John Perkins Center Prize

The John Perkins Center 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.

2020 Prize Descriptions

For 2020 up to three (3) finalists were chosen among the entries received. Each finalist is receiving a tuition scholarship to Seattle Pacific University for the 2020-2021 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 Seattle Pacific University undergraduate students who will be enrolled at SPU in the 2020-21 academic year.
    • High school students and transfer students who will be enrolled at SPU in the 2020-21 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 parental/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 the annual John Perkins Lecture Series on April 21, 2020 at 10:30am.  

Writing Prompts

The writing prompts below are intended to help entrants focus their writing:

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

Entry Criteria

Writing type: Written entries may take essay form, research paper form, or story 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.

Judging Criteria

  • Entries must focus on a social justice topic or issue by clearly communicating an answer to one of the above prompts.
  • Entries will be judged based on creativity, originality, and/or the potential for the findings or program to be utilized and implemented. 

Submission Instructions

  • Entries must be emailed or postmarked by March 29, 2019.
  • Please include/attach an entry form and a high resolution picture of yourself (for presentation purposes).
  • Email electronic submissions (as a PDF or Word document) to
  • Hard copy entries can be dropped off in a manila envelope to the John Perkins Center (SUB 225) or mailed to:  The John Perkins Center - SPU, Attn: Writing Prize, 3307 Third Ave.W. Suite 207, Seattle, WA 98119.

Please contact or (206) 286-7242 with any questions.