National Leadership Forum

June 4-9, 2017 at Harding University

The American Studies Institute is proudly preparing for the Harding University’s 59th Anniversary of the National Leadership Forum in Searcy, Arkansas on June 4-9, 2017.

The cost is $145 for the week. This is often covered by sponsors such as Farm Bureau Insurance, Civitan, or Lion's Club. Check with a local representative of one of these organizations, or other civic organizations, if you would like to be sponsored and we will work with them.

Through labs, lectures, films and discussion, participating youth will become more prepared and confident and equipped with the necessary tools to preserve the traditions and ideals upon which America was founded. A wide variety of speakers will present lectures and then allow for a question-and-answer periods and follow up labs.

Open to student leaders in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
Participants should be entering either the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades in September. They must have excellent character and demonstrate leadership ability.

Supervised university dorm life
Adult counselors will provide supervision for men's and women's residence halls at all times. Seminar participants should plan to arrive Sunday afternoon. Transportation and associated costs are to be arranged by each applicant and/or his sponsor.

Forum Outcomes

  • Leadership Development
  • Understanding Free Enterprise
  • Examining Foreign Policy
  • Understanding Our Environment
  • Building Family Values
  • Examining Leadership Issues, such as Sex Respect, Aids and Drug/Alcohol Abuse
  • Intervarsity athletic Team Competition

Students often ask how much money they should bring. All of your meals are provided but you may want to bring some personal spending money. The Harding Student Center offers a variety of eating choices for snacks and the University bookstore has a wide selection of books, music, apparel, and gift items. Probably $25 - $45 is sufficient for spending money.

What to Bring pdf

Harding is a Christian University and our dress code reflects this. Clothing is required to be very modest which means longer shorts and no revealing or low cut tops for girls, waistbands at the appropriate level for guys and girls, neatness for everyone. You will want to bring comfy shoes for daily wear and a dressy outfit for the banquet on the final night – again, please keep outfits modest. (The auditorium where the sessions are held can be cold, so bring a jacket or sweater just in case).

If you play a musical instrument please bring it along. You will have the opportunity to participate in a talent show on the final evening. There are also speeches given on a variety of topics at the talent show.

In regard to the major rules on campus, the rule which we most like to practice is the Golden Rule. We are a smoke, drug, and alcohol free campus.

Please fill out the registration form below as soon as possible. Hopefully, this year's forum will be the best ever. We look forward to your arrival. I'm sure you will make many lasting friendships during this week!


Dr. Bob Reely, Director



2. You may fill in the online registration form below.


Deadline for registration and payment: May 29th

Payment may be made with credit card over the phone or check sent to:

Harding University
ASI/National Leadership Forum
Box 10762
Searcy, AR 72149-5615

Registration Form

Participant Info

Preferred Name:
Age on June 1, 2015:
Insurance Company:
Policy/ID #:
Roommate Preference:

I agree to abide by the rules set forth by my sponsor and Harding University.
Last 4 Digits of Student SSN:

Parent/Guardian Info


The above student has my permission to attend the National Leadership Forum at Harding University.
Last 4 Digits of Parent/Guardian SSN:

Sponsor Info (if applicable)

Sponsored By:
Last 4 Digits of Sponsor SSN:


Schedule to be announced.

Speakers - 2017

Speakers to be announced.

The Harding University National Leadership Forum

At the dawn of a new century, the United States has begun to look at the challenges it faces in the future. To meet these challenges American citizens must become more interested in the economic, political, and cultural principles that were the foundation of civilization in the Western Hemisphere. For more than two centuries these principles have brought to the United States the highest standard of living the world has ever known under any other political and economic system.

In this age of ideological conflict, educated citizens are indispensable. Thomas Jefferson said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." There must be a reaffirmation and redefinition of the American heritage for each oncoming generation if the blessings of our civilization are to continue.

America can preserve her freedom only by instilling her principles and ideals into the hearts of each oncoming generation. Unless youth are taught to love American freedom and ideals, these ideals and principles that have given us the highest standard of living and the greatest measure of personal freedom will disappear.

During the 1930s in the United States, emphasis was on vocational training; in the 40s and 50s, on science; in the 70s and 80s the emphasis was on the development of an enlightened citizenry; and from the challenging 90s to the present, the emphasis must be directed to a citizenry that is responsive to the principles of democracy and willing to contribute to America's cause of freedom.

As builders of good citizenship, Civitan Clubs in Alabama and West Florida in 1956 requested that a forum be developed for youth. Since that time the seminar has grown rapidly. Students have responded so favorably that 400 now come every year as sponsored by many civic clubs and state and county Farm Bureaus with the cooperation of Harding University's American Studies Institute.

Through the media of lectures, films, research, and association with internationally recognized authorities, we will collectively assist youth to become better acquainted with the American scene and motivated to a more forceful expression of pride in our traditions and ideals.