Gr. 12 Essay Contest

The 2020-2021 Essay Contest has closed.

Please stay tuned for details about the 2021-2022 Essay Contest.

The Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Culture program at St. Mark’s College invites students to participate in its 2020-2021 Essay Contest. The theme of this year’s contest is “hope”.

The Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, opens with these words: “The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well” (GS, #1). The document teaches that to carry out the mission of Jesus, “the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel” (GS, # 4).

Students are encouraged to participate in this task by writing essays that address two elements:
(a) name and describe an example in your local community where people whose dignity has been compromised have lost hope; and
(b) how does the Gospel inspire and empower you to restore their hope? 


The author of the winning essay will receive a $300 prize, and the two runners-ups will each receive a $100 prize.


The contest is open to all Gr. 12 students in British Columbia currently enrolled in a CE/Religion 12 class or participating in their parish youth ministry program.

Essay details

Entries must be written in English and must be between 500 and 750 words.

Submission details

Only one entry per student is permitted and students must submit their essay with a fully completed submission form via email to [email protected] by March 12th, 2021. Essays will be evaluated based on their adherence to the topic, execution and creativity. The authors of the winning entries will be notified by April 9th, 2021.

Submission Form

All students must submit their essay with this complete form.
insert_drive_fileDownload Submission Form


For further information on this contest, please contact Fr. Nick Meisl at [email protected].