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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 01, 2016 –Just in time for Acton University 2016, the Acton Institute has named Paul J. Bonicelli as director of programs at the Acton Institute where he will oversee educational and program outreach.

Bonicelli holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, an M.A. in Public Policy from Regent University, and a B.A. in English from the University of Memphis.  He served as executive vice president at Regent University, provost at Houston Baptist University, and dean of academic affairs at Patrick Henry College.  He began his teaching career as assistant professor of political science at Grove City College and has taught as an adjunct professor for the Rep. Bill Archer Fellows Program of the University of Texas in Washington, DC. He also served in President George W. Bush’s administration at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and was tasked with advancing the cause of political and economic freedom by means of U.S. foreign assistance.  He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, overseeing all foreign assistance programs in the region.  Bonicelli worked with the National Security Council and the State Department to devise and implement Bush’s Freedom Agenda. 

Also joining Acton’s staff are Trey Dimsdale and Dan Churchwell as director of program outreach and associate director of program outreach, respectively. These new roles will help to grow and engage Acton’s evangelical network, promoting the free and virtuous society in evangelical spaces.

Dimsdale holds a B.L.A. degree with emphases in Political Science, History, and Natural Sciences from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, and a M.Div. with an emphasis in Ethics from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he has also completed all course work for a Ph.D. in Ethics. He comes from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he served as the Associate Director and Research Fellow in Law and Public Policy for the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement. 

Churchwell holds an M.A., Biblical Studies from Central Baptist Seminary, Plymouth, Minnesota and a B.A., Counseling from Northland International University as well as a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from St. Thomas University.  His Graduate Study is from Biola University, with an emphasis in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. He was previously the Program Coordinator and Instructor for Leadership and Public Policy at the McGovern Center, in South Dakota.  

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