Center for the American Idea

Our Vision
Our American Idea Summer Institutes, Co-Sponsored Colloquia, and Socratic Seminars offer teachers of today a vigorous appreciation of the roots of American greatness—which includes free markets, constitutionally limited government, and ordered liberty—to pass on to the leaders of tomorrow. 

Our American Idea programs give teachers the opportunity, through a transforming encounter with the great books, to think more deeply about the subjects they teach and the relation of those subjects to the whole of knowledge and to the formation of character.  Our interdisciplinary approach to the study of economics, government, history, and literature reflects the classical understanding of man’s nature as an economic, social, and spiritual creature.  Self-knowledge and self-discipline, learning and the cultivation of virtue, have for all of the 2800 years of the Gr
eat Conversation been understood in the Western World as the keys to human flourishing and happiness. 

Teachers will be prepared to bring their students into the Great Conversation, to inspire them with their experience of the true, the good, and the beautiful, and cultivate in them the virtues of courage, temperance, wisdom, and justice.  Only thus are people empowered as free and responsible persons, able to govern themselves in the light of enduring moral truths.  Teachers will have the understanding and appreciation of the principles and history they need to pass on the torch of liberty.

“Will the moral and social order that Americans have known for two centuries and more endure throughout the twenty-first century? That may depend upon whether enough men and women in these United States, informed by the study of the institutions and convictions that have been developed over three thousand years, make up their minds to stand by the Permanent Things.”

-Russell Kirk

Our Mission
The Center for the American Idea educates teachers in the history and principles of the American Republic and of the Western Tradition.