Enter CBE's Writing Contest to Get Published and Win an Amazon Gift Card!

by CBE International | August 07, 2019

Folks, it’s the most wonderful time of the year—CBE’s annual writing contest. This contest is designed to give those passionate about biblical gender equality/egalitarian theology/Christian feminism an opportunity to share their stories and insights. We can’t wait to hear from you!

We’ve also got more great prizes this year! Winners:

  • Get published with us

  • Win a $20 Amazon gift card

  • Win copy of Natasha Sistrunk Robinson’s new book with InterVarsity Press: A Sojourner’s Truth

  • Get a free year-long subscription to CBE’s award-winning Mutuality magazine


We want to hear from you on one of these seven topics!

Each broad topic includes a series of bullet point prompts to help you understand the intent of the prompt and to provoke ideas. You can mix and match the prompts we’ve provided or answer multiple prompts under the same broad topic in a single piece.

All entries should be specifically focused on CBE's mission: promoting the equality of women and men as co-leaders in the church, home, and world. 

1. Toxic Theology or Spiritual Abuse Impact Stories

  • Did you grow up in a church that promoted traditional gender roles, authoritarian theology, and/or spiritual abuse? What’s your story? How did that experience shape or harm you and your faith? How have your faith and your beliefs changed?
  • Tell us about your own experiences with spiritual abuse in the church or your family. Was it difficult for you to recognize this as abuse? Did the church take your trauma seriously? What care exists for those who are traumatized by bad church practice, toxic theology, and authoritarian spiritual leadership?

2. Challenging Gender Roles in Dating or Marriage

  • Do you think dating/marriage as an egalitarian or Christian feminist is difficult? What makes it such a challenging process? What are the hurdles that come with a countercultural approach to dating/marriage?
  • How have you or did you overcome the pressure to conform to traditional gender roles (lead and pursue/submit and receive) in dating or marriage? How do you and your spouse challenge sexism and assumptions in your daily life?
  • What are some of the church’s harmful (gendered) messages about dating and marriage? Why are they problematic? What’s a better way?
  • If you’re married, how do you and your spouse split up housework? How do you make decisions when you disagree (provide a practical, workable model)? How do responsibilities shift season to season and how do you close ranks as a team to handle whatever that season brings?
  • How do you deal with conflict in dating or in your marriage, especially related to responsibilities and gender?
  • How do you address the assumptions of others: someone assumes the husband/father is in charge; that mom is the primary caregiver; that dad is the more natural disciplinarian, etc.?
  • Husbands, how do you stand up for your wives when people express sexist assumptions about housework/parenting/work versus stay at home? Why is it important to do so?

3. Why Equality Is Good for Men Too

  • Are you a man who doesn’t fit the church’s prescription for masculinity? Tell us your story. Tell us how embracing women's equality and rejecting traditional gender roles brought you freedom and health.
  • Talk to us about why some men think egalitarianism is just about women gaining power over men. What’s wrong with that definition? How does egalitarian theology offer a counter-cultural approach to power?
  • What are the challenges to being a good ally to women? How do you advocate for women around you and subvert patriarchy?
  • Why is women’s equality good for men and for churches and communities?
  • Tell us about the men you consider positive examples of masculinity and why? Who do you look to for guidance on how to be a good man?

4. Body Positivity after Purity Culture

  • How can we begin a conversation around body positivity in the church? How can we honor the bodies God so carefully crafted?
  • As egalitarians/Christian feminists, how should we think about our bodies and does it differ from how the church has traditionally understood the human body? Is there a difference between valuing and affirming the body and elevating it too much?
  • What is the danger in the church’s typical rhetoric related to the body, as influenced by purity culture? How do those messages foster unhealthy thought patterns, self-image, and behaviors in young girls and women? What’s a better and yet still biblical message?
  • Let’s talk about women’s bodies. Whose are they? What are they for? Why does it matter? How do we as a society and as a church discourage women’s bodily agency and autonomy? What does it look like to honor women’s bodily autonomy in the church?

5. Healing After A) Complementarianism B) Abuse

  • Tell us your story. How do you process past traumas related to these topics? If you’ve experienced trauma due to abuse or due to complementarian teachings, and then found freedom or healing, tell us about your journey.
  • Analyze a belief related to gender roles/women’s equality/abuse in your church/community that you’ve come to see as dangerous or problematic and what you now believe instead. How did you change your mind? Why did you change your mind?

6. Sexual Harassment in a Christian Context

  • Have you experienced sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior/touch/comments in the church as a woman? How was it addressed? Was is addressed at all? Did you feel believed and respected?
  • How can we as Christians teach and model consent in our communities and relationships, even extending that ethic to jokes and casual touch? Why is this a tricky issue for some Christians?
  • What does religious teaching and theology have to do with consent? Why have youth groups and churches rarely talked about consent when teaching on sexuality? Why is consent a biblical principle?
  • What is sexual harassment? How can we recognize it in the church? How can we avoid dismissing it as “boys will be boys?

7. Bias against Women in Ministry or Seminary

  • When did you know you wanted to be in ministry? Did you have a role model who inspired you to pursue your ministry calling?
  • What opposition have you faced as a woman or as a woman of color in ministry and how have you overcome it? Have you experienced sexism and bias in Christian contexts? How have people surprised you in relation to your calling? How have they not?
  • Talk to us about double standards for women and women of color in ministry versus men in ministry.
  • Do you ever feel lonely? What do you wish was different for women and women of color in ministry?
  • What have you learned as a woman and/or woman of color in ministry? What would you tell young girls who may follow you down the ministry/pastoral path?

Note: Please feel free to consider each topic with attention to intersectionality (the intersection of gender with other social justice issues like race or class). 

The top 15 winners will:

  • Have their submissions published with CBE
  • Win a $20 Amazon gift card
  • Win a copy of Natasha Sistrunk Robinson’s awesome new book: A Sojourner’s Truth
  • Get a free year-long subscription to CBE’s award-winning publication, Mutuality magazine

The five runners-up will:

  • Have their submissions published with CBE
  • Get a free year-long subscription to CBE’s award-winning publication, Mutuality magazine

But what if my submission isn’t chosen as one of the top 15 or the 5 runners up? Good question:

All submissions will be considered for publication on CBE’s platform. So, if your piece is fantastic but isn’t one of the top 20, we may still want to get it out there! In submitting your piece, you agree to have your article considered by CBE editors for publication on our other platforms in the future.

How and What to Submit:

Please submit your non-academic entry on one of the seven topics above as a typed, single-spaced Microsoft Word document attachment in an email to rasproth@cbeinternational.org by August 31, 2019.

In the email to which you attach your entry/ies, please:

  1. Include your full name, an (50 words or less) author biography, and a high quality JPEG profile image 
  2. Provide the total word count of your submission (not including your title)
  3. Indicate which of the seven topics you’ve chosen
  4. Save and submit the document using your last name as the document name

The Fine Print:

  • All submissions must be between 700-1800 words, must honor CBE’s core values, and should be tailored to the CBE mission: CBE exists to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world.
  • Submissions should be a typed single-spaced Microsoft Word document. (Paragraphs don’t need to be indented, but we aren’t too picky).
  • You may submit more than one entry for consideration. We may publish more than one submission per person, but only one submission per person will be in the Top 20.
  • We will not accept late submissions for the contest, but we will still consider late submissions for publication.
  • All content should be original and not published elsewhere, unless you host a personal blog that has a small audience. Please indicate if this is the case.
  • All submissions should have correct spelling and grammar, and include some form of citation or link for any outside sources. However, in a popular article, citations (if included) should be minimal.
  • Your article will be edited by CBE’s communications team prior to publication and titles may be changed.
  • Questions for CBE’s communications team about the contest can be directed to rasproth@cbeinternational.org.

Please Help Us Share!

If you want to promote this contest on your social media platform or your blog, feel free to use one of these graphics below or contact the communications team for more info.