Eastern University has received substantial external funding to establish a major new research initiative, The Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good, at its St. Davids campus. The Institute was established to nurture and sustain free and humane citizens and their service to the common good. Its purpose is to cultivate open and honest inquiry into the fundamental virtues, truths, values, and habits required for human flourishing within a free and ordered society, while promoting quality interdisciplinary research and programs.

Online PR News – 24-September-2010 – – The Institute will examine in particular the spiritual, moral, and cultural preconditions of free people and institutions in three major research areas: Freedom and the Good Economy, Liberty and the Good Society, and Human Dignity and the Good Life.

"The Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good will provide exciting opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff," said David King, Provost of Eastern University. "Through its cultivation of open, honest inquiry into pressing philosophical questions, the Institute will create new venues for the Eastern Community to pursue excellence in scholarship."

The first major program, Citizenship and Civic Responsibility, examines the tensions between post-national or global citizenship and the responsibilities owed to local communities and institutions of representative democracy. The research program will result in lectures and colloquia in a variety of locations, including the Philadelphia region and Eastern University, research grants for Eastern University faculty, collaboration with other universities and organizations, and the publication of original research by Institute staff.

In addition to research and development responsibilities, the Institute's co-directors will teach in the Templeton Honors College and are available to teach in the College of Arts and Sciences as well. Procuring research faculty and administrative staff will occur this year, and the Institute will be staffed and engaged in its research and programming by July 1, 2011. Dr. R. J. Snell, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Philosophy Program will serve as interim director.

"The common good rests on the moral and cultural backbone of civic society, those institutions and voluntary associations like the family, church, and community groups," said Dr. Snell. "Free and democratic institutions require free people educated in those virtues allowing cooperation in the pursuit of human flourishing. The Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good seeks to be a leading center of research to understand and promote human flourishing and its moral and cultural grounds."

Eastern is a Christian university of the arts and sciences that transforms its students' lives through education that is rooted in faith, reason and justice. Eastern enrolls about 4,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate, Seminary, professional, urban and international programs. The main campus is located at 1300 Eagle Road in St. Davids, PA. For more information about Eastern University, visit For more information about the Templeton Honors College of Eastern University, visit