2020 ACP Best of the Church Press Awards

Each spring, the Associated Church Press honors faith communicators’ best work published during the previous year with its ACP “Best of the Church Press” awards.

New and established newspapers, newsletters, magazines, journals, news services, electronic publications, blogs and websites earn kudos, as do the many excellent entries in social media and visual communications.

The Awards Committee has continued to improve the category selection, entry system and judging process to create the best contest experience for ACP members and non-members. Winners will be announced during the online spring convention, April 7-10, 2021.

Entries for the 2020 Best of the Church Press awards will be made using the online submission and payment system at https://www.judgify.me/ACP2020. The deadline for submissions is midnight (EST) February 28, 2021.


Click here to download the complete entry guidelines and Awards Booklet


What makes a winning “Best of the Church Press” entry? This PDF document shows some concrete examples: A look at ACP Award Winning Entries

Additional ACP Awards

The ACP occasionally confers awards of recognition to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of religious journalism:

  • The William B. Lipphard Award, for Distinguished Service to Religious Journalism. Open to ACP members and nonmembers.
  • and the Citation of Honor, for distinguished service by an ACP member.

The William B. Lipphard Award

This award was established by the Associated Church Press in 1966. It was named to honor Dr. William B. Lipphard (1887-1971), a long-time participant in ACP and its first executive secretary, serving from 1951-1961. The Award is given occasionally to recognize special achievement in the field of religious journalism. The Award is intended to be the highest honor which the Associated Church Press can confer. It is also the broadest inasmuch as its recipient need not be nor have been a participant in the Associated Church Press. The Lipphard Award is intended to honor individuals who have satisfied at least one of these criteria:

  • Have made distinguished contributions in the field of religious journalism over a significant period of time;
  • Have performed with unusual distinction, courage, or integrity in the religious press;
  • Have contributed influence which has markedly changed or advanced the ideals for which ACP stands;
  • Possess the personal qualities and talents held to be exemplary in the whole field.

The Lipphard Award is conferred upon the recommendation of a jury chosen by the Board of Directors upon nomination.  The following individuals have been recipients of The William B. Lipphard Award For Distinguished Service To Religious Journalism:

  • Alfred P. Klausler — 1974
  • Lillian R. Block — 1980
  • Penny Lernoux — 1990
  • Betty Thompson — 1994
  • Roger R. Kahle — 1999
  • John Stapert — 2016
  • Marv Knox — 2018

The Citation of Honor is for Outstanding Contributions to the ACP or Religious Journalism by an ACP member.

Citations of Honor are conferred upon individuals in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Associated Church Press and/or the field of religious journalism. Nominations should be sent to the Executive Director. Please include the names of two additional persons who are prepared to endorse the nomination. The Executive Committee will make its recommendation to the Board of Directors, which has authority to confer citations during a convention or at another specified time and place.

The following individuals have been recipients of ACP’s Citation of Honor:

  • C. Ray Dobbins — 1979
  • A. C. Forrest — 1980
  • Kenneth L. Wilson — 1981
  • J. Martin Bailey — 1984
  • Edwin H. Maynard — 1984
  • Willmar L. Thorkelson — 1984
  • Roland E. Wolseley — 1984
  • W. C. Fields — 1987
  • James A. Doyle — 1988
  • John Stapert — 1988
  • Ernie Homewood — 1989
  • Robert E. Burns — 1990
  • Wayne Cowan — 1990
  • Kenneth J. Holland — 1990
  • Arthur Moor — 1990
  • Donald F. Hetzler — 1991
  • Roland R. Hegstad — 1993
  • Jerry Hames — 2011

Past Awards

2019 Best of the Church Press Award winners and award certificates, presented via Livestream on March 19, 2020.

2018 Best of the Church Press Award winners and award certificates, presented at the 2019 Awards Banquet.

2017 Best of the Church Press Award winners and award certificates, presented at the 2018 Awards Banquet.

2016 Best of the Church Press Awards, presented at the 2017 Awards Banquet.

2015 Best of the Church Press Awards, presented at the 2016 Awards Banquet.