In our twelve-year history, the Acton Institute has reached thousands of students through our various programs linking theology and economics. Many of these students have gone on to serve in religious leadership positions where they, in turn, are able to influence many others through a growing domino effect.
As we begin a new year of programming, I’d like to tell you about one student we met in early 1999. Anthony Bradley was studying at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and, as an alumnus of the Institute for Humane Studies, he valued the free market’s ability to recognize the intrinsic worth of each human. He attended our Toward a Free and Virtuous Society conference in Connecticut with the help of fellowship funds provided by a generous Institute donor.
After the conference, we invited him to fill an internship at Acton, and he spent the summer researching welfare and work. Anthony then returned to his studies, but when we asked him to help us with a new Religious Leadership Project, he gratefully accepted.
Since then, Anthony has been completing his doctoral research and assisting the Acton Institute in developing a network among church leaders. After achieving his doctorate next year, Anthony plans on becoming a seminary professor, where he will complete the circle by teaching his students social justice principles from a free-market perspective and referring them to Acton Institute programs.
In a 1999 letter, Anthony wrote, “I look forward to opportunities to preach and teach about these matters (economics and Christian principles). I hope continued support of the Acton Institute will produce an abundance of fruit in the future.”
That is also our hope as we expand our programs and conferences in 2003, with the goal that each life we touch will be changed and empowered to extend the voice of freedom and virtue.
Rev. Robert A. Sirico