LCU Students take top prizes in Student Paper Competitions

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[April 27, 2017]  LINCOLN -  Two Lincoln Christian University (LCU) students took the top prizes in the student paper writing competition of the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference (SCJC) at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee, on April 7-8, 2017.

Jonathan Totty, sponsored by Dr. Steve Cone, won the graduate competition for his essay, “Irenaeus on the Economy of God,” and Kory Eastvold, sponsored by Dr. Frank Dicken, won the undergraduate competition for his essay, “What, Then, Shall We Say?: The Interpretation of Romans 4:1.” Totty and Eastvold were selected from six finalists who were pre-selected from all the submissions prior to the conference.

A third finalist from LCU, Tommy Moehlman, was sponsored by Dr. Paul Kissling, and competed in the graduate competition with his paper, "Reimagination and Reinterpretation: An Analysis of the Characterization of Jacob and Esau in Jubilee.” Students from Great Lakes Christian College, Nebraska Christian College, Milligan College, Johnson University-Florida, and the University of Alabama completed the group of finalists.

“I think it is significant that three of the six finalists were LCU students,” said Dicken.

When asked why he chose to participate in the competition, Totty stated, “My motivation was to become a better academic writer. Writing, like most things in life, can only be learned through experience.” He continued, “The inspiration was simply an act of creativity. I wondered what could be gained through taking something like narrative criticism and applying that method to a field entrenched with other more popular methods.”

This is the second year in a row in which Eastvold won the SCJC undergraduate paper competition. His paper was also the winner of the undergraduate Student Paper Competition at the Evangelical Theological Society Midwest Region Meeting held at Wheaton College (IL) on March 10-11, 2017. “I decided to write my paper on Romans 4.1 after reading a footnote in a book that suggested a different way to translate this verse than what is found in most Bibles. That suggestion interested me and I looked into it more and became convinced that it should be translated differently from the usual translations,” he said. “[A] big part of my motivation was the opportunity to receive feedback from the judges on my work.”

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The Stone-Campbell Journal is published twice a year and provides a scholarly platform for biblical interpretation, history, theology, philosophy, apologetics, and cultural criticism for those who value the perspective of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement and who endeavor to advance its distinctive principles today. As part of its annual conference, a student paper competition encourages top students to develop their skills in research, writing, and defending a worthy topic in Bible, theology, or history. Preliminary judging narrows the competition to three finalists for both the undergraduate and graduate categories. Finalists earn the opportunity to present their papers in special sessions at the conference from which judges determine the winner in each category. All finalists receive a free one-year online subscription to SCJ. The two winners receive complimentary books plus a $2,500 scholarship to any of 10 participating Stone-Campbell connected seminary or graduate school.

Established in 1944, Lincoln Christian University’s mission is to nurture and equip Christians with a biblical worldview to serve and lead in the church and the world. Today, LCU offers a variety of degree programs for undergraduate, graduate and seminary students. Classes are offered on campus, at extension sites and online. More information is available at

[Chris Thomas
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Lincoln Christian University]

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