In 1996 , the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences created a new award for Outstanding Books in Theology and the Natural Sciences. The Outstanding Books Prize recognized exemplary scholarship in the dialogue between theology and the natural sciences and sought to foster outstanding scholarly investigation of the methodological relations between theology and science.
Over the five year period of 1996-2000, 25 outstanding books received prizes based on the decision of a panel of distinguished nominators and judges. Each prize included a check for $10,000 and a framed declaration of the award from CTNS. The authors were honored at ceremonies held at the Annual Meetings of both the American Academy of Religion and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in which leading scholars in theology and science lectured on the frontier issues in the field and underscored the contribution of these books to frontier research.