By BJC Staff Reports

Time is running out for high school juniors and seniors to win money for college through the 2016 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest. Entries must be postmarked by March 4 to be considered for the grand prize of $2,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.

This year’s topic asks students to discuss whether or not an elected or appointed government official should be able to bow out of certain work duties that conflict with one’s religious belief. Examples include a county clerk who has an objection to processing a same-sex marriage license or a pacifist who objects to issuing a gun license.

Each essay should be between 800-1,200 words long and present an argument using evidence and thoughtful analysis.

In addition to the grand prize, there is a second place prize of $1,000 and a third place prize of $250. The contest is open to anyone graduating high school in the classes of 2016 and 2017, regardless of religious belief or grade point average. Winners will be announced late this summer.

For more information, including the complete rules, topic and videos featuring past winners reading their essays, visit

From the February 2016 Report from the Capital. Click here to read the next story.