- The names of the composers are anonymous to both the volunteer judges and the Church of the Servant (COS) minister of worship. All paper and electronic submissions are directed to a contest administrator and the identities of the composers are not accessible by anyone at anytime other than by the administrator.
- The judges and the minister of worship review all entries independently of each other and evaluate and rank based upon the shared criteria as described in the Psalm Contest guidelines. Rankings provided by the minister of worship do not carry significant weight. The contest administrator does not participate in the rankings.
- The judges are solely responsible for selecting the winning entry. To select the winner, the judges meet to sing and discuss the entries focusing a majority time on where there is consensus regarding the best compositions. During this final stage, and in advance of the final meeting, each judge is explicitly invited to advocate for an entry they ranked highly but did not readily appear to receive majority approval. The minister of worship assists as a facilitator and pianist during the final discussion but does not otherwise participate in selecting the winner. The contest administrator is present for the discussion but does not participate in selecting the winner.
- In 2017 four of the five judges were members of COS. One judge was the pastor of worship and arts of another church in West Michigan. Three of the five judges had never judged the COS Psalm contest before.
If you have any questions or concerns about the selection process, we welcome you to direct your communication to Maria Stapert at firstname.lastname@example.org