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Katie Wineland, a Bluffton University senior from Gibsonburg, Ohio, placed second recently in this year’s binational C. Henry Smith Oratorical Contest.

Her runner-up effort earned the biblical studies major a $225 cash prize and a scholarship to attend a peace-related conference or seminar.

In the event, which is open to students in Mennonite and Brethren in Christ colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, participants present speeches that apply the Christian peace position to contemporary concerns. In Wineland’s speech, "Speaking a Wor(l)d of Truth: Proclamation as Peacebuilding," she highlighted the role of gospel proclamation in building peace in the world.

She won the Bluffton competition with that speech in March, earning $175 and a spot in the binational contest. Judging the five speeches there were a youth ministries professor from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa., and Mennonite pastors from Hubbard, Ore., and Vineland, Ontario, Canada.

Administered by Mennonite Central Committee U.S., the contest was established in 1974 in honor of the late C. Henry Smith, a Mennonite historian and a professor at Bluffton and at Goshen College. A Goshen junior, Lauren Treiber, won this year’s contest with a speech on "The Real Occupy Movement: Understanding Capitalism in a Christian Context."

Wineland, formerly of Bowling Green, Ohio, is also one of the Fund for Theological Education’s roughly 40 Undergraduate Fellows this academic year. The Elmwood High School graduate, who has a minor in peace and conflict studies and certification in mediation, plans to enter a master of divinity degree program after graduating from Bluffton next spring.

Also seeking ordination in either the United Methodist Church or the United Church of Christ, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. and serve in ministry, she says, "at the intersection of church and academy."


Bluffton public relations, 11/1/12