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Grand Rapids, Mich. (March 14, 2005) - The Acton Institute for theStudy of Religion & Liberty was awarded one of the 2005 TempletonFreedom Prizes for Excellence in Promoting Liberty for its Toward a Freeand Virtuous Society conferences. The Institute, founded in 1990, wonfirst place in the Student Outreach category for what the Templetonjudges described as “outstanding work in improving students'understanding of the causes and consequences of individual freedom.” This is the second Templeton Freedom Prize awarded to the ActonInstitute, which won in the Ethics & Values category in 2004.

Rev. Gerald Zandstra, Acton's director of programs, said theTempleton Freedom Prize was a gratifying recognition of the importanceof the Institute's work. The Toward a Free and Virtuous Society conferences, one of Acton's foundational programs, offer seminarians andother future religious leaders an introduction to the moral foundationsof personal and economic liberty.

“By combining an in-depth treatment of economic principles withprinciples of social justice and anthropology, Acton Institute seminarsfocus on applying the foundational ideas of economic liberty to complexissues such as poverty, welfare reform, and globalization,” Rev.Zandstra said.

Named after the pioneer of international investing, Sir JohnTempleton, the Templeton Freedom Prizes reward the innovative work ofthink tanks in countries throughout the world. Along with the ActonInstitute, seven other think tanks were recognized by Templeton in fourcategories: Ethics and Values, Social Entrepreneurship, Student Outreachand Free Market Solutions to Poverty. The winning institutes in the fourcategories receive a $10,000 prize and the runners-up in each categoryreceive $5,000.

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation launched the Templeton FreedomAwards in September 2003 with a four-year pledge from the John TempletonFoundation. The pledge enables Atlas to reward public policy instituteswith more than $1.25 million in prizes and grants.

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at