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Presbyterian Outlook recognized at Best of the Christian Press Awards

The Outlook received 10 awards, including honors for their design, professional resourcing, theological reflection, and critical review.

The Presbyterian Outlook received top honors at the Associated Church Press (ACP) 2024 annual conference in Chicago last week. The ACP awards recognize excellence in faith-based media — including magazines, news services, online media and podcasts. They offer three tiers of awards: an honorable mention, an award of merit, and an award of excellence.

This year, the award contest included 67 organizations, 76 categories, and 821 entries. The Presbyterian Outlook – an independent, nonprofit publication – won 10 awards at the ACP “Best of the Church Press” ceremony, including seven awards of excellence:

Professional resource: An honorable mention for  “The perilous and promising pulpit” by Thomas G. Long

James Solheim Award for editorial courage: An award of merit for “Fostering love, not fear” by Teri McDowell Ott

Best in class: Denominational or special interest magazine: An honorable mention for the Presbyterian Outlook 

Biblical interpretation or lectionary reflection (long format): An award of excellence for “On women pastors and biblical authority: A Presbyterian reflection” by Frances Taylor Gench

Of  “On women pastors and biblical authority,” judges wrote: “A deeply thoughtful and theologically robust reflection on the interpretation of scripture as it impacts female leadership (including preaching) in the Church in North America today.”

Theological reflection (long format): An award of excellence for “Healing desire: Hindu and Buddhist wisdom for our post-truth predicament” by John Thatamanil

Of “Healing desire,” judges wrote: “An excellent article that should motivate much conversation and reflection that urges ‘powerful desire’ that seeks the truth.”

Theme issue, section, or series: An award of excellence for our June 2023 issue, “Stop Gun Violence”

Of the “Stop Gun Violence” issue, judges wrote: “It doesn’t matter if you agree with the editorial stand, the Outlook took a brave position and defended it, while also looking at the other side. From the arresting cover design and inside images to the unique columns and well-sourced stories, this is an impressive example of how to effectively tackle a theme.”

Magazine cover: An award of excellence for our June 2023 issue, “Stop Gun Violence”

Of the cover design for the Outlook’s “Stop Gun Violence” issue, judges wrote: “A strong and smart use of photography. The image tells a story. Good placement of coverlines. Superbly executed.”

Print publication redesign: An award of excellence for Presbyterian Outlook

Of the Outlook’s redesign, judges wrote: “What a marked difference in the look and feel of the magazine. It’s clear where the emphasis lies in each section and the format is easier to navigate. Added to that is a the more bold move toward a new content focus through the design of the printed publication. Some daring and provocative themes accompany this new design.”

Personal experience, long format: An award of excellence for “We bear the mark” by Ben Weakley

Of “We bear the mark,” judges wrote: “Extremely effective use of emotion throughout. Devastating. I cried more than once. I have rarely read a first-person narrative that was so self-aware and so effective at disclosing this awareness, little by little, to the reader. Outstanding.”

Critical review: An award of excellence for “The Book of (More) Delights” reviewed by Rose Schrott Taylor, digital content editor

Of the book review, judges wrote: “Dazzling for its energy and simplicity that packs a powerful punch.”

The ACP is a professional organization of member publications, including the Outlook, “with a commitment to excellence in journalism as a means to describe, reflect and support the life of faith and the Christian community,” according to its mission statement.