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Fall Program: September - December

Spring Program: February - May

Summer Program: June - July

Positions Available

Learn more about specific positions we offer through the Emerging Leaders Program.

Quick Facts

  • Stipend: $1000 (semester interns differ)
  • Housing: Grand Valley State University - Downtown Campus 
  • Duration: Summer Program = 8 weeks | Semester Program = 12 - 14 weeks
  • We accept Emerging Leaders Program applicants through the Charles Koch Institute (Koch Internship Program, Koch Fellowship Program, [email protected]). You can find out more and apply for one of these positions on the Charles Koch Institute webpage – you will select the Acton Institute during the application process.
  • If you have questions regarding the Acton Institute Emerging Leaders Program please visit our FAQ page or email [email protected].
  • You can refer a friend to the Acton Emerging Leaders Program.

Acton Emerging Leaders Program Details

Increase Your Understanding


We desire for all Emerging Leaders Program participants to leave their time with us better equipped to make a moral defense for free enterprise. We accomplish this through, at least, weekly scholar lunches on topics ranging from Hayek’s theory of social change to the purpose of education. Through these lunches--with scholars like Rev. Robert Sirico, Dr. Sam Gregg, Michael Miller, and others--program participants develop a robust understanding of the Acton Institute mission and vision. 


All program participants also attend Acton University which is our flagship conference which hosts over 1,000 leaders from 80+ countries every year. Emerging Leaders are able to select the classes they want to attend and network with more than 60 lecturers from around the world.

Gain Professional Experience


The Emerging Leaders Program is not your typical internship program. We provide all of our program participants with a rich work experience on real projects. Each participant interacts daily and substantively with leaders in their department. Past Emerging Leaders have published for the Acton Institute PowerBlog, provided research and guidance on publications, assisted programs with impact measurement and strategy, and developed new systems and processes for the Acton Bookshop. 

We also believe it is important to equip program participants with soft skills that increase their value in the job market. We do this through regular professional development seminars including how to appropriately interact in a professional environment, resume and cover letter workshops, and mock interviews. Through these seminars and workshops Emerging Leaders leave well-equipped to secure a job after graduation. 

Build Your Network


Through participating in the Emerging Leaders Program, you will become part of a network of more than 200 leaders who have participated in Acton’s summer student programming. Past participants have gone on to work in think-tanks, pastoral ministry, government, consulting, private enterprise, academia, humanitarian work, and entertainment. 

In addition to connections with past program participants, Acton Institute works to connect all program participants to young leaders in the broader West Michigan area through networking events and collaboration with other organizations.

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2019 Emerging Leaders Luncheon with Rev. Robert Sirico