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Notre Dame Professor Patrick Deneen Headlines New Course from Free Think U and Leadership Institute

Industry: Education

Free Think U's Topic of Newest Release in the Conservatism101 Series® is What is Libertarianism?

Washington D.C. (PRUnderground) October 10th, 2013

At a time when Progressives and Conservatives are often arguing about how the nation can best move forward, the University of Notre Dame’s popular professor Patrick Deneen offers a perspective that is engaging thousands of students in the conversation.  Deneen’s lecture and the course built around it is part of a first-ever multi-media series about “The American Conservative Tradition.”  Called Conservatism 101®, it presents “a rigorous examination of the American conservative intellectual tradition” based on Christopher Malagisi’s course on the subject at American University, and is now offered online for no cost by the Leadership Institute and Free Think University®.

Free Think University will host Conservatism 101 courses on their website, with a new segment posted each week.  The fourteen segments are each two-hour, multi-media experiences featuring a 45-minute lecture from one of fourteen different conservative leaders, as well as supplemental reading materials.  Deneen’s presentation is the third in the 14-part series. Go to to check out this session.

“I’m excited to play a role in this important course,” Deneen said.

The lectures focus on the big questions of the conservatism movement – its origins and history, its driving principles, its successes and failings . . . and its future.  After each session, students are invited to complete an assessment.  Upon successful completion, students earn Free Think University scholarship points.  These points can be applied in frequently announced competitions for cash scholarships that help students pay for their higher education costs and other life learning experiences.

In the lectures, students hear from some of the conservative movement’s most influential voices, including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), best-selling author and radio host Mark Levin, Stephen Moore from the Wall Street Journal, Becky Norton Dunlop from Heritage Foundation, Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council, Morton Blackwell from Leadership Institute, and many more.

Free Think University partnered with Leadership Institute to produce original course content for the Conservatism 101® series.  The series supplements its current library of nearly 50 courses in the same format, which deal with other questions relating to The Great Conversation.  More than 30,000 students have registered for classes or weekly alerts emailed to the growing community.

“No matter a person’s political leanings, Conservative, Liberal or otherwise, we think this collaborative project with Leadership Institute is an important contribution to a more civil dialogue about politics and the American experience,” said Free Think University co-founder Jim Van Eerden.

“All of our courses are framed by questions we receive from our students who want to consider opposing points of view about those questions,” Van Eerden said.  “Many students also want to know the case being made on behalf of an under-represented point of view – since the modern American university can sometimes be hostile to the competition of ideas.”

“Leadership Institute believes in equipping the next generation of leaders in America with a clear view of the values and ideals of the American Conservative Tradition,” said founder Morton Blackwell.  “We are happy to be leading the way with Free Think University in bringing this world-class college course experience to thousands of students.  It related to a vital part of our mission.”

The next course in the Conservatism101 series – entitled “Why Did We Fight the Cold War?” – will be taught by Professor Paul Kengor from Grove City College.  It will release on Wednesday, October 16, at 12pm EDT.

For more information about this course or Conservatism101, contact the Free Think University media relations desk (

About Leadership Institute

Since 1979, Leadership Institute (“LI”) has trained more than 104,000 conservative students, activists, and leaders. Graduates include U.S. Senators and Congressmen, City Council members and local mayors, state legislators, and conservative organization leaders.  LI offers 40 types of training schools, workshops and seminars, a free employment placement service, and a national field program that trains conservative students to organize campus groups.  For more information go to or follow @leadershipinst.

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to For more information go to or follow @freethinku.

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Jim Van Eerden