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Redesigned Evangel magazine wins three national EPA awards

Published on May 7, 2019 by Paul K. Logsdon

Pulitzer Prize winning writer Matt Hufman joined the staff of Evangel University last year, and his redo of the school’s magazine won three national awards this spring. (L-to-R): Eric K. Thomsen, EPA president; Lamar Keener, EPA executive director; and Hufman.

SPRINGFIELD, MO — The new Evangel magazine, which was unveiled last fall, won three national awards at the Evangelical Press Association’s annual conference held in Oklahoma City on April 7-9.

Evangel University, a first-time member of the press association, won the Award of Excellence for Higher Ed (Print) as the best Christian university magazine.

The magazine also won the top EPA award for Publication Redesign and won an Award of Merit for Most Improved (Print).

Evangel magazine represents our collective story as a university,” said Dr. Carol A. Taylor, Evangel University president. “Our students and alumni do incredible work here and around the world, and it’s thrilling to see their stories told well to the world in the magazine. We are grateful to the Evangelical Press Association for recognizing these stories.”

The magazine was re-envisioned and redesigned to include the stories of students and alumni of Evangel and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, as well as the alumni of Central Bible College. The three schools were consolidated in 2013, and the fall edition of the magazine replaced two alumni magazines — Vision, the longstanding magazine of Evangel, and Rapport, the magazine of AGTS.

The new Evangel magazine featured a new name, design, and structure and included alumni of Evangel, AGTS, and CBC.

Matt Hufman, the magazine’s executive editor, attended the EPA conference and accepted the awards on behalf of the university.



  • The Award of Excellence for Higher Ed (Print) means Evangel was judged the best in the nation among several larger institutions. The runners-up for the award included Fuller Theological Seminary in California and Dallas Theological Seminary. The judges praised the writing in the new Evangel magazine, saying, “You pull readers in with your stories” and called the design “fresh” and “appealing.” Overall, the judges said the magazine was a “100% improvement” over the previous edition and said the stories and design in the new magazine “will make alumni, students and faculty proud to be part of the Assemblies of God.”
  • The Award of Merit for Most Improved (Print) came in a particularly competitive category. A Focus on the Family publication won. Still, the judges praised Evangel magazine for the “radically different” design, which the judges said provided “an impressive reader experience.” The judges also noted the “solid” writing and appreciated the “conversations in the magazine” and “enjoyed what the authors had to say and found the publication to be informative.”
  • In Publication Redesign, the judges called the new magazine a “stellar redesign where every inch of the magazine is improved,” and they gave the work a perfect score! “Kudos to you all for making such a bold leap,” the judges wrote. “New name, new paper, new typefaces. Just excellent.” The judges added that the design “fits seamlessly with the content … (and) looks so much ‘smarter’ now.”

The Creative Team

Hufman, a 2017 AGTS alumnus, was hired last June to re-engineer the magazine and wrote the bulk of the magazine’s content. A credentialed Assemblies of God minister, Hufman is an award-winning journalist who has overseen redesigns and content strategies of several publications.

He was also part of the team at the Las Vegas Sun that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The new Evangel magazine, Fall 2018. (CLICK the cover to see the magazine.)

“The story of Evangel, AGTS, and the legacy of Central Bible College is one of good news,” Hufman said. “It’s not a hard story to tell. There are alumni who came to Springfield for their education and now are literally changing the world both here and across the globe.”

David Mayne and Beth Solano, both Evangel alumni, were integral to the new magazine and its success.

Mayne, who has a successful design business in Springfield and whose credits include work on the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, served as art director for the magazine. Solano has her own photography business in Springfield.

Hufman said Solano’s photography added brightness and a depth of emotion to the magazine, and Hufman credited Mayne with bringing a new dimension of storytelling through his fresh design.

Evangel produces a biannual alumni magazine. The Spring 2019 magazine is set to be released in early June.

View the award-winning magazine here.

Evangel University, which includes Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel serves more than 2,100 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 65 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.