The Cresset, Valparaiso University’s journal of literature, the arts, and public affairs, received four “Best of the Church Press” Awards at an April 20 ceremony in Chicago, including two first-place awards of excellence and two honorable mentions.

Presented by the Associated Church Press at the organization’s annual convention, the awards honor the top work of religiously affiliated North American newspapers, magazines, journals, news services, and online publications.

Matthew L. Becker, professor of theology, won the award of excellence for theological or scholarly article. His essay “Christ in the University: Edmund Schlink’s Vision” appeared in the Cresset’s Easter 2017 issue. Professor Becker’s essay references both his own classroom teaching and his research on Schlink, a 20-century German Lutheran theologian. This category was open to all media platforms.

Rebekah Curtis won the award of excellence for personal experience/first-person account (short format) in a magazine or journal. Her essay “The Tree Killers” appeared in the Advent-Christmas 2017 issue. While her writing has appeared in a number of other publications, this was Curtis’ first contribution to the Cresset.

Thomas C. Willadsen received an honorable mention in the category of written humor (all media) for his essay “Al Spangler,” which appeared in the Trinity 2017 issue. Willadsen, a Presbyterian minister from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is a frequent contributor to the Cresset whose writing first appeared in the journal in 1991.

The Cresset also received an honorable mention in the “Best in Class” category for journals. The 2017 publication staff included editor Heather Grennan Gary, poetry editor Marci Rae Johnson, art editor Gregg Hertzlieb, copy editor Ian Roseen ’13, assistant editor Michelé Strachota ’18, and office manager Gabbi Wilcox ’19.

“We’re proud of the fine work of our contributors and thrilled that the Associated Church Press recognized some of the exceptional writing and storytelling that appeared in our pages this year,” Gary said.

Now in its 81st year, the Cresset was originally published by the Walther League, the youth ministry organization of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. Valparaiso University assumed publication of the journal in 1951.

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