A new $9,000 scholarship opportunity at Southwestern is intended to motivate students to delve into the Bible. About 250 Bible verses have been selected for students to memorize. A “Bible Bee” will be held this upcoming April to determine first, second, and third-place scholarship winners.
According to Bill Kilgore, vice president for spiritual development, the “Bible Bee,” mediators will read the location of a Bible text, and students will have to recite the scripture. The competition is structured similarly to a traditional spelling bee. This first year, it will stay inside of Southwestern. The long-term goal is for it to reach a national level.
Bible passages will be chosen that are connected to the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Five of the twenty-eight will be chosen to focus on for the competition, says Kilgore.
The first place winner of the “Bible Bee” will be awarded $5,000 in scholarship to Southwestern. Second place is worth $3,000 and third place $1,000. The donor of these scholarships would like to remain anonymous.
“Looking back on my life, I have come to realize that Bible study is the foundation of all that God has done in my life,” says the anonymous donor. “It’s my desire to motivate others to know God better through Bible study.”
When the contest is held the second time, in spring 2013, the competition and the awards will be even greater. Scholarships will be limited to use at Southwestern, and will be open to any student either wishing to attend or already attending the university. First place will be awarded $25,000, second place $10,000 and third place $5,000. The event will be advertised in Union publications and through the academies of the Southwestern Union.
If all goes well, it’s hoped that by the third year this scholarship opportunity will be expanded to include the entire nation, and scholarships can apply to an Adventist university of a student’s choice. At this level, preliminary rounds will be held at the Adventist academies to reduce the number of contestants at the finals.
“It’s my hope that many are led to a greater appreciation for God’s word through memorizing the Bible,” says the donor. “While this event is a competition, it is also a way to build up the collective body of Christ. Everyone wins when they study the Bible.”
Bible verses can be found on Southwestern Adventist Universities website under campus ministries.