The annual Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest engages high school students in church-state issues by directing them to express a point of view on a religious liberty topic. Essays are judged on the depth of their content, the mastery of the topic, and the skill with which they are written. Students should develop a point of view on the issue and demonstrate critical thinking, using appropriate examples, reasons and other evidence to support their position. The annual contest is sponsored by the Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee.
Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the . territories, or if they are . citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted. Previous first-place winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the AFSA and Semester at Sea are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention recipients are eligible to enter. $2,500 to the writer of the winning essay, in addition to an all-expense paid trip to the nation’s capital from anywhere in the . for the winner and his or her parents, and an all-expense paid educational voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea.
"Through his Incarnation, the Lord has united himself forever with suffering humanity — not as an abstraction, but throughout history with each suffering person. Jesus is already at the peripheries. The question for us is whether He will be there alone or whether His disciples will be there with Him."
- Supreme Knight Carl Anderson
Discuss the role of the Catholic Church going to the peripheries, then select one of the following ideas to complete your essay:
a) Describe the work of one widely known current Catholic who went to the periphery.
b) Describe the work of one widely known historical Catholic who went to the periphery.
c) Describe the work of one person in your life, who helps alleviate human suffering.