A Model of Leadership Education, Part 5: The Proposalwebdev
This is part 5 of an 8-part article.
Read Part 1 Here
Read Part 2 Here
Read Part 3 Here
Read Part 4 Here
The Monticello College Proposal
The day will again come when this nation will stand at a vital crossroads, and only statesmen of the caliber of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln will be able to take it in the right direction. When that day comes, Monticello College graduates will be prepared to lead like the Founding Fathers did.
At no time in the history of the world have we needed the wisdom and body of knowledge of the Founding Fathers and their generation more than we do today, yet at no time has it been less studied or applied.
Not only do we need to know and utilize what the Founders knew in order to renew and perpetuate liberty for our children and grandchildren, but we desperately need new American founders now in our generation like Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and so many others of their time.
These men and women were educated in a unique way, using a certain set of educational methods and readings. When we stopped using the founding method of education in the U.S., we stopped getting these kinds of results in significant numbers—and our liberties began to slip away.
Monticello College re-introduces this kind of new American founding education to the 21st Century. It follows the same model, which trained the American founders and other great statesmen through history including such luminaries as Cicero, Gladstone, Burke, Lincoln, Gandhi, and Churchill.
There is a critical shortage of George Washington-level leadership in America. While the hand of Providence seems obvious in the preparation George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and others, it is also true that our world will yet face challenges bigger than those faced by Washington—and the future leaders reserved for these challenges—the Washingtons of our generation will meet and overcome those challenges, only if they have similar preparation.
The need for great leadership can only be met by the rise of great leadership training.
Others will step-up to prepare the Washingtons and Jeffersons of the 21st Century, and if we do our part the future of the world will be a legacy of virtue and freedom. Monticello College is leading out in this effort and we are fulfilling our mission with our new Monticello College campus—where 1,000 students at a time will be trained to lead the way Washington and Franklin were trained to lead—And it will change the world again.
To better understand this Renaissance in American education, allow me to detail the specifics of Monticello College:
The Mission of Monticello College
Monticello College is dedicated to cultivating an education and environment that foster public virtue, induce moral character, and emulate the courage and foresight of the American founding period, preparing our graduates to guard the principles of liberty.
Public virtue, self-sacrifice and the concept of disinterestedness are synonymous. Public virtue is an 18th century upper-class social trait that was honored and valued similarly to the idea of chivalry during the medieval period. Dr. Oliver DeMille defines public virtue well in his writings when he states that, “In 1776 the term public virtue meant voluntarily sacrificing personal benefit for the good of society.”
Induce Moral Character
The word “induce” has the connotation of leading by persuasion or example, to influence another. This is precisely what we intend to do—persuade our students to build strong moral character by way of exposure to the liberal arts and service, mentors worth emulating, and an environment that teaches self-reliance and the value of the power of observation.
Emulate Courage and Foresight
Our national history is replete with examples of bravery and prudence, perseverance and wisdom, tenacity and ingenuity. However, current American society is seeing these virtues disappear in a drought of cultural Americanism. 18th and 19th century American education was the primary source of the courage and foresight we wish to have our students re-discover. It is to that example we turn to reclaim the bravery and public virtue of America’s founding period.
Guard the Principles of Liberty
Defending the philosophy that the only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law is a fundamental purpose of Monticello College. Natural Law can only be fully appreciated and benefited from in a state of liberty. Liberty is the political state in which rights are well known and protected. A state of liberty protects families, business and commerce, religion, innovation, local governance and the social order. Liberty can only exists where there is a citizenry of freedom loving people and an liberty-educated electorate. To this end we strive.
Monticello College aspires to create a citizen-legacy of New American Founders. Its graduates, regardless of their station in life, are trained to approach all challenges and opportunities from a perspective of independent intellect and self-reliance within a framework of cooperation and conscientious service.
Building New American Founders
George Wythe, Benjamin Rush, and John Witherspoon were among the greatest teachers of the Founders. They personally mentored Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, James Monroe, Henry Clay, and the vast majority of senators, congressmen, judges, governors, and local officials over a 50-year period. They were involved in the adult education of George Washington, John Adams, and more than twenty leading Founders. George Wythe introduced moot courts and mock congresses to America and focused his entire teaching method on study of the classics under the guidance of a wise mentor with an eye toward application to current events. John Witherspoon and Benjamin Rush did the same for James Madison and a generation of American founders. It is no exaggeration to say that their teaching hugely impacted the founding era and without their influence, the U.S. Constitution would not be what it is.
Building leaders takes time. But in our world, time is money, so if it can’t be done quickly and cheaply, it’s out of vogue.
That’s too bad.
50 years of the fast and shallow approach to leadership has left us with a tumbling economy, a self-destructive culture, and a nation headed for ruin. However, we believe that it’s not too late. We believe that the original American Founders gave us the means to right our ship of state and culture, and the mandate to “set on a hill” the greatest liberty and happiness that mankind has yet to enjoy. But it takes true leadership. It requires sacrificing and hard working leaders who will put the people and their state/nation ahead of themselves. Where are such leaders found? How are they created?
Five Rules for Building Leaders
In a true liberal arts environment, the mentor serves one primary purpose:
A Model for Emulation.
Mentors, in the true spirit of the liberal arts may lecture, challenge and lead students to become better writers, ask penetrating questions, and cause deep reflection—but their greatest contribution is living an exemplary personal and public life that reflects the virtues and values so often extolled in the classics.
Honestly, it is difficult to find such mentors in the 21st Century, but that is our task. We select only those individuals as mentors who embody and live by a code of conduct and a set of truths that we wish to inculcate in our students. Academic prowess is important, but personal integrity is vital.
Thoughtfully considering Shakespeare or Milton is valuable, but living a life of service is of greater consequence. Understanding the complexities of Aristotle’s Ethics, Euclid’s Elements and Plutarch’s Lives can have life long application, but they are of no comparison to living a life of fidelity, disinterestedness and frugality.
Who our mentors are—is even more important than how or what they teach. We can direct the curriculum; we cannot dictate how a person lives his or her personal life. Our mentors are properly prepared academically, if at times non-traditionally.
They are often successful in a field outside of standard academia. But they are all well versed in the curriculum and passionate about living a good life, fulfilling their own personal missions, and about helping to prepare the next generation of American Founders.
Monticello College stands on the belief that the original American Founder leadership was the product of a particular educational system, known to the great leaders of the past, but lost to modern academia. It is a principle-centered process grounded in the belief in God and immutable moral law, framed on the classics of literature, history, science, the arts, and philosophy and crowned in the discipline of real-world application under the guidance of a committed and caring mentor.
Subjects Covered in Our 4-year Liberal Arts Degree:
Comparative Religious Studies
Negotiation and Diplomacy
Protocol and Etiquette
The foundation of our curriculum is the Great Books of the Western World. We supplement that set of classics with additional literature, history, applied science and mathematics, the fine arts, debate and extemporaneous speaking, simulations, lots of outdoor classroom time, and Trek (outdoor adventure).
A 40-hour study week is our standard. Hard work, independent thinking, self-reliance, the challenge of excellence, and an acknowledgement that there is a God/or higher power, are all part of our curriculum.
Building leaders is a time consuming, costly, delicate, and very personal business. As students pore over the classical works of the greatest men and women of history, the Great Ideas become part of their very being. Mentors are more than teachers. They become guides, counselors, friends, and sometimes parental figures. In an effort to reinforce the truths of the classics and provide world-class mentoring, all first-year and second-year students will be provided single gender dormitories with live-in mentor family supervision.
Leadership is not something to be worn like a coat. It must be what and who one is. Leadership training requires a 24/7 environment to inculcate the mental and physical habits of living “disinterested,” productive, and legacy-oriented lives.
“He believed that the sky had a moral function, and that contemplating it induced wonder, a sense of possibility without limit, and inspiration. And he believed that on the High Plains, scoured clean beneath the unbordered canopy of the sky, an American might still dream largely and uncynically. In one of his final notes he left an instruction that the daily curriculum “require and guard zealously a time, of a hour at least, daily, of contemplative solitude. It should be outside for all but the worst months of the year, and the students are to have no books with them when they are alone for such times.” Josiah Bunting – An Education for Our Time
The greatest results from America’s greatest schools occurred when they were small, obscure, and of a remote nature. To meet perhaps America’s greatest need ever, we must return to the model that originally formed us to be the greatest nation on earth.
Monticello College is nestled in the eastern shadow of the Blue Mountains. Surrounded by the wonders of nature, students and faculty can access some of the most remote wilderness of the Colorado Plateau by simply entering one of 3 campus trailheads that lead into national forest.
Many famous Americans have written of the healing and transforming power of nature— Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Samuel Clemens, John Wesley Powell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Gene Stratton-Porter, among others.
Nature is solitary, rugged, unforgiving, exacting, beautiful beyond belief, self-reliant, demanding, vigilant, extreme, resourceful, and self-evidently dependent on the laws of nature.
One need not spend much time on our mountain campus before beginning to learn the lessons that nature has to teach—lessons that build leaders who lead with wisdom and vision. Leaders who know the value of self-sacrifice. Servant-leaders who through personal experience, understand what climbing a mountain means, and the value of reaching the top. Leaders who know when to be patient and long-suffering, and when to strike with full force.
Monticello College promotes service. Leadership training demands it. We favor the college version of the Rotary International Service Club called Rotartact, but any type of regular service will yield the same result. Service is absolutely required in the development of leaders. It builds empathy, compassion, the resolve to do hard, uncomfortable things, and to voluntarily put in long hours without personal compensation other than the satisfaction of putting others before oneself. At the risk of stating the obvious—service is required to create servant-leaders.
Spending lots of time serving widows, orphans, grandparents, the elderly, the sick, or any who are down or struggling, volunteering for church groups, city or county government, or creating innovative means of helping the community at large should be the focus of much of the leader-in-training’s non-academic time.
Historically, service creates community—the harder the times, the more community is needed. Alumni and other men and women of vision will soon be providing the means for our on- campus students to study without tuition concerns. One of their primary motivations is to see copious amounts of service being performed by our students.
To Be Continued…
[…] Read Part 5 Here […]
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