Student Challenge Rules & Information 2016-10-12T22:12:37+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)
  • Video (preferred) or audio recording of applicant delivering the sermon.
  • 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 a round of judging and scoring:

  • A selected panel of 4-8 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.


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

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 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.
  • (1) Second place winner: $1,000 prize.
  • (1) Third place winner: $500 prize.
  • (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 
  • must be a student of an ATS accredited seminary
  • 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.