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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 56th 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


Gratitude is an important attitude for the people of God. The God we worship is a loving, generous Father who bestows innumerable gifts on his children. We are called to manifest a spirit of gratitude in all we do. Even when presenting requests to God, gratitude is to be the context in which we do so.

The Omark theme this year is gratitude. We look forward to receiving your sermons on this theme. Since it is such a pervasive theme and idea in Scripture, 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 Lord and all he has done for you.

Awards and Benefits

First Award: $1000—Edwin J. Omark Preaching Award and the opportunity to preach at the undergraduate chapel service in mid-April in St. Paul. Because of the unpredictability of COVID-19 regulations, the date for the chapel service is still tentative, as well as the format (in person versus remotely).

Second Award: $800—Robert A. Featherstone Memorial Scholarship

Third Award: $600—Emily A. VanAntwerp Memorial Preaching Scholarship

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.