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Edwin J. Omark Preaching Awards

Since 1968, Bethel Seminary has been recognizing outstanding communicators within the Bethel Seminary student body through the Omark Preaching Awards. This year marks the 57th anniversary of the preaching competition in honor of former seminary professor Edwin J. Omark, and will again award three students who demonstrate excellence in preaching.

Sermon Theme


In his interrogation of Jesus, Pontius Pilate famously asked him, "What is truth?" Many in contemporary society have a similar question. Truth is seen as relative or malleable. Some reject the idea of truth altogether. Yet Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life...." (John 14:6). The world is in desperate need of the truth of the Gospel.

The Omark theme this year is truth. We look forward to receiving your sermons on this theme. You may be led to a variety of passages where the theme is developed directly or less so. No matter how you are led, we pray that your engagement with this theme will not only result in a God-honoring, edifying sermon; but that you will grow in your love and appreciation for the truth and why it matters to you and the world.

Awards and Benefits

First Award: $1000—Edwin J. Omark Preaching Award and the opportunity to preach at the first annual Seminary Preaching Showcase on May 1, 2024.

Second Award: $800—Robert A. Featherstone Memorial Scholarship and an invitation to the Seminary Preaching Showcase.

Third Award: $600—Emily A. VanAntwerp Memorial Preaching Scholarship and an invitation to the Seminary Preaching Showcase.

Fourth Place: Honorable mention and an invitation to the Semianry Preaching Showcase.

Benefits to All Participants

Sermon preparation support, constructive feedback on submitted sermons, and a video recorded sermon you can use in your search for ministry placement.


All Bethel Seminary students (online or face-to-face) currently enrolled in a master’s level program are eligible to enter. Also, all Ministry Scholars in the College of Arts & Sciences are eligible.

Questions? Email seminary@bethel.edu.