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Student Essay Contest

Encourage high schools students to express their Christian worldview by organizing a student essay contest. Take a look at how one ministry organized their contest.

   Watchmen Ministry Student Essay Contest

Attention Students! Submit an essay to win a trip to the City on the Hill Leadership Conference sponsored by Capitol Resource Institute, one of California’s top pro-family Christian organizations. Three top essays writers will win an all expense paid trip to attend the 6-day conference in Rocklin, CA (Sacramento area).

Highlights will include:
Workshops on our Christian heritage, the government of California, grassroots community organizing, the influence of the news media, and career guidance.  Fun recreation and entertainment will also be provided in the evenings to give everyone a great opportunity to get to know one another. Participants will tour the California Capitol building, conduct a mock legislative session, and meet with members of the California Legislature. The conference will conclude with a special banquet and a Sunday morning worship service.

Students and their small group discussion leaders will reside in dormitories located on the campus of the William Jessup University in Rocklin, California.

Goals of City on the Hill

• To teach students how our government works and to help them discover what it takes to be the leaders of tomorrow.
• To promote a strong sense of moral and civic responsibilities based on the Judeo-Christian ethic.
• To encourage students to make friends with other teens who share similar values and convictions.

City on the Hill Requirements
Students who participate in the Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Essay Contest must also fill out the application and comply with the requirements of the City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference:

• Christian youth 14-18 years old.
• Enrolled in public or private high school, or home schooled at the high school level.
• Submit application by June 11, 2011. (Watchmen Ministry will mail the application for you).
• Letter of recommendation from a pastor.

To obtain the application and more information about the City on the Hill event hosted by Capitol Resource Institute visit:

The winner will receive a trip to Capitol Resource Institute’s City on the Hill in Rocklin, California (Sacramento, CA area) from June 21, 2011 to June 26, 2011. The prize will include room and board and one round trip airline ticket from Ontario, California to Sacramento, California.

Deadline to submit the essay is Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. in the office of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, 4201 Eucalyptus Avenue, Chino, CA  91710.

The winner will be announced on Friday, June 3, 2011.

The winner must use their award for the 2011 City on the Hills dates of June 21, 2011 to June 26, 2011. Accommodations for other dates will not be allowed.

The contest is open to all students ages 14 through 18 by June 21, 2011.
Students must currently attend Calvary Chapel Chino Hills.
Enrolled in public or private high school, or home schooled at the high school level.

Essay Topic:
Describe your understanding of the First Amendment, its current-day relevance, and the impact on your Judeo-Christian values.

Topic Description
After the American Revolution, the colonies faced the challenge of unifying as a nation, forming a democratic republic, and establishing a constitution. The Bill of Rights was soon added as the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, stating: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

The essay should describe the history of the First Amendment, how it relates to current events, and the impact it has on your Judeo-Christian values.

The essay must be typed with a minimum of 800 words (not to exceed 1,500 words). Please use a word count.  The following is a suggested format for your essay:


The title should identify the focus of your essay.


The introductory paragraph should be used to capture the reader’s attention and clearly outline the main points included in your essay.


The main body of the essay should describe each main idea and argue your opinion point-by-point.  The following are examples of sample topics:

a) First Amendment analysis (Establishment and/or Free Exercise Clauses)

b) Religious freedom in U.S. history

c) Current-day examples of religious freedom

d) The relationship between religious freedom and your Judeo-Christian values.

e) Choose your own

Summarize your research and review your main points.

Contact Watchmen Ministry at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills for more information.
(909) 393-7100 ext. 2011.