Archived Voice Articles

Janssen earns Vander Stelt Essay award

Brenda Janssen, a senior from Beamsville, Ontario, was awarded $500 for winning first place in the annual Vander Stelt Essay Competition this fall. The topic for this year's essays was to consider how the church can best approach mission work. Janssen's winning essay argued for a balance between different kinds of missions in the church.

"In the essay I made a distinction between 'word' and 'deed' ministries," she said. "There are some churches that focus mainly on doing lots of things in the community, and there are other churches that focus on preaching. To do missions the right way, you need to have both."

Mark Tazelaar, professor of philosophy and one of the judges for the competition, said that a different topic is chosen each year, alternating between philosophical and theological issues. According to Tazelaar, the aim of the competition is to encourage students to explore questions and to generate discussion in the larger community.

"We want to move this away from individual scholarship," he said. "We're trying to encourage community discussion of these topics as well."