September 23, 2014

Acton Institute of Grand Rapids, Michigan was named one of eight finalists for this year’s prestigious Templeton Freedom Award for its annual Acton University conference on human dignity and free enterprise. Established in 2005, Acton University is a four-day conference that consists of lectures and hands-on training for pastors, teachers, and those who work in the field of poverty alleviation. Ample opportunities are provided for informal discussions on practical topics in free enterprise, human dignity, private charity, and entrepreneurship. No other conference attempts to bring together such a diverse group from around the world to immerse them in an exploration of virtue and individual liberty.

"One of the most gratifying things about Acton University is its international character and the growing participation of younger participants from the developing world," said Kris Mauren, executive director of the Acton Institute. "These young people know what hasn't worked in desperately poor places in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. They come to Acton University to find out what actually does work."

Mauren noted that the Acton Institute is honored to be a finalist for a distinction that honors a great man, Sir John Templeton, and is administered by one of the world’s most effective advocates for freedom, the Atlas Network.

Acton University's primary goal is to provide academic and community leaders with the intellectual tools to understand that liberty and dignity are rooted in the human person. During each seminar, distinguished instructors demonstrate how free enterprise, and the economic growth it entails, has a more lasting impact on communities than the common calls for redistribution of wealth by government.

Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award is named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition. The award is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust and will be presented during Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner gala dinner ceremony Nov. 13, 2014 in New York City. The winning organization will receive a $100,000 prize and the runners-up will receive $5,000.

The 2014 Templeton Freedom Award Finalists are:

Acton Institute: Acton University
CEPOS (Center For Political Studies): Private Property Project
Civismo: Low Taxes Campaign for Spain Campaign
Foundation For Government Accountability: Initiative to Limit Medicaid Expansion
Goldwater Institute: Education Savings Accounts
Illinois Policy Institute: Stopping an Unfair Progressive Income Tax
IPEA: One Million Youth for Mexico Campaign
Lithuanian Free Market Institute: Municipal Performance Index

The 2013 Templeton Freedom Award winner and finalists can be found here.

For media inquiries about the 2014 Templeton Freedom Award, contact Daniel Anthony.