Student Paper Contest

The Center for Pastor Theologians, in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation, is pleased to announce two student paper contests. The paper topics correspond to the 2017 and 2018 conference themes. See below for details about the topics, rewards, and rules for submission.

Contest 1: Doxology and Creation: The Beginning and End of God’s Good World

The doctrine of creation was one of the earliest contested doctrines of the church. The pagan philosophical tradition tended to disregard the value of the material world. The Gnostic sects went further, demonizing the Creator and denigrating materiality. As a consequence, suspicions regarding the goodness of the material world pervaded much of the early Christian tradition. More recently, new questions have emerged regarding human origins and the Darwinian account of evolution. The ancient heresies, as well as the more recent questions of modern science, continue to impact Christian theology — from Christology, to ethics, to anthropology, to eschatology and beyond. The CPT Student Paper contest seeks papers that explore the cluster of topics related to the doctrine of creation, with a view to illuminating and applying the Church’s historic teaching on the beginning, purpose, and eschatological end of the world that God has made.

Contest 2: The Art and Science of Spiritual Formation

The testimony of Scripture consistently emphasizes the interior life. While this emphasis has featured prominently in the Christian tradition, recent advances in neuroscience, the explosion of the mental health service sector, and the prominence of psychological research in American culture, have changed the conversation in the church about mental health. To what extent has this new focus been helpful for Christian reflection on spiritual formation, and in what ways has it run counter to the life-transforming claims of the gospel? Given the complex mind-spirt-body connection,  the CPT Student Paper Contest seeks papers that bring together the best insights of three fields of study—theological anthropology, spiritual formation, and modern psychology—with a view to articulating a whole person theology of the mind, heart, body and brain, as well exploring how best to love and care for victims of abuse and neglect.

Prizes

A first, second, and third prize will be awarded for each topic, for a total of six awards. The prizes are as follows:

First Prize -- $1,000 cash award, invitation to sit in as a guest on one of the CPT’s annual Ecclesial Theologian Fellowships (including lodging, and meals, and a travel scholarship for up to $500), print copies of all volumes of the CPT’s Bulletin of Ecclesial Theology, a copy of Hiestand and Wilson’s The Pastor Theologian (Zondervan), Becoming a Pastor Theologian (IVP Academic) and Beauty Order and Mystery (IVP Academic), and free admission to the 2018 and 2019 CPT Conference.

Second Prize--$750 cash award, print copies of all volumes of the CPT’s Bulletin of Ecclesial Theology, a copy of Hiestand and Wilson’s The Pastor Theologian (Zondervan), Becoming a Pastor Theologian (IVP Academic) and Beauty Order and Mystery (IVP Academic), and free admission to the 2018 CPT Conference.

Third Prize--$500 cash award, print copies of all volumes of the CPT’s Bulletin of Ecclesial Theology, a copy of Hiestand and Wilson’s The Pastor Theologian (Zondervan), Becoming a Pastor Theologian (IVP Academic) and Beauty Order and Mystery (IVP Academic), and free admission to the 2018 CPT Conference.

Eligibility

  • Open to all students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate degree program.
  • Contestants are welcome to submit a single paper in each category.
  • Students from any country or institution are eligible for consideration.
  • Both men and women are welcome to submit papers.

Submission Rules and Deadline

  • Paper length: 4,500-5,500 words, including notes
  • Paper submissions must be written in English.
  • Format and submission contact: Papers should follow the standard SBL formatting, and be sent as a pdf doc to Zach Wagner at zwagner@pastortheologians.com.
  • Deadline: August 1, 2018
  • Please submit an updated CV with your paper submission. Question related to the CPT Student Paper Contest can be directed to Zach Wagner at zwagner@pastortheologians.com.