History, Memory, and Authority: How to Cultivate Holy Authority in the Classroom

"As a head of school I was delighted when a first year teacher I brought to the conference caught the vision at a deep level. That could only have happened at the level it did by the small, intimate environment of the Arete format. Thank you for understanding that reality and making it possible."
A. Aikens
Crossville Christian School, Crossville, TN


about Alcuin

Each year the Alcuin Fellowship conducts a retreat for up to 35 classical educators from around the country.  We purposely keep the retreat small to encourage great conversation and fellowship. There will be about three presentations from three of the Alcuin Fellows but the great majority of our time will be given to conversation, discussion, and fellowship.

Join us for the annual gathering of the Alcuin Fellows, academic leaders, and faculty from around the country as we gather to contemplate wisdom and discernment. We will all be reading Remembering the Christian Past (by Robert Wilken) and discussing it together. We will be considering such questions as these:

  • What is authority and how does a person come to have it?
  • How do we best remember the Christian past? 
  • What is the nature of memory and what is its relationship to authority?
  • How do teachers come to have a holy and compelling authority among their students?
  • What is the relationship between trustworthiness and authority?

Our Time Together

Pre-Reading & Interactive Discussion

Our time together will involve a deep-dive conversation (rather than passive lecture or tips & tricks). More than 50% of our time together will be discussion-based. 

Anyone interested in the history and philosophy of education will enjoy this discussion. We will talk about the readings, explore ideas, and discuss how it all integrates with the philosophy of classical Christian education.

Pre-Reading Assignment

The following readings are required for discussion.

  1. Remembering the Christian Past by Robert Wilken

Featured Speakers

Chris Perrin

Dr. Chris Perrin is the co-founder of Classical Academic Press, a classical education curriculum, media, and consulting company and serves full- time as the CEO/publisher. Through CAP, Chris serves as a consultant to schools across the country. He is a nationally-recognized author and speaker committed to the national renewal of the liberal arts tradition. He is the director of the Alcuin Fellowship of classical educators and has published numerous books, articles, and lectures. Chris is a lover of goodness, truth, and beauty wherever it is found.

James Davison Hunter

James Davison Hunter is LaBrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture and Social Theory at the University of Virginia. He completed his doctorate at Rutgers University in 1981 under the direction of Peter L. Berger and then joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1983. Hunter has written nine books, edited four books, and published a wide range of essays, articles, and reviews—all variously concerned with the problem of meaning and moral order in a time of political and cultural change in American life. In 2004, he was appointed by the White House to a six-year term to the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2005, he won the Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters. Since 1995, Hunter has served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Over the years, his research findings have been presented to audiences on National Public Radio and C-Span, at the National Endowment for the Arts, and at dozens of colleges and universities around the country.

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark, DLS, is the founder and President of The Ecclesial Schools Initiative, Inc. He believes his vocation as a Christian educator to be in service of the Church and the family as they seek to train children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Kevin’s Christian Classical Education experience spans 17 years, including 15 at The Geneva School, where he taught extensively and later became Academic Dean. He has been an Alcuin Fellow for the last 10 years and is also a teaching fellow at Templeton Honors College at Eastern University. Kevin earned a doctorate from Georgetown University that focused on liberal arts education and interdisciplinary practice, and he is the coauthor of the book The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education. Kevin and his wife, Taryn, have four children—Aubrey, Caedmon, Naomi, and Eleanor.