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The purpose of this grant program is to enhance the effectiveness in the research and teaching of market economics for faculty at colleges, universities, and seminaries across the United States and Canada.

The Acton Institute invites proposals from faculty in one or more of the following broad categories:

  • Course development — specifically adding new courses or strengthening existing courses in the curriculum which address the nature, morality, and purpose of free-market economics. This may include courses that deal with religion and economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, political economy, ethics and economics, the history of economic thought, or other related subject areas.

  • Faculty research — identifying scholarly projects that show promise for advancing the understanding of free markets and, ideally, demonstrate how the free market relates to Christian faith and ethics.

2023 Mini-Grant winners>>

Download fact sheet>>

2023 Winners

Markets and Morality Course Development and Operation
Rachael Behr, Teaching Professor, Economics Department, Xavier University

Justice in Wages: A Catholic Account of the American Context
Brian J. A. Boyd, currently Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar, University of Notre Dame; beginning August 2023 Assistant Director, Center for Ethics and Economic Justice, Loyola University

Conference on Religious Liberty and Markets in Arkansas
Jason Jewell, Professor of Humanities, Faulkner University

ESG Versus Honorable Business
Allen Mendenhall, Executive Director, The Manuel H. Johnson Center and Associate Dean, The Sorrell College of Business, Troy University

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) Course
Mirela Oliva, Professor and Rudman Chair of Philosophy, Center for Thomistic Studies, University of St. Thomas, Houston

Harmel’s STEAM Engine: A Model for Business-Embedded, Skilled Trades Education
David Michael Phelps, Executive Director and Andy Beach, Director of Manufacturing Services, Harmel Academy of the Trades 

Economic Ethics in Judaism and Early Christianity
Todd Scacewater, Assistant Professor and Chair, College of International Studies

Catholic Social Thought and Environmental Economics
Michael V. Szpindor Watson, Assistant Professor of Economics, Director of PPE, Belmont Abbey College

Application Components

Each application shall consist of three brief components – an overview, a narrative, and an appendix:

1) The application overview shall be a maximum length of one page and shall include the following:

  • Project title, name, position, institutional affiliation(s), and contact information for the Project Director. In the case of a team, all grant-related correspondence from the Acton Institute will be directed to the Project Director.
  • Project abstract (maximum of 200 words, single spaced).

2) The application narrative shall be a maximum length of two pages and shall include the following:

  • A statement on the proposed theme for the project, including an indication of how the project will be informed by Christian perspectives.
  • A proposal for activities to be funded by the grant, with a timeline.
  • A cost breakdown for each activity.

3) The application appendix shall be a maximum length of one page and include the following:

  • A summary Curriculum Vitae (CV) for the Project Director.

Only applications submitted electronically by March 31 will be considered. Applications are now closed.

Evaluation Criteria

Successful grant proposals will have:

  • A clearly defined topic that the project intends to address, and an explanation of how this promotes the knowledge and teaching of free-market economics.
  • A clearly defined objective for the project.
  • A clear project budget directly related to the project’s proposed activities.


Important Notes

Award Communication: All award decisions are communicated via e-mail from Grants-Awards. Please ensure this email is on your safe recipient list to ensure timely delivery.

Application Submission: Applications must be submitted electronically.

Limited Funding: Since this is a competition in which many worthy applicants participate, no one should presume funding.

Performance Assessment: Like similar organizations, the Acton Institute does not enter into discussions with unsuccessful applicants concerning the particular reasons for their denial.

Eligibility: Only faculty working at universities, colleges, or seminaries within the USA or Canada may apply for these grants.

Program Questions: Additional questions may be sent to Grants-Awards.

Legal: All qualified individuals will be considered for the Mini-Grant program without regard to race, sex, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, religious affiliation, or disability. Award decisions by the Acton Institute are final and are not subject to appeal.

How to Apply

The 2024 application period is now closed.