St. Thomas More College announces 'Faith & Reason' scholarship contest


The Merrimack, New Hampshire-based St. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts has opened its 2009 “Faith & Reason Scholarship Essay Contest” for applicants to the school. Seven prizes will be awarded, with the top place earning a $30,000 scholarship to be distributed over four years.

Two second place awards will each receive a $20,000 prize, while five winners will each receive $10,000 in scholarship money distributed over four years of education.

The contest theme is based on a passage from Pope Benedict XVI’s 2006 Regensburg Address, in which he said:

“The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason… this is the program with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time.”

Jessica Rock, Director of Admissions at the school, explained the motives for the scholarship:

“Our patron, St. Thomas More, renowned for his courage, bravely prepared to die in the Tower of London by reflecting upon the life and death of the Savior. His preparation for the solemn act of dying for the Faith can serve for us as an image of the Christian intellectual life more generally. We, too, are called to be the salt of the earth, and must work so as to not lose our savor, but must deepen it through patient, arduous, and disciplined study.”

She referred to Pope John Paul II’s exhortation in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae to foster in ourselves and others a “contemplative outlook” in efforts to advance the culture of life.

“Both Benedict XVI and his great predecessor have challenged us to rededicate our hearts to the great labor that is the pursuit of Christian wisdom,” Rock said in her announcement of the scholarship.

Contest entrants, who must have a complete application on file at the college, are to answer the question: “How should the student display courage and engage the whole breadth of reason?”

Essays are to be two to three pages typed and double-spaced. They should be submitted to Jessica Rock, Director of Admissions at Thomas More College, by March 14 if postmarked or before midnight on March 15 if e-mailed.

The scholarship winners will be announced on April 2.

Further details on the scholarship are available at

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