Third annual Merit Essay Contest opens for seminarians

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) has opened the 2020 edition of the annual St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest. The competition is a small 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. Past winners of the contest are not eligible to enter. 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 St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest award is offered each academic year, thanks to the generous contributions of a family of anonymous donors. These donors also choose the topic of each essay contest and select the winner.

Requirements for this year’s contest are as follows:

Essay Topic: Although the American Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making laws abridging freedom of speech, it does not prevent the culture from abridging that freedom. Reference Matthew 7:13-14 and the life of St. John Chrysostom to help young Christians approach “speaking the truth in love” when those around us may not be open to—or may even be hostile toward—what the Church teaches. 

Submission Instructions: Entries for the 2020 St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest must have a title and may not exceed 750 words. Entries should be submitted in PDF format—double-spaced and conforming to SVS Press House Style—to Ann Sanchez at aks@svots.edu. Essays must be submitted by October 1, 2020, the Feast of the Protection of the Holy Theotokos.

The contest is one of many offerings by the Seminary to help seminarians 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. 

To help more seminarians receive their education and formation, consider making a donation by visiting the Seminary’s Give Now page and selecting “Seminarians Education Assistance Fund” as your designation. 


Previous Winners:

  • Sophia Theodoratos
  • Seminarian Andrew Kayaian