Acton Notes - September/October 2011 Notes

Acton Unveils New Smartphone Apps

The Acton Institute Website is now available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android operating systems. By using the app, you have access to the following features: Lord Acton quote of the day, weekly commentary, events, Acton PowerBlog, contact, donation page, refer a friend, and about Acton.

According to Acton web coordinator David Lohmeyer, just over six percent of total Acton web traffic comes from mobile web browsers. The applications launched in late August of 2011.

In 2008, only about 1 percent of Acton's web traffic was the result of mobile devices and with that now at 6 percent, it made sense to invest in creating better access to the site for those users. Lohmeyer expounded:

The idea with our mobile apps is to bring Acton's mission and ideas to as many people as possible. Smartphones are being adopted at an exceptional rate, so rather than wait until later, we've decided to bring our content onto this new platform now. With a solid foundation in the mobile arena, we'll be able to create future projects using this base. By doing our development in-house, we're able to cut traditionally expensive app development costs.

If you own a smartphone, the best way to download the application is to search for the "Acton Institute" in the Android market and Apple store.

Users took to their social media accounts and pages to offer their thoughts on the new apps. Aaron Wong offered an endorsement, calling it "the premier iPhone app for the study of religion and liberty." Chris Marlink, social media manager for the Family Research Council in Washington D.C. praised Lohmeyer's work saying of the apps, "Very well done."

In other social media news at the Acton Institute, the Facebook page has surpassed 35,000 fans and the Twitter page now can boast 4,200 followers. Acton Notes reported that the institute had just over 1,000 fans on Facebook and over 300 followers on Twitter in the summer of 2009.

Android and Apple devices

2012 Novak Award Deadline

January 2012 marks the 12th consecutive year that the Acton Institute will have granted the Novak Award to an up and coming scholar who has demonstrated exceptional intellectual merit and academic interest in the relationship between religion, economic freedom, and the free and virtuous society. The $10,000 award is intended to reward scholars who are doing new outstanding research in advancing the principles shared by the Acton Institute and the award's namesake, the distinguished American theologian and social philosopher Michael Novak. The recipient will then present the annual Calihan Lecture at a public forum. This year's 11th Annual Calihan Lecture was given by the 2011 Novak Award winner Dr. Hunter Baker on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at Regent University.

Nominations for the 2012 Novak Award are being accepted from professors, university faculty members, and other scholars until the November 15, 2011 deadline. After nomination, eligible scholars then submit application materials to the Acton Institute by December 15. Further details of this and other scholarships offered by Acton's Research department may be found here.

Miller on 'Doing the Right Thing'

The Acton Institute's director of Media, Michael Miller, participated in a live national webcast on the topic of ethics on September 24 in Ashburn, Virginia. The event was titled "Doing the Right Thing: An Exploration of Ethics."

Doing The Right Thing
Michael Miller (center) speaks nationally on ethics

The panel also included Charles Colson, Del Tackett, Robert George, with noted author Eric Metaxas as moderator.

Miller was also interviewed by Ann Byle at the Grand Rapids Press where he declared,

'Doing the Right Thing' is building the case for thinking seriously about ethics and doing the right thing. I'll specifically address how we think seriously about ethics in the business world and how we apply our moral sense in making business decisions.

You can purchase 'Doing the Right Thing Curriculum' from the Acton Institute here.

R&L Interviews OCA Metropolitan

Metropolitan Jonah, the leader of the Orthodox Church in America, is interviewed in the Summer 2011 issue of Religion & Liberty. Metropolitan Jonah, who was also a keynote speaker at the 2011 Acton University, discussed the topic of asceticism and the consumer society. He declared in the issue:

When we see things in God and radiant with His presence, we're not likely to abuse them. So if we can have that perception, if we can attain that degree of spiritual vision, everything has its place in the creation and our stewardship of that becomes our fundamental duty.

Metropolitan Jonah
Metropolitan Jonah

Metropolitan Jonah also added that "Faith cannot be dismissed as a compartmentalized influence on either our lives or on society." In 2008, Bishop Jonah was elected as Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America. In his 2011 address at Acton University, he said, "the fruit of secularism is despair."

Acton Announces AU Online

The Acton Institute is launching AU Online, a new internet-based educational resource for exploring the intellectual foundations of a free and virtuous society. Slated for release alongside the 2012 Acton University registration that kicks off November 15, it is designed to offer the Acton community another way to experience the first class content and interaction of an Actonsponsored event while at home, at the office, or at school.

Participants in AU Online will have the chance to attend a live, online video presentation from anywhere in the world. Courses range from a single session to a multi-part series, and will be led by the same distinguished faculty who help make Acton events world class. Participants in AU Online also have the chance to get more out of the experience through forums, supplemental materials and live chat sessions.

The four-part pilot series of this initiative is designed as an introduction to the principles of the Acton Institute and will be held twice a week starting December 6-15 of this year. Through the Foundational Series, participants will be led through an examination of the relationship between Christian anthropology, liberty, government, economics, and Scripture in pursuit of a free and virtuous society.

Whether you are an alumnus of Acton programming or are just getting to know us, AU Online is a great resource to take advantage of to further your education and engagement with important topics and relevant issues.

Be sure to stay in contact with Acton's website,, for more information. For further questions about AU Online, please contact Michelle Hornak at

Additionally, you can still visit the Acton Website and purchase many of the lectures at Acton University for $1.99 each. Next year, Acton University will be from June 12-15 in downtown Grand Rapids.

Attend AUOnline, new in 2012