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June 15-18, 2022

Dallas, TX & Virtual

About the conference

Beauty

What is it? How does it shape our instruction?
How does it influence school culture and our affections?
Does it draw our students into wonder and worship?

Recovering Beauty

Classical Christian educators affirm the classic transcendentals of truth, beauty, and goodness. However, among these three, beauty is perhaps the most misunderstood and neglected. Recovering the right framework for and participating in beauty is necessary to attaining the soul formation we desire. What does this require? 

For this year’s conference, we have assembled scholars and educators from around the country to provide a robust and compelling understanding of this rich topic. We will explore the role of beauty in the arts, in the classroom, in shaping affections, and as a means of drawing others to truth. Speakers will draw from the classical Christian tradition to challenge each of us to see and experience beauty in order to help our students do the same.

The Tears of Saint Peter by El Greco
Plenary Speakers

All Plenary Speakers will be in person in Dallas, TX

Beauty, Inspiration, and Aspiration
Robert P. George

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
Princeton University

A Hopeful Approach to the Woke Movement in Education
Margarita A. Mooney

Professor of Practical Theology
Princeton Theological Seminary

Why Beauty Matters in Education: The Classical View
Dana Gioia

Poet & Critic

Beauty and Belief: The Apologetics of Culture Care
Justin Ariel Bailey

Professor of Theology
Dordt University

Harmony of the Parts
Brian Williams

Dean
Templeton Honors College

The Black Intellectual Tradition
Chris Perrin interviews:
Anika Prather and Angel Adams Parham

Authors of The Black Intellectual Tradition

Our Cultural Moment:
Challenges and Opportunities for our Schools

David Kinnaman

CEO
Barna Group

How Do We Build Community in a Broken World?
Keith McCurdy

CEO and Founder
Total Life Counseling
Pre-Conference Tracks

The SCL Pre-Conference is June 15th. This in-depth day of learning features all day workshops that equip and inspire teachers, leaders, and administrative staff around specific topics focused on helping you navigate the important issues in our world and in our schools. 

All Preconference Speakers will be in person in Dallas, TX

Board 101

Led by Keith Nix & Leslie Moeller

Protecting Our Students & Averting Risk

Led by Gregory Love

Beauty in the Liberal Arts

Led by Jessica H. Wilson & Margarita A. Mooney

History and Philosophy of CCE

Led by David Diener

A Culture Shift:
Emotion as a Broken Compass

Led by Keith McCurdy

Leading Schools
in a Contentious Climate

Led by Chris Perrin & Head of School Panel

Classical Campus Clinic

Led by Christopher Miller

Authentic Assessment

Led by Carrie Eben

a conference about beauty

Schedule

We know how valuable your time is, so we scheduled the entire event around content and conversation.

All times are in Central Standard Time

Pre-conference

Wednesday, June 15

  • Coffee & Fellowship 8:00 AM
  • Session I 8:30 AM
  • Session II 10:15 AM
  • Lunch 11:30 AM

    On your own in Dallas, TX

  • Session III 1:30 PM
  • Session IV 3:00 PM
  • Dinner 6:00 PM

    On your own in Dallas, TX

Main Conference: Day I

Thursday, June 16

  • Coffee & Fellowship 7:00 AM
  • Plenary I 8:00 AM

    Speaker: Margarita A. Mooney

  • Affinity Group Meetup 9:45 AM

    Click here to learn more

  • Breakout I 10:45 AM
  • Lunch 12:00 PM

    Box lunch provided

  • Plenary II 1:15 PM

    Speaker: Robert P. George

  • Breakout II 2:45 PM
  • Head of School Reception 5:00 PM
  • Dinner 6:00 PM

    On your own in Dallas, TX

Main Conference: Day II

Friday, June 17

  • Coffee & Fellowship 7:00 AM
  • Plenary III 8:00 AM

    Speaker: Justin Ariel Bailey

  • Breakout III 9:45 AM
  • Breakout IV 11:00 AM
  • Lunch 12:00 PM

    Box lunch provided

  • Plenary IV 1:15 PM

    Speaker: Dana Gioia

  • Breakout V 2:45 PM
  • Affinity Group Reception 5:00 PM

    Click here to learn more

  • Dinner 6:00 PM

    On your own in Dallas, TX

Main Conference: Day III

Saturday, June 18

  • Coffee & Fellowship 7:00 AM
  • Plenary V 8:00 AM

    Speaker: Brian Williams

  • Breakout VI 9:45 AM
  • Breakout VII 11:00 AM

Conference Worship leader

Beauty Through Worship
Stanton Lanier

Pianist and Composer
Atlanta, GA
Register Today

Don't miss out! Tickets are going fast.
75% of rooms are currently booked.
We suggest booking your room quickly.

In-Person Ticket Options

Preconference

$ 180 Per Ticket
  • Additional 10% off for Members
    *Check your email for discount code

Main Conference

$ 510 Per Ticket
  • Additional 10% off for Members
    *Check your email for discount code

Conference Group

$ 414 Per Ticket
  • Additional 10% off for Members
    *Check your email for discount code
  • Group Rate vaild for 10 or more!

Virtual Ticket Options

Preconference

$ 79 Per Ticket
  • Additional 10% off for Members
    *Check your email for discount code

Main Conference

$ 190 Per Ticket
  • Includes all plenary sessions live-streamed and 35 workshops:
    5 live-streamed in each breakout session via the Whova App.
  • Additional 10% off for Members
    *Check your email for discount code

Virtual Group

$ 99 per ticket
  • Bring your whole team!
    (10 or more for $99 EACH)
  • Includes all plenary sessions live-streamed and 35 workshops: 5 live-streamed in each breakout session via the Whova App.

Cancellation Policy: All cancellations are subject to a $100 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after May 16, 2022.

Traveling to the conference?

Thank You to Our Platinum Sponsors

join the scl today!

want to volunteer?

FAQs

Our event will be in line with the requirements of our hotel and the state of Texas. Masks are recommended, but not required. We will have masks available for you if you would like one. We request attendees adhere to Texas laws regarding masks, distancing, etc.

In addition, we have created a name tag system that will allow each attendee to self-regulate and for other guests to respect individuals’ desire for social distancing.

The hotel group discount rate at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel is $159. Reservations can be made through the online reservation link or directly with the hotel at 888-236-2427.

In order to be eligible for the group discount rate, reservations must be made on or before June 3, 2022.

– 10% Early Bird discount which ends on Monday, May 16 @ 11:59 pm.
– An additional 10% off for groups of 10 or more.
– SCL Institutional Members receive an additional 10% discount. Become an institutional member today to receive your discount; click here.
– Don’t forget the Virtual All-In ticket is just $99 (no additional discount for members allowed)

Whova returns! The Whova app was a great success at the 2021 Summer Conference. 

Whova is our all-in-one conference app where you can access the following: full schedule, speaker and breakout info, virtual sessions, exhibitor booths, sponsor info, job boards, community chat, and more!

The Whova App is a must for both in-person and virtual attendees.

Download here.

Once you’re registered, you’ll be able to view the event on June 15 via the Whova App

You can learn more here and prepare by reviewing the Whova Event Guide.

This year we are offering a $99 Virtual All-In ticket. So, buy a ticket for each member of your team: faculty, administration, staff, and board.

Then, gather together at your school and enjoy the virtual conference in community!
Need further advice on how best to watch as a group? Feel free to email our coordinator here.

Back in a fully-equipped conference hotel this summer, we are prepared to offer guests our best virtual experience yet!

Significant investments in upgraded 4k cameras, microphones, switches, and the same high-quality Whova app experience mean breakout sessions will run with the clearest sound and video access.

Every Breakout Session includes 5 workshops that will be available to stream via the Whova app.

The virtual ticket includes all Plenary Sessions and 5 Workshops for each Breakout Session.

SCL institutional members will receive an email with a code to receive a 10% discount off of their registration to be used at checkout.

Main Conference Cancellation Policy: All cancellations are subject to a $100 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after May 16, 2022.
Pre-Conference Cancellation Policy: All cancellations are subject to a $50 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after May 16, 2022.

Have more questions?

About Us

The Society for Classical Learning exists to foster human flourishing by making classical Christian education thrive.

“The ancient world has much to offer us today in thinking about how we might best teach and encourage young people toward virtue, wisdom, and truth. The SCL works together with leaders, teachers, and lifelong learners to ensure that the great heritage of Western civilization is preserved, cherished, and handed on to the next generation.”

– Eric Cook, President of The Society for Classical Learning

June 15-18, 2022 - Dallas, TX & Virtual

Beauty, Inspiration, and Aspiration​

Music, art, architecture, and other creative forms can be moving. Sometimes it is beauty as represented in these creative forms that moves us. When we are moved by beauty, it is sometimes the case that beautiful form inspires us and generates or elevates our aspirations. How does that work? Does beauty inspire us and lift our aspirations purely by appealing to the affective dimensions of our being, or are our cognitive capacities engaged as well? Does beauty, when it moves us, move our minds as well as our hearts? Illustrating his points with examples from music, art, and architecture, Professor George will make the case that our intellects are indeed engaged—crucially and indispensably so—by beauty that inspires us and moves us to aim higher in our aspirations.

About Robert P. George

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has served as chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and before that on the President’s Council on Bioethics, and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. George has also served as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. George is also a graduate of Swarthmore College and holds a J.D. and M.T.S. degree from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., D.C.L., and D.Litt. from Oxford University. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

George is the author of hundreds of books, essays, and articles. He is also a finger-style guitarist and bluegrass banjo player.

A Hopeful Approach to the Woke Movement in Education: Classical Education, Beauty, and Unity in Diversity ​

Much of modern education narrowly portrays knowledge as nothing more than ideology or power. Too often in education, critique has replaced creativity. Our young feel despair when they don’t know how their personal callings contribute to a shared culture. Some embrace radical, ideological political movements which promise a purpose-filled life but instead generate more social division and deepen the personal void.  

In this presentation, Dr. Mooney Suarez will enlighten participants about how the resurgence of a classical, Christian, liberal arts approach to education exemplifies a return to an approach to knowledge that forms students to pursue beauty, truth, and goodness in every aspect of life. Classical educators today have a crucial vocation to teach the next generation to embrace the risk of freedom and enrich the common good. Humans learn through stories. Beautiful images attract us to the truth.

About Margarita Mooney Suarez

Margarita Mooney Suarez is an Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she teaches classes such as philosophy of social science; aesthetics and education; and resilience, vulnerability and suffering. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Scala Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Princeton, New Jersey, that works to offer meaning and purpose in education by restoring a classical liberal arts education. Professor Mooney received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University. Prior to returning to Princeton, she was on the faculty of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Yale University. She is the author of The Love of Learning: Seven Dialogues on the Liberal Arts (Cluny Media, 2021) and Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2019). In addition to her scholarly publications, she has written for publications that reach wide audiences both inside and outside academia such as Real Clear Policy, Scientific American, Chronicle of Higher Education, First Things, Hedgehog Review, National Catholic Register, and Church Life Journal.

Why Beauty Matters in Education: The Classical View​

Dana Gioia will discuss beauty as the unifying element in classical education. Beauty is poorly understood in current intellectual life and educational practice. Its absence has doomed much of what is being done to failure. The revival of classical education needs to revive beauty as a positive concept and integrate the beautiful into its curriculum–not from ideology, but because it is the system that will produce the best results.

About Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia is a poet and critic. His poetry collections include Interrogations at Noon, which won the 2001 American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize as the best book of the year. His four critical collections include Can Poetry Matter? (2002) and Studying with Miss Bishop: Memoirs from a Young Writer’s Life (2021). Gioia served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009 and as California State Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2019. His other awards include the Laetare Medal, Presidential Civilian Medal, and the Aiken-Taylor Award in Modern Poetry. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.

Beauty and Belief: The Apologetics of Culture Care​

Christian apologetics is usually understood as defending and commending Christian faith. Christian educators seek to train students in apologetic skill, teaching them to articulate arguments for belief. And yet, students report that no one seems interested in – much less convinced by – our arguments.

Part of the problem is that the traditional apologetic approach often treats people as if they were “brains on a stick,” who just need more information, rather than complex, embodied, imaginative, relational beings. What is even more troubling is how easily this style of apologetics gets co-opted by the culture war, where apologetic arguments have more to do with winning than witnessing.

Perhaps there is another way, one that takes beauty, imagination, and aesthetics into fuller account. Skeptics– within and without the walls of the church – require more than good arguments. They require aesthetic sensibility, imaginative vision, and poetic participation in beauty, goodness, and truth. Here, artists, poets, and writers may be our best guides, and encountering the beautiful may be the first step in beginning to find it believable. What could it mean to reimagine an apologetics of “culture care”?

About Justin Ariel Bailey

Justin Ariel Bailey is associate professor of theology at Dordt University. He is the host of the In All Things podcast, and his written work has appeared in publications such as Christianity Today, Christian Scholars Review and the International Journal of Public Theology. He is the author of Reimagining Apologetics (IVP Academic, 2020) and the forthcoming volume Interpreting Your World (Baker Academic, 2022). He is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and has served as a pastor in Filipino-American, Korean-American, and Dutch-American settings. He is married to Melissa and they are blessed with two pre-teen children.

Harmony of the Parts: On Educating Students in Beauty, Truth, Goodness, and Holiness ​

One of the defining properties of beauty is “harmony of the parts.” This talk will reflect on how the tradition has related beauty to truth, goodness, and holiness, and why it has valued aesthetic formation alongside intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation. Achieving harmony among these parts is necessary to help students flourish as the integrated images of God they were created to be.

About Brian A. Williams

Dr. Brian A. Williams is Dean of the Templeton Honors College, Director of Templeton’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and Assistant Professor of Ethics & Liberal Studies at Eastern University. Before coming to Eastern, he was Lecturer in Theology and Christian Ethics at the University of Oxford and Director of Oxford Conversations: a collection of curated video interviews with leading Christian academics and scholars at the University of Oxford. After his undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies, Brian earned an MA and ThM in Theology under the direction of J. I. Packer at Regent College (Vancouver) and an MPhil and DPhil in Christian Ethics from the University of Oxford. Dr. Williams also taught Theology, Philosophy, and Literature at Cair Paravel Latin School (Topeka, KS), where he was Assistant Academic Dean. His current research examines the tradition of Didascalic Christian Humanism, focusing on the works of Hugh of St. Victor, Philip Melanchthon, and John Henry Newman.

Chris Perrin Interview with Anika Prather and Angel Parham, authors of The Black Intellectual Tradition

The powerful legacy of classical education among Black intellectuals and educators in America is a national treasure with the capacity to bless teachers and students the world over. Join the CEO & Publisher of Classical Academic Press, Dr. Chris Perrin, as he talks with Dr. Anika Prather and Dr. Angel Parham about their new book: The Black Intellectual Tradition, Reading Freedom in Classical Literature. They will explore both the scholarly and historical foundations of the Great Books and the classical, intellectual tradition, while exploring beauty and its relation to today’s culture.

Our Cultural Moment: Challenges and Opportunities for our Schools

We live as individuals and as school communities in a unique cultural moment – fraught with unprecedented new realities. As we promote what is True, Good, and Beautiful, what cultural shifts should we ignore, and which ones should demand our attention? Most of our schools are inundated with new family applicants who are also swayed by habits and expectations of the broader culture. How do we guide and educate our families as well as our students? And what do we need to be aware of to onboard, educate, and support our faculty and staff who are pulled by many of these same cultural currents?

David Kinnaman and the team at Barna have spent decades keeping track of these trends.David will help us explore some of the latest changes in broader culture, from mental health to church attendance and the various impacts these trends are having on our parents, students, and school community. He will share many of the latest research discoveries from Barna to equip you to lead at your school.

How Do We Build Community in a Broken World?

It seems like the debates in our schools a few years ago centered on simpler topics, like curriculum and carpool details. Today, conversations seem more weighty and polarizing. “Oh you are one of THOSE people…” we often hear. How do we lead schools in the midst of so many divides? How do we model Biblical community and care for so many who are now battling mental health issues in and outside our schools? As a professional Christian counselor, Keith has a unique vantage point working with students, parents, and schools from all around the country. And as a classical Christian parent and former board member, he understands many of our distinctives and the value of raising up the next generation who can raise up sturdy kids.

What Are Affinity Groups?

A hallmark of the Society for Classical Learning is community: connecting and conversing around both the big ideas and the everyday practical issues we face as classical Christian educators.

This year, the SCL has created affinity groups: opportunities designed to facilitate connection by bringing together attendees with common roles to reflect, learn, and share ideas in community.

We have planned two occasions at the Summer Conference for these affinity groups to meet, mingle, and connect.

  • Thursday, June 16 – 9:45am – After Plenary I
    • This is a chance to get connected first thing at the conference and begin to form relationships that will benefit you for the rest of the conference, and maybe for years to come.
  • Friday, June 17 – 5:00pm – Before Dinner (on your own) at 6:00pm
    • After attending multiple breakout and plenary sessions, this is an opportunity to relax, continue conversations, and ask good questions – together!

Hotel Info

The Renaissance Hotel in Addison
15201 Dallas Pkwy, Addison, TX 75001
$159 per night

In order to be eligible for the group discount rate, reservations must be made on or before June 3, 2022.

Parking Info

3 Different Parking Options:
Valet, Surface Parking or Garage Parking.
On-site parking, $15 daily
Valet parking, $28 daily

Airport Info

Two Options:
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Dallas Love Field (DAL)
*The hotel does not provide shuttle service.

Other Transportation