American Studies Institute

Programs & Training

Continuing the Tradition

Harding's program for American Studies continues to work toward increasing awareness of the American tradition. Expanded in 1988 under its new name, the American Studies Institute is broadening its base of emphasis in a Christian educational environment that encourages students to continue the traditions that made America great. Rooted in such concepts as freedom, liberty, democracy, faith in God, family and values, the heritage of American society rests in ideals fostered by the founding fathers of this great nation. A number of programs are coordinated by the American Studies Institute:

Distinguished Lecture Series

The American Studies Institute traces its roots to a program that started at Harding in 1953 called the School of American Studies. Expanded and renamed in 1988, the Institute is designed to supplement the academic training of students by promoting a complete understanding of the institutions, values and ideas of liberty and democracy. It does so by providing up-to-date reflections from national and international leaders in business, government and education.

The benefits of the American Studies Institute have been visibly significant. Unequaled educational opportunities have been provided to students in many disciplines. The program has a long-standing tradition of recognition from the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge, Pa., receiving numerous awards in the area of community service. In fact, either the program itself or Harding faculty and administrators have won a Freedoms Foundation award every year for the past 45 years.

Upcoming Lectures »

Leadership Program

The ASI Leadership Program conducts conferences, seminars and training either on campus or at various locations throughout the United States. Featuring national opinion leaders, these conferences are designed to develop American leadership and to promote the values that are important to this country as it approaches the 21st century.

Conference hotel facilities are also available for use by business firms and organizations who desire to plan their own programs. A multi-faceted Conference Center with state-of-the-art audio/visual technology is housed in the University's American Heritage Center.

Distinguished Scholars

Harding University students of all majors are eligible to apply to the American Studies Institute Distinguished Scholars program. The prerequisites for automatic invitation include a 3.8 grade point average or above and standing as a junior, senior or freshman member of Harding University's Honors Scholar Program. Each fall there is an open application process for those with an automatic invitation and those have a 3.6 grade point average available through pipeline.

Educational Tours

Educational tours of various cities and major metropolitan areas throughout the United States are conducted for Harding's American Studies Scholars, allowing them to meet business leaders, government officials and educators each year. Typically, one tour is a part of the annual schedule, including one to Washington, D.C., on occasion.

National Leadership Forum

Each year the American Studies Institute hosts a National Leadership Forum on the Harding campus. Co-sponsored with regional civic clubs, the seminar promotes leadership education for high school students from a multi-state region.

Central American Entrepreneurial Seminars

Seminars are conducted on entrepreneurial skills and their application in promoting economic development in two Central American countries. More than 200 attendees per country is typical of the interest in this seminar program. Local and national business leaders participate in the presentations. This program nurtures and strengthens the ties between not only Harding University's American Studies Institute and the Central American countries but also with graduates of the Walton Scholar Program who have finished their educations and have returned to enhance the free enterprise systems of their own countries.

China Scholar Program

The American Studies Institute values Sino-American relations and exchanges, and thus invites Chinese government, business and educational leaders to experience U. S. culture and study U. S. governmental, business and educational systems.

  • A Master of Science in Educational Leadership program is designed to cater to the needs of Chinese educators and school administrators who desire to further their professional knowledge and skills in educational leadership and school administration.
  • A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program is designed to meet the needs of Chinese businessmen and business leaders who desire to further their professional knowledge and skills in business administration and organizational leadership.
  • Special programs can be designed to meet the special needs and interests of Chinese business leaders and school administrators who come to study and research on a weekly, monthly, or semester basis.
  • Lecturers include professors with Ph. D’s, and leaders and experts in various fields, such as college presidents and deans, business CEOs, successful bankers, and local political leaders.
  • Lectures or courses for non-credit programs can include topics such as American industries and business, American politics, American business laws and ethics, American school administration, American educational leadership, Sino-American trade, Sino-American relations, etc.
  • Field trips can include U.S. businesses, industries, schools, cultural events, the state capital, and other places of interest.