Catholics & Cultures announces Undergraduate Essay Contest

Deadline to Enter: July 1, 2016
Release Date: 
March 29, 2016

To encourage scholarship in the study of contemporary global Catholicism, Catholics & Cultures is sponsoring an undergraduate essay contest for papers that contribute new research on contemporary Catholic practice or that combine theory with existing research on everyday life in Catholic communities.

An initiative of the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at the College of the Holy Cross, Catholics & Cultures explores contemporary Catholic life and practice around the globe. Through web-based resources replete with vivid imagery, survey data and descriptive articles, Catholics & Cultures seeks to answer the question, “What is it like to be Catholic in particular places and cultural contexts?” In 2016 it is also sponsoring the launch of a new online journal, The Journal of Global Catholicism.

The selected winner will be awarded $300, a certificate of accomplishment, and publication on the Catholics & Cultures web site or in The Journal of Global Catholicism.


Students may submit an original sole-author work based on their own research while enrolled in an undergraduate degree-granting program. The submission must have been written no sooner than March 2014 and never have been published.


Papers should not exceed 8,000 words (including notes and references) and should follow Chicago Manual of Style guidelines. Include a cover sheet with title of the paper; the author’s name; the author’s email address; and the author’s college or university affiliation. The paper must be in the English language.


Papers should engage with the core commitments of the Catholics & Cultures initiative, whether in terms of first-hand research of contemporary lay Catholic beliefs and practices in particular cultural settings and cultural contexts, or in connecting theory with existing research on everyday life in Catholic communities in interesting and innovative ways. Papers will be read in a double-blind process by a committee of faculty who work on global Catholicism. Essays will be judged on the basis of clarity, organization, and the originality of their contribution to the understanding of contemporary global Catholic life and practice.

Copyright and Originality

The submission must be an original work of authorship. There must be no third parties that may own the copyright or otherwise have the legal rights to publish and disseminate the submission or any part thereof. Submissions are the property of the College of the Holy Cross. Entrants permit the College of the Holy Cross to use the submission in part or in its entirety on the College of the Holy Cross website and the Catholics & Cultures website without an expectation of compensation. Submissions that have been previously published in whole or in part are not eligible. Excerpts and quotations must be properly credited with footnotes, endnotes and/or a bibliography.  

Official Rules and Regulations


All submissions must be received July 1, 2016. The winner will be announced in early September.

Please direct all submissions and inquiries regarding the Catholics & Cultures Student Essay Contest to:

Thomas M. Landy, Director
Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture
College of the Holy Cross
1 College Street
Worcester, MA 01610-2395