2018 Essay Writing Contest



Catholic school students in grades 5 – 12 are invited to enter our annual essay contest! The contest is open to all students in Catholic schools – parochial, private and homeschool. We hope teachers and parents will incorporate this essay contest into their lesson plans and encourage their students to participate!


Thank you to all the students who participated in this year’s contest. The judges always learn something new from the essays and enjoy the youthful enthusiasm poured into them. Here are the winners:

Winners of the Second Annual  Catholic Textbook Project History Essay Contest, and their Awards: (more…)


To arrange an interview, obtain photos, or more information, please email Matt Sumers at: msumers@catholictextbookproject.com

Click here to read the latest posts from Catholic Textbook Project.

Press Releases

3/17/18 – Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., Discusses the Founding of Catholic Textbook Project on The Mentors Podcast

10/25/17 – New Video Shakes up Status Quo in K-12 History Textbooks, thanks to Catholic Textbook Project

10/17/17 – Catholic Textbook Project Announces Special Monikers for Catholic Schools using its History Textbooks

10/10/17 – Year-Over-Year Aggressive Growth for Catholic Textbook Publisher

10/02/17 – Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., Founder of Catholic Textbook Project In-Depth Interview by Catholic Business Journal

09/26/17 – Catholic Textbook Publisher Announces Fall 2017 I LOVE HISTORY History Essay Contest, Cash Prizes for Students and Schools

08/15/17 – Pamela Rains Joins Catholic Textbook Project Sales Team serving OR, WA and Canada

02/23/17 – Ginger Vance Joins Catholic Textbook Project Sales Team in Minnesota

02/06/17 – Catholic Textbook Project Posts Fall 2016 History Essay Winning Essays

02/01/17 – Catholic Textbook Project Announces Fall 2016 History Essay Contest Winners, Prizes

01/26/17 -  Teresa Chapman Joins Catholic Textbook Project Sales Team

01/19/17  -  Catholic Textbook Project Hires New VP Matt Sumers, Expands Sales Team

01/18/17  -  Catholic Textbook Project Mourns the Passing of Historian Kevin Starr

10/27/16  – Catholic Textbook Project Welcomes New Board Member Bishop Barron

09/14/16  – Third Annual Essay Contest Launched

09/03/16 – National RADIO INTERVIEW with CTP Founder Michael Van Hecke (Click below)

07/18/16 – Both CTP Founder and General Editor Featured Speakers at Two PA Conferences for Catholic Educators

06/16/16 – Catholic Textbook Project Posts Winning History Essays 2016

06/14/16 – Catholic Textbook Project Prominent at 2016 Midwest Catholic Liberal Arts Conference

05/30/16 – Announcing 2016 History Essay Winners

04/28/16 – Los Angeles Archdiocesan Superintendent Highly Recommends New CTP History Textbook for High Schools

03/23/16 – History Essay Contest Submission Deadline Extended!

03/16/16 – One Week Remains to Enter 2016 History Essay Contest

01/28/16 – 2016 History Essay Contest for Catholic Schools and Homeschools, Grades 5-12

01/14/16 – Catholic Textbook Project Announces 2016 History Essay Contest

07/09/15 – Catholic Textbook Project Announces 2015 History Essay Winners and Prizes

07/07/15 – New American History Textbook for Catholic High Schools Now in Print

06/10/15 – New Limited-Time Payment Options by Catholic Textbook Project Attracts Catholic Middle Schools

05/27/15 - Catholic Textbook Project Announces Expanded Outreach to Catholic Schools (pdf)

05/13/15 -  Vatican Taps Los Angeles Catholic Educator, Textbook Founder for Historic World Congress on Catholic Education (pdf)

04/16/15 -  Catholic Textbook Project Sponsors History Essay Contest for Students in Catholic Schools (pdf)

03/11/15 -   New HIstory Textbook Series for Catholic Schools Now in 51 Dioceses, Growing Fast (pdf)

02/25/15 -  Louise M. Davies Foundation Leads Expansion of New History Textbook Series  (pdf)

02/01/15  – History Textbook Company Extends Free Give-Away Beyond Catholic Schools Week  (pdf)

01/23/15 –   History Textbook Company Announces Free Give-Away During 2015 Catholic Schools Week  (pdf)

01/16/15  -   New History Textbook Series Gains Ground in Catholic Schools Nationwide (pdf)

06/30/04 -  New History Textbooks Take Story Approach to Teaching History (pdf)

07/22/03 –   First History Textbook for Catholic Schools in 40 years (pdf)

04/22/02 – Advance Notice of New Textbook (pdf)

In The News

05/30/15 – RADIO INTERVIEW—on EWTN’s The Catholic Business Hour, with host Dick Lyles (click to download MP3 file)

09/17/11 – “A 50-Year Breakthrough: History Textbooks for Catholic Schools”—The Official Catholic Directory 2011(pdf)

01/30/10 – RADIO INTERVIEW— on EWTN’s The Good Fight with Barbara McGuigan (Click on the XML button for “The Good Fight“)

09/10/03 – Religious Life interview with Michael van Hecke (pdf)

08/21/03 – Seeking Textbooks Fit for Catholic SchoolsEWTN (link)

08/28/03 – Lou Dobbs Tonight story - transcript from CNN.com (pdf)

08/21/03 – Zenit interview - transcript (pdf)

08/21/03 - Zenit interview at EWTN (pdf)

08/2002 – National Catholic Register (link)

04/2002 – “Fresh Tools for Teaching Old Truths” – Catholic Exchange (pdf)

Online History Classes

The Catholic Textbook Project’s Christopher Zehnder, M.A., will be teaching TWO online history courses for the 2014- 2015 school year through Homeschool Connections

One will be for 7th -9th grade students, using CTP text Light to the Nations I: A History of Christian CivilizationThis course examines how Christendom – the society founded on the Catholic Church and her Faith – came to be. It looks at the cultural, intellectual, historical, and religious foundations upon which Christendom was raised. It then examines the events of the Reformation through the beginnings of the 18th century – the period when the unity of Christendom in the Catholic faith was shattered. The course is divided into two parts: Part One (first semester) begins with a brief review of history before the birth of Christ and continues to the period of the Medieval Reformation in the 11th and 12th centuries; Part Two (second semester) continues the story, from the rise of nation states in the Middle Ages to about 1750.

Light to the Nations, Part I: Development of Christian Civilization (Textbook)

The second course will be for high school students, using CTP e-book Lands of Hope & Promise: A History of North America. This course examines the history of the major civilizations of North America from the discovery of America in 1492 to the 1970s. It will examine the events, cultural movements and ideas that led to the founding of the United States and contributed to its development as a major power and influence in both North America and the world as a whole. The course also examines the development of Latin America after the 18th century by examining concurrently the history of Mexico – and thus provides a counterpoint to U.S. history by looking at how the ideas that predominated in Anglo-America worked themselves out in a very different social and cultural context. In addition to the common themes discussed in standard American history courses, this course highlights the role of the Catholic Church and the Catholic faithful in U.S. and Latin American history and how Catholics adjusted themselves to a civilization that in many respects was very different from what they had known in Europe. The course is divided into two parts: Part I (first semester) begins with Columbus’ discovery of America and proceeds to the beginning of the U.S. Civil War; Part II (second semester) continues with the Civil War and concludes with the beginnings of the contemporary world in the 1970s.

Lands of Hope and Promise: A History of North America (Textbook)

These are live, interactive classes with grading and earned credit. For more information and to register go here.  There is a discount for registering before August 1st and classes fill up quickly.

More Free Classical Education Downloads

CTP President
Michael Van Hecke

Catholic Textbook Project President, Michael Van Hecke and ICLE Director Dr. Andrew Seeley spoke in Philadelphia on The Blessings of a Catholic Classical Education. Listen to the 45-minute talk with 60-minute Q & A here.

Dr. Andrew Seeley

Professor Seeley gave advice to the parents of St. John Bosco School in Rochester, NY on how they as the primary educators can foster their children’s classical education. Listen to The Role of Parents in Classical Education here.