Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest

Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest

http://bjconline.org/Contest/

Students can win up to $2,000 for college by writing an essay discussing whether public school calendars should accommodate religious holidays in the 2018 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest. Please talk to your English or History-Social Science teacher if you plan to enter and consult the website for the essay prompt and competition details. The competition is sponsored by the Baptist Joint Committee.

In most public high schools, certain days are marked as religious holidays on the school calendar, and the schools are closed on those days.  As public schools become more diverse, some students’ religious holy day(s) are not days that the schools are closed, resulting in absences for those students. 

In an essay, discuss whether public school calendars should accommodate religious holidays.

Consider how school administrators should determine if, or which, religious holy days are included in the school calendar, or if any school policies should be changed to better accommodate students’ religious exercise. Be sure your essay identifies how the First Amendment supports your position.


Any high school student graduating in 2018 or 2019 is eligible to enter the contest. There is no religious requirement. Entries must be mailed and postmarked by March 9, 2018.

Download the entry form here

For questions on the 2018 essay contest, read these FAQs or contact Charles Watson Jr. at cwatson@BJConline.org or call 202-544-4226.

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