After two years of online competition, the 2022 Stone-Campbell Journal Student Paper Competition returned to an in-person format at this year’s conference, hosted by Johnson University Tennessee. The papers in both graduate and undergraduate divisions were of exceptional quality across the board, demonstrating that the work of training deep thinkers in the Stone-Campbell tradition continues to maintain high standards in scholarship and research.
The SCJ Student Paper Competition provides an avenue for students and emerging scholars to test their ideas among like-minded mentors and peers. Judges from SCJ-affiliated institutions provide meaningful critique and assessment, mentoring students through the process of thinking holistically about their stated topic and providing suggestions on further research and inquiry.
This year Eric Brandell (Bushnell University) won the graduate division with his paper “Discerning the Literary Structure Present in James” (Sponsor: Allen Black). Jared Dodson (Bushnell University) won the undergraduate division with his paper "The Darkest Nights Have the Brightest Stars: Reevaluating Light and Darkness in Johannine Literature” (Sponsor: Agam Iheanyi-Igwe). Eric and Jared will receive a free one-year membership in Stone-Campbell Scholars Community, which includes a one-year subscription to SCJ and free access to SCJ archives. They also received free registration to the 2023 SCJ Conference, a donation of books from participating publishers, and the offer of scholarships from participating schools in the Stone-Campbell tradition.
Eric and Jared were chosen from the finalists in their respective divisions, each presenting their papers at the conference. Graduate finalists included: Kimberly Hampton (Lincoln Christian University), “The Response of Christians in the Reformation Era to Pandemics” (Sponsor: Robert Rea) and Andrea Di Stefano (Abilene Christian University), “An Assessment of The Italian and Vatican Reactions to the Establishment of the First Church of Christ Mission in Italy, 1949-1956” (Sponsor: Wes Crawford). Undergraduate finalists included Colin MacDonald and Leah Hardin (Johnson University Florida), presenting a co-authored paper on “Satan As Agent of YHWH: Theodicy in the Divine Counsel Scenes in the Prologue of Job” (Sponsor: Rob Fleenor). These finalists will also receive a free one-year membership in Stone-Campbell Scholars Community.
Seven students entered papers for the competition, representing five different schools, including, Johnson University Florida, Abilene Christian University, Lincoln Christian University, Bushnell University, and Harding School of Theology.
Student competition submissions for the 2023 SCJ Conference are due January 5, 2023. See competition rules and flyers on the SCJ Website under Conferences and Lectureships/Student Paper Competition.