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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 50th anniversary of the preaching competition in honor of former seminary professor Edwin J. Omark, and will again award 3 students who demonstrate excellence in preaching.

Sermon Theme

Justice is a major theme of the Old Testament prophets as well as the teachings of Jesus.  

What does justice look like?

In light of the challenges in our country and our world today, what does the Word of God say about justice?

Round 1 consists of video submissions of sermons based on this year’s theme. Sermons are judged by a panel of Seminary preaching faculty and experienced preaching pastors to select the top 3 finalists. The finalists will preach in Chapel on May 1, 3 and 5.

Both the audience and judges are involved in the critiquing process to select the prize order. 

Awards and Benefits

1st Place: $1,000 - Edwin J Omark Preaching Award and an opportunity to preach at Sanctuary Church in Minneapolis. If the winner resides in the San Diego area, they will have an opportunity to preach at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church.

2nd Place: $800 - Robert A Featherstone Memorial Scholarship

3rd Place: $600 - Emily A VanAntwerp Memorial Preaching Scholarship

Benefits to All Participants

Sermon preparation support

Internship credit for 1 sermon preached

Constructive feedback on submitted sermons

A video recorded sermon you can use in your search for ministry placement


All Bethel Seminary students currently enrolled in a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree program are eligible to enter.

This includes students from both the St. Paul and San Diego campuses, as well as Online/InMinistry students. Any finalists that do not reside in the St. Paul area may record a round 2 version of their sermon to be played at the chapel service if they are unable to attend in person. 

The 50th Annual Edwin J. Omark Preaching Awards are  made possible in part by the following endowments: Edwin J. Omark Preaching Award Scholarship; Robert A. Featherstone Memorial Scholarship; and the Emily A. VanAntwerp Memorial Preaching Scholarship.