Category: Programs

This post will be updated and bumped as more audio becomes available. Newer audio appears at the bottom of the list.

Acton University 2007 came to a close this evening with another stirring address by Rev. Robert Sirico which capped a great week in Grand Rapids for all involved. It’s getting late and I can’t hope to top what Father Robert had to say this evening, so I’ll refer all of you to the audio link below.

It’s always a relief when we come to the end of what is without a doubt the busiest week of the year for Acton’s Grand Rapids staff, but there’s a hint of sadness as well as we have to say good bye to so many people who have come to our hometown to engage in this remarkable conference. Over the next 24 hours or so, many of our new (and old) friends will be heading back to their various corners of the world via automobile and airplane, and we send along our prayers for traveling mercies for each and every one of them. I think I can speak for everyone at Acton in wishing all of our alumni the best in their various endeavors, and in hoping that we’ll see them again in the future.

Today’s lectures from Acton University 2007 (updated as more audio becomes available):

Random AU Pic of the Day

I just made Kara Eagle’s Supergirl socks famous.

A contingent from Austria that attended last year’s Acton University produced a video on their experiences:

Want to learn more? Register for next month’s Acton University 2007 (June 12-15, 2007) today.

Applications are also open next month for the Toward a Free and Virtuous Society conference to be held in Sonntagberg, Austria, Sept. 20-23, 2007. Applications will be accepted June 1-July 1, 2007.

Applications and nominations are now being accepted for the 2007 Catholic High School Honor Roll, a program of the Acton Institute. The extended application deadline is May 31, and it is free for schools to participate. The purpose of the Honor Roll is to recognize and encourage excellence in Catholic education. The Honor Roll is an annual list of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States, where schools are examined on the criteria of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education. It is viewed nationwide by parents, clergy, the media, donors, and educators. All applicant schools receive detailed evaluations and are eligible for a $1,500 scholarship.

Learn More:

The Honor Roll is published and publicized nationally, and has come to serve as a resource for parents, schools, and donors. A school’s placement on the Honor Roll, or on one of the honorable mention lists, will distinguish it as one of the finest schools in the nation. The purpose of the Honor Roll is to recognize and encourage excellence in Catholic education. As such, no applicant school will receive negative mention.

Since the Honor Roll’s inception in 2004, schools have found that placing on the Top 50 list is powerful publicity. Whether it is with media coverage, institutional recognition, or praise from the local community, schools are seeing increased enrollment, energized staffs, proud donors, and a tremendous marketing opportunity. More than 200 media stories have helped highlight the good work Catholic high schools do.

The application extended deadline is May 31, and it is again free for schools to participate. All of the nearly 1,400 Catholic secondary schools in the United States are eligible to apply. Schools can apply by returning the three surveys that were recently sent to schools in an application packet, or schools may apply online at If a school completes each of the three surveys online, it will be entered in a drawing for $1,500 in scholarships. Last year’s winner was Marian High School in Mishawaka, IN.

A new feature in 2007 is the ability for anyone to nominate a school. If you think a certain school deserves to be recognized, nominating them will ensure they know about the Honor Roll and are given the chance to participate.

There is one additional opportunity for schools this year. Every school that completes each survey will receive a detailed, comprehensive evaluation that gives feedback, offers tips for improvement, shows where it stands amongst its peers, and details its strengths and weaknesses. This evaluation alone will be worth the time it takes to apply.

The primary goal of the Honor Roll is to encourage schools to educate students as effectively as possible, in a way that integrates Catholic faith and prepares students for active engagement with the world. By supporting this constructive competition, the Honor Roll provides insight into the character of Catholic secondary education and calls everyone to improve the academic and spiritual formation given to America’s youth. In promoting rigorous education, the Honor Roll desires to better prepare students for fruitful vocations in politics, business, and the Church.

Dr. Michel Casey – Clicking this link will open a new window with a video player.

Dr. Michael Casey was in Grand Rapids today to deliver the first address of the 2007 Acton Lecture Series, which was entitled The Religion of Politics. Dr. Casey is a Permanent Fellow at the John Paul II Institute, Melbourne, Australia, and Private Secretary to Cardinal George Pell, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. He is currently serving as a Visiting Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and was also awarded the 2002 Novak Award by the Acton Institute for his contributions to thinking that concerns the relationship between religion and economic liberty.

In his address, Dr. Casey examines the marginalization of traditional religious believers in political debates in the west as well as the ascent of secularist thinking that, far from ending the influence of religion on society, has almost become a religious system in its own right.

You can listen to today’s lecture by clicking here (12 mb mp3 file).

[Update: Video of Dr. Casey’s lecture is now available through the link above.]

Blog author: jballor
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Winners of the 2005 Acton Essay Competition have been announced. The topic for the 15th annual competition:
The human person, by virtue of being created imago Dei, is an independent being, individually unique, rational, the subject of moral agency, a co-creator, and inherently social. Accordingly, human persons possess intrinsic value and dignity, implying certain rights and duties with respect to the recognition and protection of the dignity of themselves and other persons. These truths about the human person’s dignity are known through divine revelation, but are also discernible through reason.

Kony Kim, Master of Arts student in Theological Studies at Westminster Seminary California, took first place with the essay titled, “Imago Dei: The Transcendent Basis of True Liberty and Just Authority.” Read Kim’s essay and all of the other finalists at the competition homepage.

One of the articles provided to be used in the formation of these essays was a chapter from Alberto Piedra’s Natural Law: The Foundation of an Orderly Economic System (Lexington, 2004). Piedra’s book was recently reviewed by Matthew Lee at Mere Orthodoxy, who writes, “Piedra is well-read and the book is well-researched and thorough. I would highly recommend it to any interested reader, and suggest that readers interested in having a robust Christian worldview carefully consider his arguments.”

The nomination process has begun for this year’s Novak Award. Named after theologian Michael Novak, this $10,000 prize rewards new outstanding research into the relationship between religion and economic liberty.

We encourage professors, university faculty members, and other scholars to nominate those who are completing exceptional research into themes relevant to the mission and vision of the Acton Institute. Suitable nominees will have received their doctorate in the past five years or be a doctoral candidate working closely with themes relevant to the Novak Award’s goals.

The closing date for nominations is October 10th. For more information, please visit our Novak Award page.

The Acton Institute has announced the honorees for the 2005 Homiletics Award, on the text of James 5:1-6, “The Warning to Rich Oppressors.” In first place ($2,000) is Earl Eckbold, a Master of Divinity student at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. In second ($1,000) is Steven deBoer, a Master of Divinity student at Calvin Theological Seminary. Finishing in third place ($500) is Ken Krause, a Master of Divinity student at Calvin Theological Seminary. Gabe Gilliam, a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Kenneth Gosnell, a Master of Divinity student at Regent University, received honorable mentions.

You can read the manuscripts or listen to the audio of all the entries at the 2005 Homiletics Award page.

Blog author: jballor
Monday, June 20, 2005

The first Acton Institute Summer Symposium was held last week, and John H. Armstrong, president of Reformation & Revival Ministries, gives a report. Here’s an excerpt:

The group I am attending is titled, “Business, Faith and Ethics.” It is part of Acton’s Center for Entrepreneurial Stewardship. I have been in a room with twenty-five successful business entrepreneurs and one other mission related person, a leader in the Christian Reformed Church. This is not my normal venue so it has been fun to sit back, say very little, and seek to better understand a world quite apart from my own Christian non-profit mission.