TRAININGAreté Academy

Areté (\ærətiː\; Greek: ἀρετή): excellence and moral virtue.


Areté Academy is designed to engage and equip the next generation of leaders throughout the world.

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Areté Academy combines biblical worldview training with specialized professional development. This one-week student training is holistic, focusing equally on the spiritual, intellectual, and relational development of each attendee. Its name derives from Philippians 4:8, which refers to the moral excellence and virtue that accompany a life lived to its full potential and God-given calling. Thus, attendees are known as “Delegates,” because they are called to represent Christ as outstanding professionals.




Each day at Areté Academy is founded upon worship, reflection, and devotionals. The curriculum is rooted in Psalm 78, which sets forth the necessity of teaching tomorrow’s leaders about God, God’s laws, and God’s works. At Areté Academy, Delegates explore the concept of “calling” and what it means to be a faithful and effective leader within a particular industry.

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It is true that faith and intellect go hand in hand. Areté Academy gives Delegates the opportunity to study under some of the most renowned Christian scholars and experts in their fields. Delegates leave the Academy with the tools necessary to maximize credentials and position themselves effectively to pursue God’s calling on their lives.

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An essential component of Areté Academy is the thoughtful community, one that grows through future academic and professional pursuits. Relationships are nurtured as Delegates live, learn, worship, pray, and participate in small group discussions together. As a result, Delegates leave knowing they have the support to face—and overcome—future challenges.

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As an Areté Academy Delegate, you join a community of highly-accomplished, passionate Christians around the world. You leave with the competence, credentials, and character needed to excel in your future profession, the conviction necessary to effectively engage the culture, and a community that both enriches and fuels your pursuits. Alumni of Areté Academy have gone on to pursue careers not only in law, but also in business, medicine, government, foreign affairs, academia, politics, economics, national security, and intelligence.


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Because every individual is uniquely designed for various callings, each Areté Academy track is tailored both
geographically and professionally.


Areté Academy – Europe is exclusively offered to Christian law, government, and policy students living and studying in European nations. Delegates examine how powerful entities, such as the United Nations, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, are addressing pressing legal and cultural issues. Delegates will engage with and learn from prestigious faculty who represent many nations in Europe, offering unique perspectives into national, regional, and global concerns.

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United States

Areté Academy – United States is designed for highly-accomplished college students and recent graduates who are interested in future careers in law, government, and public policy. Through a rigorous curriculum, Delegates explore the U.S. legal system, constitutional jurisprudence, natural law principles, and American history. They also garner techniques on how to survive and thrive in law school and beyond. Applicants must be enrolled at or recently graduated from a university within the United States.

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Areté Academy is committed to the continual development of Delegates and strengthening of the community. As such, Areté offers specialized Training Tracks for career development. Additionally, Delegates gain access to a robust Alumni Community Site with resources and ways to globally engage.

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Latin America

Areté Academy – Latin America is exclusively for Christian students primarily studying law, government, and policy in Latin American countries. Delegates examine how powerful entities, such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States, are addressing pressing legal and cultural issues. This track features distinguished faculty from several countries in North America and South America, enabling Delegates to glean valuable insights into national, regional, and global concerns.

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Leann, Harvard University

"Attending Areté was one of the most eye-opening, thought-provoking experiences I've had during my undergrad."

Rocio, Universidad de Mendoza, Argentina

"The Academy gave me objective and intellectual reasons in order to defend life, marriage, and religious freedom among people who do not believe in God."

Isaac, Rutgers University

"Everything about Areté, from the accommodations to the meals, cultivated our minds and character to be competent purveyors of our values in situations that have the capacity to intimidate the uninitiated. Areté is invaluable to the aspiring litigator or intellectual. I cannot recommend it enough."

Andrea, Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala

"The speakers were very professional and technical, and the sessions provided me invaluable knowledge very important in my training in the professional field and also in the ethical and religious field."

Alastair, Harvard University

"The biggest draw of Areté is the community—I was encouraged to know that there are so many godly Christians in the legal world who integrate their faith with their work, inspiring me to do the same."

Staff & Faculty

With a commitment to excellence and reflecting godliness, the Areté Academy staff has equipped thousands of Christian students and professionals around the globe to become leaders in their career fields. As Delegates you will experience this commitment in even the smallest details of Areté Academy.

Dr. Jeffery J. Ventrella

Oversees Areté Academy in his role as Senior Counsel and Senior Vice-President of Student Training and Development at Alliance Defending Freedom.  Dr. Ventrella is a highly sought-after speaker and debater, both nationally and internationally, and has edited, contributed, and written seven books.

Katie Imler, Esq.

Serves as Legal Counsel of Student Training and Development. As a JD and MBA, she is uniquely qualified to oversee recruitment and alumni relations for the Areté Academy. The programming in the United States is her primary focus.

Kirsten Gillson

Is the Recruitment Manager for Areté Academy programming in Latin America and Europe. She has years of experience recruiting for prestigious leadership programs throughout Latin America and Europe.

Melissa Roberson

Is the Operations Manager for Areté Academy. Melissa runs the operations and logistics for all of the Areté Academies and will work closely with each prospective Delegate throughout the application process.

Past faculty of Areté Academy includes:
  • Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, The Heritage Foundation
  • Evan Baehr, M.Div., MBA, Co-Founder, Able
  • John S. Baker, Jr., Ph.D., Visiting Professor, Georgetown Law School, Visiting Fellow, Oriel College at the University of Oxford, Professor Emeritus, Louisiana State University Law Center
  • Justin B. Dyer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Missouri
  • Professor Hadley Arkes, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Edward Ney Professor of American Institutions, Amherst College
  • The Honorable Kay Coles James, President and Founder, Gloucester Institute
  • Peter Jones, Ph.D., Th.D., Executive Director, truthXchange
  • Scott Klusendorf, President, Life Training Institute
  • Nikolas T. Nikas, President & General Counsel, Bioethics Defense Fund
  • Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder & President, The Ruth Institute
  • John Stonestreet, Speaker and Fellow, Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview


In addition to the distinguished faculty, Areté Academy includes Christian graduate students who serve as mentors throughout the program. These mentors are handpicked from past Alliance Defending Freedom training programs to lead small group discussions and provide individual mentoring. Their passion, talent, and experience provide Delegates with a wealth of invaluable insights and direction as they navigate career decisions.

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