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Campus Challenge

Has God given you abilities in music, art, literature, dance, public speaking, photography or videography? Are you ready to use your gifts to earn scholarship money for Southern Wesleyan University by competing in Campus Challenge?


SWU Campus Challenge is a program sponsored by Southern Wesleyan University to help students discover and develop their God-given talents to honor God in a life of service to Him. 


You can start competing as early as 12 years old and compete until the age of 19. You may not compete past the fall of your first year of collegeThere is no limit on the amount of scholarship funding you can earn and it can all be applied toward earning your degree at SWU.

Campus Challenge has been and will continue to be such a blessing on my life. Throughout the seven years I competed, I was able to earn almost $13,720 in scholarships! Not only this, but Campus Challenge prepared me in so many areas including performance etiquette, being comfortable speaking to large crowds, and developing my talents. It’s a part of my life that I’ll always cherish and never take for granted.

- Zach Wheeler, Class of 2020


Seventy percent of Campus Challenge entries earn scholarships averaging over $600. This means if you enter and qualify in five categories, you could earn over $3,000 in scholarships in just one year.  It is not uncommon for students to obtain thousands of dollars in scholarships during their years of competition. SWU is committed to providing these scholarships as a way to encourage students to discover and develop their talents.

Scholarships are awarded on three levels:

Junior Level (ages 12 – 15)

  • All superiors $300

Senior Level (ages 16 – 19)

  • 1st place, superior rating $1,000
  • 2nd place, superior rating $800
  • 3rd place, superior rating $700
  • All other superior ratings $600

Combined (ages 12 – 19)

  • Groups of 2-8 members, superior rating $200 per member
  • Groups of 9 or more members, superior rating $100 per member

All scholarship funds will be totaled and awarded proportionately each semester at SWU. All scholarships and grants (including Campus Challenge) not to exceed direct university cost.

Registration & Contact 

Click the link below to sign up for the upcoming Campus Challenge!

Registration coming soon


July 27, 2019


Southern Wesleyan University
907 Wesleyan Drive
Central, SC 29630

How Much

$35 per individual entry (students may enter in multiple categories)

Who to Contact

Rev. Gail Kerstetter:  

Campus Challenge Frequently Asked Questions

Can I compete once I’m in college?

Students may compete the summer/fall following your senior year in high school. Students are not eligible past the fall of the first year of college.

My friend at another church and I want to enter as a group. Can we?

As long as the group size is 8 or less. For groups larger than 8 all members must be from the same church.

The rules say I need copies of my entry for the judges. Can I make copies at the competition?

There may not be provision for copies at the competition.

What if I can’t find the original music for the piece I want to perform?

Students will be marked down for not having the original music.

What if I really want to perform that piece?

The student's score will reflect the deduction.

What exactly qualifies as the original music?

Original music is music that is published by a company and is arranged the same way it is performed. Students must provide the original book or sheet music. Local or online bookstores may be able to locate or provide the original music.




Participant Qualifications

  • AGE LIMIT – All participants must be within the approved age limit – 12 through 19 anytime during the year of the competition. Participants may compete the summer/fall following senior year in high school, but cannot compete past that fall.
  • REGISTRATION – Each participant must be registered and pay established entry fee.

Entry Qualifications

  • CHRISTIAN VALUES – Entries in all categories will be consistent with Christian values.
  • NUMBER OF ENTRIES – A participant may have no more than one entry per category, but there is no limit to the number of categories in which they may participate. Also, a participant may only participate in ONE GROUP per category.
  • REUSE OF ENTRIES – Participants may not reuse an entry for which they have been awarded a scholarship. A participant may not present the same entry in multiple categories.
  • SPECIAL EQUIPMENT – Any special equipment needed should be requested from the Campus Challenge Director two weeks in advance and is subject to availability. Other than a piano, Campus Challenge does not provide musical instruments for your performance.


  • TIME LIMITS – Presentation must not exceed 5 minutes except in the Oration categories. The timekeeper will inform the participant when to begin the performance. If the performance goes over the allotted time limit, two points will be subtracted from the final score.
  • SET UP – For performances where set-up is required (drama, etc.), a time limit of one minute will be allowed for set-up.
  • MEMORIZATION All participants must have their presentations memorized, with the exception of Instrumental Division Groups.
  • COPIES – All participants will submit five copies of their music/manuscript to the judges prior to the performance. ONE of the five will be AN ORIGINAL MUSIC/MANUSCRIPT of the arrangement performed by the participant. Failure to submit copies will result in an automatic disqualification (unless specified “not required”). Copies of these materials MAY be used for judging purposes only. Your photocopies will not be returned and will be destroyed after the performance. Downloaded music is acceptable provided a copy of the purchase receipt is attached.
  • ACCOMPANIMENT – All tapes/CDs submitted for performance must be original. If a track was downloaded from the internet, proof of purchase must accompany the track.
  • COPYRIGHT LAWS – Copyright laws prohibit the use of photocopies in performance, including by an accompanist. If a photocopy is used in the performance, the performer will be DISQUALIFIED. Downloaded music is acceptable provided a copy of the purchase receipt is attached.
  • UNPUBLISHED MUSIC – Unpublished music is acceptable provided it includes a lead sheet and melody line. Make a note on the music copies that the piece is unpublished.
  • NON-ENGLISH ENTRIES – Presentations in a language other than English must include a translation into English. Translations must be typed or printed clearly and provided to the judges with the five copies of music/manuscript.
  • CHRISTIAN VALUES – Entries in all categories will be consistent with Christian values. Music must be sacred or classical, appropriate for church music or to be performed in worship either historically or in contemporary practice, or any vocal music whose lyrics are Christian in context. See Category Rules for specific application.
  • SCORING CRITERIA – The official scoring sheets contain criteria on which each participant shall be judged. The participant is responsible to choose material that fits the criteria for the category. Each criteria will be scored on a numerical scale. The highest scores indicate the best performance.
  • ATTIRE – Campus Challenge is a scholarship competition. As such, a certain standard of dress is expected. Therefore, participants should keep the following guidelines in mind when choosing clothing or costuming appropriate for the competition:
    • You will be judged on the appropriateness of your appearance. An example of appropriate attire for men might be dress slacks and a collared shirt; for women, a pantsuit, dress, skirt or dress slacks and a nice top. (Exceptions: Dressing as a character for a dramatic presentation is an example of acceptable attire. Dressing in jeans and t-shirts because you are a “casual worship band” is not acceptable.)
    • Be careful not to dress in such a way as to inadvertently draw attention away from your performance.
    • When unsure, it is better to dress more conservatively.


Click on one of the sites below for access to helpful performance resources.

Creative Ministry Solutions
Provides quality puppets and supplies for Christian puppet ministry, blacklight, children’s music, gospel magic, clowning, ballooning, etc.

J.W. Pepper
You can search by instrument and they have an online catalog for sacred music.

Marshall Music
There is no online catalog, but you can place orders if you know what you want.  Store locations in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, and more.  They sell music for all instruments.
Download sheet music.  Includes a section for Christian music. 

Piano Lane
There is a section of sacred music, and it can be organized by solos or duets.