Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2000-11-21

Samford University professors Michael DeBow and Dennis Sansom have received a $32,000 grant to support a course designed to teach students the virtues and challenges of human liberty. The Freedom Project grant was awarded by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.

DeBow and Sansom will teach an interdisciplinary course, "Freedom, Prosperity and Faith: Recent History and Possible Futures," during the spring 2001 semester. The course will focus on what happens to a prosperous culture, such as that of the U.S., particularly as it relates to politics and religious beliefs and practices.

The grant money will be used in part to host guest speakers in lectures that will be open to the public.

DeBow is a professor in Samford's Cumberland School of Law. Dr. Sansom is chair of Samford's Department of Religion and Philosophy.

In addition to receiving funding for the course, Freedom Project winners participated in a week-long seminar hosted by the Templeton Foundation at National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, last summer.

Nationally, $440,000 in Freedom Project grants went to 39 professors at 13 schools. DeBow and Sansom are the only recipients from an Alabama school.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.