Department of Religious Studies

Bishop McVickar Prizes

The Bishop McVickar Prize is awarded for the best senior honors theses on any topic related to the academic study of religion

The Bishop McVickar Prize was endowed in 1909 by the Rt. Rev. William Neilson McVickar, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Dioceses of Rhode Island (from 1898-1910), and the prizes are now awarded from the income of a fund established in 1923 in his memory by his sister, Miss E. C. McVickar. 

Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Bishop McVickar Prize is awarded for the best honors thesis written on any topic related to the academic study of religion. Because the study of religion is a very interdisciplinary field, submissions are welcome from current Brown University students in any concentration, drawing upon any methodology. The prize has been awarded to students from a wide range of concentrations, and several students typically are awarded prizes. 

Even if you have not thought about your thesis as a project primarily about religion, please do consider whether it might actually qualify. If you'd like to discuss whether you should submit your thesis, please don't hesitate to be in touch with Prof. Jason Protass (Director of Undergraduate Studies for Religious Studies) at

The deadline for consideration for the 2023 prize is Monday, April 24. If you would like to have your thesis considered, but this deadline does not align with the timeline that your department imposes for theses, please be in touch with Prof. Protass.