Current student, recent graduate win prestigious essay writing awards


Over the summer, two members of the seminary community were recognized by two highly respected publications in the Episcopal Church.

Neal McGowan, who recently graduated in May,  and his article, As Much Light as It Will Take: On Poetic Language and Revelation, has been selected as the winning essay of the 2017 Hefling Student Essay Competition of the Anglican Theological Review (ATR). Each year the ATR publishes an outstanding essay written by a student at a seminary of the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada. While the Hefling Prize will consider essays on any topic, special consideration are given to essays that further the journal’s commitment to creative engagement with Christian tradition, and to interdisciplinary inquiry that includes literature and the arts, philosophy, and science. McGowan’s article will be published at some point in 2018. He currently serves as Curate at St. Alban’s in Waco, TX.

Current seminarian Rebecca Bridges Watts was awarded first place in The Living Church‘s Student Essays in Christian Wisdom Competition for her essay They are no less capable of our Christianity: Sixteenth-Century Catholic Missions in Indigenous Cultural Contexts. The student essay contest is open to, “any Anglican student enrolled in a master’s degree program in any seminary of the Anglican Communion or accredited ecumenical equivalent.” Essays may address any topic within the classic disciplines of theology (Bible, history, systematics, moral theology, liturgy).

Said Watts of the honor, “Publishing this essay in The Living Church feels like validation of this path I am taking now through seminary toward ordination. This recognition is especially important as I am discerning ways to blend my experiences in writing and research with my future ministry as an Episcopal priest.”

Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, Academic Dean and Helen and Everett H. Jones Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology, stated, “We are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of Becky and Neal.  They are both strong students and fine writers who display the best of our talented student body.  Having two students receive these prestigious awards in the same year is also a tribute to the fine work of our faculty.”