General News News Releases

CMU Essay Contest for High School Students

February 10, 2012  – Canadian Mennonite University has announced an essay contest for Manitoba High School students interested in the Humanities. The contest, to be judged by CMU faculty members from a number of disciplines within the Humanities, invites students to engage with important questions about art, ethics, and theology.  The contest offers prize money in the amounts of $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place.

“We launched the essay contest to encourage students who are still in high school to participate in the sort of critical thinking and writing that is part of a humanities education,” says CMU Professor Paul Dyck, Dean of Sciences and Humanities.  “We also wanted to build awareness of the opportunities for study that exist in the field of humanities.”  

Students are invited to write a 950- to 1,100-word formal essay engaging one of three questions:

  1. The World Library claims to be a list of the “100 Best Books Ever Written”; the American Film Institute released a list of the “100 Greatest American Movies”; in 2004 Rolling Stone released a list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.  Are some pieces of art – books, films, poems, songs etc. – simply better than others? If they are, on what basis can that judgement be made?  Or is it only a matter of personal opinion?
  2. In March 2011, after a UN resolution calling for the use of all means necessary to protect Libyan civilians, French, British and American jets attacked a number of military bases held by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  Do some nations have a moral obligation to intervene with injustices they see in other parts of the world? How can nations discern when and if interference is moral? 
  3. In the last decade, many prominent intellectuals have come forward to claim that Religion (and Christianity in particular) is evil – that it goes against reason, encourages violence, and halts progress.  Are these claims legitimate? 

Submissions will be accepted until March 31, 2012. Contest results will be released on May 1. The writers of the winning essays will be asked to present their papers at an evening awards ceremony hosted by Canadian Mennonite University.

To submit an essay, or for further information, contact Admissions Counsellor Andre Forget at 204.594.0537; email