Friends News

Professor Earns Notable Fellowship

by Office of Marketing | Feb 19, 2014
Bill Clarkson, Ph.D.
Professor Bill Clarkson, Ph.D., Chair of the Business Department, was recently awarded the Kern Fellowship for Acton University 2014 (AU). This conference, which will be held in Grand Rapids, Mich. from June 17-20, is a unique exploration of the intellectual foundations of a free society. Illustrious faculty from around the world will guide the program, providing integrative education in rigorous philosophy, Christian theology and sound economics.
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty presents this program annually, in accordance with its mission. It was founded in April 1990 “to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” The yearly conference is offered to accomplish this very goal: for attendees to start learning about the assimilation of liberty, faith and free market economics.
"I am honored to have this opportunity again this year. It is an incredible blessing!"
The conference at AU is a highly sought after experience; hundreds of applicants make it very competitive to receive an invitation. In 2013, over 800 leaders, from many faith traditions, representing more than 70 countries, attended the conference. The fellowship is even more selective than the event itself; of about 800 leaders enrolled in the conference, less than 12% receive a Kern Fellowship. 

Sponsored by the Kern Family Foundation, the Kern Fellowship seeks to assemble a group of Protestant professors to address issues of social ethics, sound anthropology and economic understanding in American seminaries. Starting with attendance to the AU conference, recipients of this prestigious award are offered exceptional resources for use in their classrooms and in scholarly advancement.
Past involvement in AU has led to transformations in Clarkson’s own pedagogy as a business professor. “It’s definitely changed our curriculum for the positive,” he said. “We are asking, ‘How do faith and business intersect?’” It is natural for some to assume that, here at a Christian college, the business majors are doing their own thing, which is less evangelistic than the pastoral majors or even digital media majors. Furthermore, Clarkson asks, “'What is the second most prominent way to get into a closed country right now? The answer: business."