John Perkins Center Writing Prize

The John Perkins Center Writing Prize honors Dr. John M. Perkins and the indelible mark he has made to the work of reconciliation and Christian Community Development.  With the generous support of friends of the Center, the John Perkins Center is hosting this writing competition to encourage current and future Seattle Pacific University students to explore practical ways towards reconciliation in our communities.

Prize Descriptions

Up to three (3) finalists may be chosen among the entries received. Each finalist will received a tuition scholarship to Seattle Pacific University for the 2019-2020 academic year.

  • First Prize: $2,500 SPU Scholarship
  • Second Prize: $1,500 SPU Scholarship
  • Third Prize: $1,000 SPU Scholarship


  • The competition is open to: Current SPU undergraduate students who will be enrolled at SPU in the 2019-20 academic year; high school students and transfer students who will be enrolled at SPU in the 2019-20 academic year. 
  • Students must be enrolled full time (12+ credits) each quarter (fall, winter, and spring quarters).
  • The scholarship will be divided over three quarters (fall, winter, and spring).
  • Students who receive a prize but withdraw from SPU or fail to matriculate in the next academic year will forfeit the scholarship.
  • Entries must be original works by the entrants and must not infringe copyright or proprietary rights of any other person.
  • One entry per person.
  • Entries must include completed Writing Prize entry form (including parent/guardian signature for minors).
  • Entrants must give the John Perkins Center and SPU consent to publish and use the submission.
  • Winners will be presented during SPU Chapel on May 14, 2019 at 11:00am and invited to a luncheon afterwards.  Winners attending the luncheon are able to invite up to four guests.  More details will follow after winners are determined.

Entry Criteria

  • Entries must be a writing project that may take essay form or research paper form.
  • Writing length should not exceed 2,000 words.
  • Entries must be written by the entrant and original.
  • Quotations and facts that are not common knowledge should include proper citations.
  • Entries will be judged based on both writing and potential that the findings or project can be utilized and implemented.
  • Entries must focus on a social justice topic or issue.

Writing Prompts

The writing prompts below are intended to help entrants focus their writing submissions for the competition.

  • Create a program that can be implemented to address a particular social issue using Christian Community Development Association philosophy or foundations from Dr. Perkins' books. This program is something the church, student organizations, or other organization that you are particularly connected with can implement.
  • Produce new research into a particular social issue or social concern that the church, institutions, or organization that you are connected with have not fully addressed. Describe how you would go about being the change agent or catalyst to bring about reconciliation, justice, and develop leadership.

Submission Instructions

  • Entries must be emailed or postmarked by April 22, 2019.
  • Please include/attach the entry form and a high resolution picture of yourself (for presentation purposes).
  • Email electronic submissions (as a PDF or Word document) to
  • Printed submissions can be dropped off in a manila envelope to the John Perkins Center or mailed to:  The John Perkins Center, Attn: Writing Prize, 3307 Third Ave. W. Suite 207, Seattle, WA 98119.

Please contact with any questions.

Download entry details and entry form.