"As a Co-Founder and Head of School of a young school in its fifth year, the timing of this retreat in my professional life was perfect. The conference gave me some breathing room and new eyes on our school as a whole. Thank you for all the preparation, energy and prayer dedicated to this professional growth experience."
K. Coyle
Colquitt Christian Academy, Moultrie, GA

about arete

The Arete Group celebrates gathering once again to continue our long tradition, joining with friends and peers from around the country to discuss living and leading with discernment. Every leader faces a remarkable range of decisions – some deliberative, some intuitive – but all requiring a thoughtful, prayerful approach. The implications and accumulation of our decisions define our leadership and the success of the institutions we lead. 

Join fellow heads of school, division heads, department leaders, board members, and other school leaders as we consider:  

  • How do we develop the skill of discernment?
  • How do we make sound decisions when the stakes are high and complexities immense?
  • How do we put the art of discernment into practice?
  • What does discernment look like on the ground, in the midst of our divisive, complex culture?


The focus of our time together is discussion as we learn to put theory into practice. More than 50% of our time together will be discussion-based. As we have in Arete retreats of the past, we’ll use the proven-model of Critical Friends collaborative sessions and work through case studies based on actual school challenges as we put our decision-making skills to the test.

  • Interactive Table Discussions
  • Work Groups – ”Critical Friends” interactive sessions
  • Case Studies
  • Panel Presentations
  • Refreshing Fellowship with Friends & Peers

Suggested Pre-Reading

Featured Speakers

Hannah Anderson

Hannah Anderson, winner of the 2018 TGC Book Award for Christian Living, is the author of several books including Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul and All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment. She lives with her family in the haunting Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. You can find more of her writing at sometimesalight.com, hear her on the weekly podcast Persuasion, or follow her on Twitter.

Dan Bryant

Dan Bryant received his bachelor and Juris Doctor degrees from American University, Washington, D.C., and his master’s degree from Oxford University (Keble College), England. Dan has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. He has served as a partner at Covington & Burling, Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy and Government Affairs at PepsiCo, Assistant Attorney General for both Legal Policy and Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice, and has taught law at George Washington University and Columbia Law School, New York. Currently, Dan is Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy and Government Affairs at Walmart, leading the company’s global public policy efforts and its government affairs activities in Washington, D.C.

Keith Nix

Keith Nix has served as the Head of School at the Veritas School in Richmond, VA since 2010. He now serves as President of the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Initiatives, as the Vice Chairman of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS), and was the prior Chairman of the Society for Classical Learning. He frequently consults with classical Christian school boards and leaders, and has served on the Board of the Virginia Council for Private Education since 2013. Prior to Veritas, Keith was a board member, and then later Head of School at The Westminster School in Birmingham, AL. He is a founding Arête Fellow and has facilitated the Arête Fellowship gatherings since 2009. Prior to working in classical Christian schools, Keith was President of Nixgroup, a boutique consulting firm working with start-up and early stage organizations and businesses. Mr. Nix plays tennis competitively, hopes to improve his golf game, and loves to read great books. He is married to Kim, an accomplished artist. The Nixes have two grown sons and a daughter in college.

Eric Cook

President of the Society for Classical Learning, Eric is also the Head of School at Covenant Classical in Fort Worth, TX where he has served for 12 years. Prior to Covenant, Eric was the Head of Upper School at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, VA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Transylvania University, and a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. He has taught history, political science, psychology, and philosophy in public schools, and served as an assistant principal for several years. In 2006, Eric felt called to join the classical Christian school movement and became the Middle and Upper School Head at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, Virginia. In addition to his leadership roles, Eric has taught apologetics, theology, philosophy of religion, and served as thesis director. Eric and his wife, Liz, have six children.