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Published Date: October 18, 2023

Published Date: October 18, 2023

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Announcing the 2023 CBE Writing Contest Winners!

CBE’s seventh annual writing contest has come to a close. We were thrilled to receive our largest number of entries yet, and because the overall quality was so high we faced difficulties choosing our winners! After much consideration and discussion we have selected five grand prize winners and eleven honorable mentions.

As always, our writers come from all walks of life, across many different continents around the world. We have women and men, old and young, ordained ministers and laypeople, married and single—but each of them had valuable insights to share or a word of encouragement to offer. Many exhibited great bravery in pouring out their hearts in a public space. Thank you for trusting us with your stories. We’ll be publishing the writers below, along with many of the other entries, over the coming months on our Mutuality blog. If you don’t receive our weekly blog posts by email, you can sign up here!

Congratulations to Our Five Grand Prize Winners! (In Alphabetical Order)

In addition to publication on the Mutuality blog, the following contestants have each won a year’s subscription to Mutuality magazine, a copy of Nijay Gupta’s Tell Her Story, and a $50 gift card.

Mary Bell

Mary Bell has been a believer in Christ for over forty-five years. She earned her PhD in English literature and until recently taught writing and research with a social justice focus at the University of Arizona. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband and two dogs; they have two adult children and are enjoying their first grandchild. She is currently writing a memoir.

Debbie Christian

Debbie Ardan Christian has worked in the fields of economic research, corporate philanthropy, nonprofit fundraising, and publishing. She currently serves on the board of Tirzah International, a ministry that empowers marginalized women through microenterprise training and leadership development. She and her husband, Rick, live in Colorado Springs.

Alison Gerber

Alison Gerber is currently a PhD in Preaching student at Baylor University, where she also coaches young preachers and teaches with her own MDiv-level class, Empowering Preaching Women. She is a former pastor, a mom, wife, and is originally from Sydney, Australia.

Lauren Mulford

Lauren Mulford is currently working on her Master of Arts in Theological Studies with an emphasis in languages at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She works remotely for the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge (UK) as the Postgraduate Studies Administrator. She lives in Michigan with her husband and seven children. 

Israel Steinmetz

Israel Steinmetz has a DMin from Fuller Theological Seminary and is a pastor-theologian who has ministered for twenty-five years in diverse contexts and roles throughout North America. He and his family reside in Katy, Texas, where Israel serves as Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Practical Theology at the Bible Seminary. 

Congratulations to Our Honorable Mentions! (In Alphabetical Order)

The following contestants have each won a copy of Nijay Gupta’s Tell Her Story and will be considered for publication on the Mutuality blog.

Aminta Arrington

Aminta Arrington teaches Intercultural Studies and Bible/Theology at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. She is the author of Songs of the Lisu Hills: Practicing Christianity in Southwest China.

Joann Rachel Cherian

Joann Rachel Cherian hails from Kerala, India. She recently completed her MA in English from Jawaharlal Nehru University and joined the Theological Research and Communications Institute in Delhi as a research associate.

Retha Faurie

Retha Faurie is a Sunday school teacher and one of the admins of the Facebook group Biblical Christian Egalitarians (BCE). Besides blogging on issues of equality on her blog, Biblical Personhood, she—autistic herself—is also a self-advocate for autism. 

Elizabeth Fields

Elizabeth Fields is married to her high school sweetheart, and they have five children, ranging from ages 2–18. She earned a Master of Arts in Christian Studies degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and served on the board of Finish Line Ministries International, leading their first conference for the women in Malawi, Africa. Elizabeth is very involved in her church. She is passionate about helping to equip and empower women to use their spiritual gifts to further God’s kingdom.

Lindsey Funtik

Lindsey Funtik is a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church with a passion for the hospitable heart of Jesus. While she is proud to be a shepherdess, she is most proud to be a partner to her husband, John, and mother to her two children, Arthur and Lucy. 

Elizabeth G.

Elizabeth G. is originally from the northeast United States but has lived abroad for the past decade. She is passionate about recognizing and valuing the dignity of women and men, everywhere. As a newly single mom of three spicy little ones, her deepest desire is to see the goodness of the Lord in her home.

Susie Hammitt

Susie Hammitt is currently a Wheaton College graduate student pursuing her master’s in evangelism in leadership. She has been on staff with Cru/Athletes in Action for forty years; eight of those years were in South Africa. She played Division I golf for the University of Arizona and still competes. Susie lives with her husband Mark in Southern Oregon.

Stephen McCormick

Saved after he turned twenty-five in 1979, Stephen McCormick attended Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music from 1984 to 1987. After graduation he and his wife went into full time ministry for twenty-two years, including Christian camping ministry, pastoral service, ministry technical support, writing, and teaching inductive Bible study.

Kelly Crews Pelton

Kelly Crews Pelton is an internist who resides in Texas with her husband; they have three grown children. Kelly loves hiking, practicing medicine, praying with her dear friend Leslie Cole, and meeting with her small group at church. She writes for the encouragement and healing of the body of Christ.

Amelia Smith

Amelia Smith is a writer, theatre artist, and educator. Her mission is to help people experience God’s redemptive love through storytelling, with a focus on the unique ways God is reflected in women’s stories, both real and fictional. 

Sue Sutherland

Sue Sutherland is a writer and blogger from the UK. Her two biblical fiction novels cover the life of Martha of Bethany and explore the women of the New Testament. Her blogs also cover this topic, which is close to her heart.


Congratulations again to the 2023 CBE Writing Contest winners! Check out the winning articles from CBE’s 2022 contest here.

Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels.