The Century wins 10 Associated Church Press awards in a virtual ceremony

March 30, 2020
Cover of the March 13, 2019, issue of the Christian Century. Design by Daniel Richardson, illustration by Adam Niklewicz.

The Christian Century “took home” ten Best of the Church Press awards for work published during 2019 in a virtual awards ceremony from the Associated Church Press. The group was scheduled to meet March 17–21 in Washington, D.C., for its annual convention, but it canceled the event due to COVID-19.

The Century received six awards of excellence, the top award, in the following categories:

  • Magazine cover design: for the March 13, 2019, issue, designed by Century art director Daniel Richardson and illustrated by Adam Niklewicz. This cover was described by the judge as a “great active image, with depth, movement, color. Maybe even sound! Very strong cover design and art. Thoughtful treatment of topic.”
  • Theological reflection: for "Thoroughly sinful," by Heidi Haverkamp. “What a surprising and delightful reclamation of what would seem to be the most unpromising of Christian teachings," wrote the judge. "Beautifully done!”
  • Biographical profile: also for "Thoroughly sinful." “Beautifully written and engaging,” according to the judge.
  • Poetry: for "Junior scholar," by Sydney Lea. The judge found this poem to be “a gritty, powerful reflection on the aspirational goals of the academy, Christian faith and the realities of a fallen world.”
  • Personal experience: for "At the abortion clinic," by Heidi Neumark. Described as “a compelling piece that offers unique perspective on the pro-choice/pro-life debate. Full of compassion. The kind of piece that changes minds.”
  • Opinion: for "Unprotected migrants," by Matt Gaventa. “Full of righteous anger and specific details," said the judge. "A first-person call to action for the Love of Christ.”

The Century received one award of merit, a second-place award, in the personal experience category: for "Where love is contraband," by Isaac Villegas. The judge wrote, “This absorbing narrative breathes life into the passage in Matthew 25, ‘When I was in prison you visited me.’”

The Century received honorable mention awards in the following categories:

  • Feature article: for "How fair is fair trade?" by David Mesenbring. “Excellent article and solid journalism," wrote the judge. "This will be a revelation for many people who see the words ‘Fair Trade’ and automatically assume the product is worthy of purchase and support. The opening anecdote makes it immediately clear to the reader that there is more to fair trade labeling than meets the eye."
  • Feature article: for "Reckoning with racism," by Josina Guess. The judge observed, “The article's opening anecdote about the racial obtuseness of Cindy Hyde-Smith prepares the reader for the likelihood that efforts to confront Mississippi's virulently racist past are an uphill battle. As the article points out, the state-funded history museum ignores the mass incarceration and police brutality that Bryan Stevenson characterizes as rebooted slavery. At the same time, descriptions of the museums' exhibits made me want to visit.”
  • Poetry: for "Mary speaks of how it feels when the baby turns," by Devon Millar-Duggan. “A beautiful reflection of what Mary's lived experience might have been like while carrying the Christ child,” the judge said.