SVOTS opens annual $3,000 scholarship essay contest

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) has announced the 2018 St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest as part of the school’s ongoing efforts to help its students afford the costs of theological education and formation.

The essay contest is open to current seminarians only. The winning student will see $3,000 in award money added to his or her scholarship fund to help pay for tuition at SVOTS.

The $3,000 St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest will be offered annually, thanks to the generous contributions of a family of anonymous donors. These donors also selected the topic of the essay contest. Each year, the essay topic will be based on an inspiring, real-life event.

“We are most thankful for the creative way the donors have established this annual scholarship opportunity,” said Archpriest Chad Hatfield, president of SVOTS.

Requirements for the contest are as follows:

Background: In the past year, a picture of an American youth track champion and a picture of the children of the Holy Archdiocese of Cameroon arrived from unrelated sources to the same house. In the picture from Cameroon, the children are holding up an icon of the Theotokos with just as much joy and fervor as the gold medal shown by the track champion in the other photo.

Essay Topic: Pretend that you are a youth program director, and you have just watched the 2012 Olympic final for the women’s 5000-meter race (won by Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar) with a group of American youths and children of the Holy Archdiocese of Cameroon.  Write an essay describing your response to those who start asking, “Why is the winner (Defar) crying, kneeling, and holding up an icon of the Theotokos?” Limit your response to 250 words.

Submission Instructions: Entries for the 2018 St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest should be submitted in PDF format—double-spaced and conforming to SVS Press House Style—to Ann Sanchez at aks@svots.edu. Entries must be submitted by September 14, 2018, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The contest is one of many offerings by the Seminary to help its students graduate tuition-debt free as they go forth to serve the Church. SVOTS also administers need-based tuition grants, need-based scholarships, merit scholarships, continuing education grants, and matching grant opportunities for seminarians. These are made possible thanks to many benefactors who have graciously given funds to the seminary.