HOUSTON – Featuring the theme “Markets, Government, and the Common Good,” the 2012 Free Market Forum took place October 4-6 in Houston. Over 150 faculty members and state economic policymakers attended presentations from speakers such as the Rev. Robert Sirico from the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty; Theodore Malloch from Yale University; and Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation. All those who incorporate free enterprise in their courses or research were encouraged to partake in this sixth Free Market Forum, which featured discussions on the international debt crisis, economics, immigration, America’s spiritual capital, and the gold standard. Faculty participants attended as guests of the Forum, with all travel expenses, food, and lodging provided.
Council for Christian Colleges & Universities faculty attended a Saturday morning session hosted by Ron Mahurin, CCCU vice president for professional development and research, and P. Jesse Rine, CCCU director of research and grants initiatives. It began with a prayer breakfast and devotional by Edward O. Blews, Jr., president-elect of the CCCU. Following the breakfast, CCCU participants heard from P.J. Hill, professor emeritus of economics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill.; Josh Good, program manager at American Enterprise Institute; Charles Grimmett, director of web media at the Foundation for Economic Education; and Hugh Whelchel, executive director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.
CCCU faculty also participated in a roundtable discussion of their pre-conference reading of Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics by Nicholas Wapshott. Along with the pre-conference reading, CCCU faculty had been encouraged to participate in an essay contest with the theme “F.A. Hayek and the Foundations of a Free Society.”
During the breakfast, the CCCU was pleased to announce the winners of the contest and give them time to present their essays. Kevin Brown, assistant professor of finance at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind., placed first with his essay titled “Spontaneous Order and the Imago Dei.” Runners-up were Marc Clauson, professor of history and law at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, with his essay “Friedrich Hayek's Ideas and the Christian Worldview: Contrast or Consistency?”, and Robert Roller, dean and professor of management at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio, with his essay, “Biblical Perspectives on The Road to Serfdom.”
To encourage participation in the Mini-Grants on Free Market Economics: Scholarship, Teaching, and Practice, participants heard from past winners of the mini-grants in a session titled “Teaching Free Market Economics in the Christian College Classroom.” The mini-grants offer small grants of $3,000-10,000 to individuals and teams of faculty to revise curriculum, design new courses, engage in scholarly research, or create opportunities for student-faculty work outside of the classroom focused on free market principles and practices. Attendees of the Free Market Forum are eligible and encouraged to apply for the 10-12 mini-grants to be awarded in 2013.
“The CCCU sees this faculty development program as one more way in which we can help advance Christ-centered higher education by investing in the teaching and scholarship of our faculty,” said Mahurin.
About the CCCU: The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 171 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world. The 118 member campuses in North America are all fully-accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 53 affiliate campuses from 19 countries are part of the CCCU. The Council’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit www.cccu.org.