LSTC Announces a Call for Submissions for the 2024 Echols Prize!

Katie Mueller and Dr. Marvin Wickware conversing at the 2023 Echols Preaching Prize Celebration

LSTC is pleased to announce a call for submissions for the 2024 Echols Preaching Prize. All currently enrolled LSTC students are encouraged to apply before March 11, 2024, for this year’s competition. The James Kenneth Echols Prize for Excellence in Preaching is an annual preaching contest established and funded by Mr. LeRoy T. Carlson. The aims of this event are to promote the quality and excellence of preaching, to inspire students at LSTC to fully use their varied gifts to improve their preaching skills, to increase the visibility and importance of preaching the Gospel on the LSTC campus and the world beyond, and to recognize the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols and his many contributions by naming the prize in his honor. This year’s Echols Prize team is Dr. Karri Alldredge, The Rev. Dr. Kim Beckmann, Min. Vimary “Vima” Couvertier-Cruz, President James Nieman, and Dr. Marvin Wickware.

2024 Event theme

Scripture gives us many images around community: the body of Christ, Kin-dom of God, the household of faith, sheep of the fold, and the Beloved Community. Stories questioning assumptions about insiders and outsiders abound through the Hebrew Bible, the Epistles, the Gospels, and the stories of the creation of community of the early church following the resurrection and the Pentecost in the book of Acts. 

In this time of re-forming community at LSTC where we walk into new, diverse, and shared spaces, what assumptions about belonging might we question? What core stories and images in our scripture and experience exemplify and foster an authentic diversity in our belonging and life together in community?

Event theme

Each year, the Echols Prize offers a new theme for consideration. In 2024, the theme is: “Belonging in Diverse Spaces.” Students may use any scriptural text of their choosing or they may choose from the following texts focusing on the theme:

  • Isaiah 56:1-7 God’s true house and kin-ship in covenant
  • Acts 2:1-18 When the Day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-13[14-26] The Body of Christ
  • John 17:22-23 “Even as We are One”

All currently enrolled LSTC students (full-time or part-time) are welcome to participate.

Submission Instructions

The complete instructions for how to submit, as well as the information for the point-of-contact for additional follow-up, is below:

  • All students currently enrolled full-time or part-time at LSTC are welcome to participate. 
  • You will be asked to submit a 10-15 minute sermon as a written manuscript accompanied by a digital video version. This video may include a live assembly to allow for call and response traditions. Please send the manuscript of your sermon including the scriptural text, and the video, to Patti DeBias in the President’s Office by email: pdebias@lstc.edu.  
  • The deadline for submission is March 11, 2024.
  • One finalist will be selected to preach in chapel for the celebration. The finalist will receive prize money for their selection and participation.
  • The context for your sermon is the LSTC community (students, faculty, staff, etc.). 
  • Sermons that are prepared bilingually or in a language other than English are welcome.  For any questions, please contact The Rev. Dr. Kim Beckmann at kim.beckmann@lstc.edu

The 2024 Echols Preaching Prize Celebration will take place on Monday, April 8, 2024, in chapel. We hope to see you there!

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