The contests below are sponsored and administered by individual departments and academic programs at Calvin. They are all open to currently enrolled Calvin students. Some are restricted to students enrolled in certain courses, and others are open to the whole student body. Refer to departmental websites (links below) for more specific details on requirements and submission rules. We will attempt to keep the information on this site up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Consult with individual departments or programs if you have questions.


Science Division Writing Prize (New!)

Prize amount: $200
Criteria: the best essay about a scientific topic or issue aimed at a general audience. Students may submit papers previously submitted for courses, honors projects, or essays written specifically for the prize. One submission per student; papers of any length will be accepted.


Dutch: Ten Hoor Prize

Prize amount: $300
Criteria: the best essay on the language and/or culture of the Netherlands; topics may range broadly from Dutch history, politics, art, society, economics, to related interdisciplinary fields (may be written either for a course or expressly for the essay competition)
Submission guidelines: see


Gender Studies Essay Prize

Prize amount: $100 each (5 prizes in all): 3 prizes at Junior & Senior level, 2 prizes at first-year and sophomore level.
Criteria: best paper written for any Calvin course that focuses on a gender issue, judged by uniqueness of topic, depth and integration of research, strength of argument, clarity, and style.


History: John De Bie Essay Prize

Prize amount: $100
Criteria: the best paper on any topic related to history (essays written for courses are welcome); you do not have to be history major to enter.
Submission guidelines: see


Philosophy: O.K. Bouwsma Award

Prize amount: $250
Criteria: best paper in philosophy; papers may be prior submissions for courses, reworkings of such papers, or specifically written for the competition. Brief papers are acceptable; only one submission per student.
Submission guidelines: see


Religion: Beets Calvinism Contest

Prize amounts: $300 (two first-place prizes) and $150 (two second-place prizes)
Criteria: best research papers in historical, theological, or biblical studies in the Calvinist/Reformed tradition written by students enrolled in Religion courses during the current academic year. Papers must be at least 2,500 words in length.
Submission guidelines: see