusively limited to these.  

Presentation of the Award

The award is granted annually at the CTSA annual convention, usually during the CUERG Luncheon. The honoree will offer a brief address to the CUERG members gathered at the luncheon.

History of the Award

The CUERG Distinguished Scholar-Leader Award was inaugurated in 2024. The CUERG leadership committee found it fitting to create the award at this time for two reasons:

First, CUERG has now existed for several decades as a consultatory advisory committee to the CTSA Board and as a network of intellectual and professional support for CTSA members from underrepresented or under-recognized ethnic and racial backgrounds. In the early years, the committee strove mainly to create possibilities of presence and thriving for minoritized scholars in the Catholic theological community. While this remains a key priority, CUERG is no longer new nor simply trying to find a place at the discursive table. Over time and through the concerted efforts of past leaders, CUERG has developed into both an institution within the convention (for instance, the annual CUERG Luncheon) and a professional community with a deepening sense of its particular history, struggles, and contributions to the Society as a whole. As CUERG continues to mature, it is valuable for CUERG to take stock and recognize all that has and is still unfolding in the Society’s efforts to theologize en conjunto (together), in a truly inclusive way.

Second, the CUERG committee desired to joyfully highlight the contributions of under-recognized teacher-scholars, noting their work as a gift to the wider academy and Church. Theologians working at the ethnic and racial margins of theological discourse have often tackled sobering and lamentable topics (for instance, the horrors of slavery, colonial campaigns, forced migration, systemic racism, etc.) and wrestled with the legacies of such structural inequities in the history of our own Church and academic discipline. Nonetheless, these and other myriad scholarly reflections should not be perceived as an encumbrance on the theological enterprise, but rather an aide and gift to Catholic theological thinking. Insofar as Church and academy can holistically address the realities that facing racially and ethnically minoritized Catholics, we are able to theologize better. This unfolding honesty and proficiency is a gift to treasure and celebrate!

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