Rules & Information 2016-10-12T22:12:43+00:00

Rules and Information

Only submissions that contain ALL of the following items will be considered for the contest:

  • Brief biography (100-200 words)
  • Description of the sermon audience and how the sermon fits into your ministry context (100-300 words)
  • Video (preferred) or audio recording of applicant delivering the sermon live in their ministry context (15-35 minutes)
  • Sermon text/manuscript ** All text submissions must be formatted accordingly:
    • Times New Roman
    • 12pt. font
    • Double spaced
    • 1 inch margins (all around)
    • PDF or Word document (PDF preferred)

Sermons must be written and recorded in English. Applicants may only submit one sermon per competition.

Once selected, finalists will be required to submit a statement of impact on their congregation, including any testimonials from congregants. Finalists may also be asked to submit additional materials, such as a short (2-3 minute) video biography and/or interview.

**Though we prefer a submission of both a video and manuscript, we understand that some preaching styles are less scripted and so a manuscript may not be available. Likewise, it may not be possible (in some cases) to supply either a video or audio recording of the sermon as delivered. In these cases, a manuscript must be submitted.

Submissions will be judged on their ability to properly integrate gratitude-related scientific research with theology. Applicants are not restricted as to the breadth or type of additional resources they may use.

Each contest will involve two rounds of judging and scoring:

  • Round 1: A selected panel of 6-10 individuals who represent both relevant subject matter expertise and laity, in addition to being demographically, denominationally, and theologically diverse,  will choose six finalists (to be announced via social media channels) based on the criteria listed below.
  • Round 2: All finalists’ sermons will be posted to this website for the public to view and score based on the criteria listed below, which will determine the winners.


Each submission will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of how scientific research may supplement scripture
  • Demonstration of how scientific research can work together with theology to create new ‘spiritual information’
  • Accurate and responsible treatment of science
  • Accurate and responsible treatment of theology
  • Effective communication: clarity, interest, and appropriateness for audience


The public will score on the following three dimensions:

  • Engagement: How engaging was the sermon?
  • Impact: Do you think watching the sermon will have a meaningful impact on how you think and live?
  • Use of science: How helpful was the use of science/research in this sermon?

Winners will be announced via social media and both print and online publications. Winners’ sermons will remain online for public viewing.

A total of six prizes will be awarded to six winning sermons. The first, second, and third place winners will receive cash awards and donations to their respective ministries based on their placement, and the three sermons that do not place will receive an honorable mention and a small prize. The specific types of prizes awarded will be announced when winners are chosen.

  • (1) First place winner: $1,500 prize and $3,500 ministry donation
  • (1) Second place winner: $1,000 prize and $2,000 ministry donation
  • (1) Third place winner: $500 prize and $1,500 ministry donation
  • (3) Honorable mentions: $200 prize

Winners’ names will be announced in Fuller online and print media. Winners’ sermons will be subtitled and/or translated into Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.

Applicants must be from a Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox denomination. Unfortunately, we are not accepting sermons from other denominations at this time.

In order to apply, all applicants:

  • must have delivered the sermon being submitted in front of their live ministry context
  • must have a ministry context
  • must not have won a previous sermon contest with plpit
  • must be at least 18 years old

Immediate family members of the plpit team are not eligible to apply.