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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 55th 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

For God's glory and our neighbors' good

Pietist movements appear in Christianity when religion seems divorced from experience, leading to questions like: "How do we live a holy, faithful life?" and "How do we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind?" During the Reformation there was a scholastic focus as Christians critiqued one another. Thus, the pietist movement sought to bring Christians back to Scripture and active devotion.

Bethel founder John Alexis Edgren came out of this Pietist tradition. Edgren founded Bethel as a seminary in 1871 on the enduring conviction that Christians ought to love God with their minds and represent him in all fields. As we continue in this tradition, we seek to glorify God and our neighbors' wellbeing. Scattered throughout the Scriptures we find guidance in this endeavor. Your Omark sermon should engage with Scripture passages relevant to this idea.

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.

Questions? Email seminary@bethel.edu.