• This is a photo from National Leadership Forum.

    Hands-on leadership training

    Student leaders in grades 10-12 will gain invaluable training to become leaders in their schools.

  • This is a photo from National Leadership Forum.

    Explore economic and cultural principles

    Students will become more equipped to preserve the ideas upon which America was founded.

  • This is a photo from National Leadership Forum.

    A line up of dynamic speakers

    Students will experience media, discussions and labs that emphasize strong leadership and excellent character.

National Leadership Forum

NLF CANCELED 2021 (will return 2022)

Extreme: Leadership at the Edge

The American Studies Institute is proudly preparing for the Harding University’s 64th Annual of the National Leadership Forum in Searcy, Arkansas. 

The cost is $159 for the week. This is an outstanding value. During this program, student leaders in rising grades 10-12 will explore the economic and cultural principles that were the foundation of civilization in the Western Hemisphere. Through labs, lectures, and open discussion sessions, they will become more equipped to preserve the ideas upon which America was founded, including personal freedom, strong leadership and excellent character. As Lawrence W. Reed has said, “If you want to live in a free society, you must assign top priority to raising the caliber of your character.”

Open to student leaders in grades 10, 11 and 12
Students should be rising 10th, 11th, or 12th graders. They must have excellent character and demonstrate leadership ability.

Supervised university dorm life

College aged counselors will provide supervision for men's and women's residence halls at all times. Students will be housed in traditional dorm rooms with a roommate of the same gender and share a bathroom with two other same gender students.


Students should plan to arrive Sunday afternoon from 3-5 P.M. Dinner will be at 5 P.M. that evening.  All activities will begin at 7 P.M. Transportation and associated costs are to be arranged by each applicant and/or his sponsor.


Please fill out the online registration form below.


If you need to contact us with questions:

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


Schedule 2020 (updated 1/10/2020)

Sunday, May 31
3:00 p.m. — Registration in the Heritage Lobby; move into dorms
5 p.m. — Dinner in Heritage Cafeteria
7 p.m. — Opening Program/orientation
10 p.m. — Room check
11:00 p.m. — Lights out
Monday, June 1
7:00 a.m. — Breakfast in Heritage Cafeteria
7:30 a.m. — Depart campus: Leadership Training
9:30 a.m. — Leadership Training
11:30 a.m. — Lunch 
1:30 p.m. — Speaker: Dr. Kevin Kehl "What Are Your strengths?"
2:45 p.m. — Speaker: Professor Kim Kirkman "Consequences of Showing Appreciation"
3:45 p.m. — Speaker: Dr. David Kee "Leadership at the Edge"
5 p.m. — Dinner 
7 p.m. — Evening activity
10 p.m. — Room check
11:o0 p.m. — Lights out
Tuesday, June 2
7:30 a.m. — Breakfast in Heritage Cafeteria
8:30 a.m. — Group photo on Benson Auditorium Steps
9:30 a.m. — FEE Speaker: Professor Brian Brenberg
10:15 a.m. — Break
10:30 a.m. — FEE Speaker: Professor Anne Bradey
11:30 a.m. — Lunch in Heritage Cafeteria
1 p.m. — FEE Speaker: Professor Brian Brenberg
1:45 p.m. — Break
2 p.m. — FEE Forum Panel: Professors Brian Brenberg and Anne Bradley
3 p.m. — Afternoon activity
5 p.m. — Dinner in the park
7 p.m. — Evening activity
10 p.m. — Room check
11:00 p.m. — Lights out
Wednesday, June 3
7:30 a.m. — Breakfast in Heritage Cafeteria
8:30 a.m. — Morning activity
9:30 a.m. —  FEE Speaker: Professor Lawrence Reed
10:15 a.m. — Break
10:30 a.m. — FEE Speaker: Professor Anne Bradley
11:30 a.m. — Lunch in Heritage Cafeteria
1 p.m. —  FEE Speaker: Professor Lawrence Reed
1:45 p.m. — Break
2 p.m. —  FEE Forum Panel:Professors Lawrence Reed and Anne Bradley
3 p.m. — Afternoon activity
5 p.m. — Dinner in Heritage Cafeteria
7 p.m. — Evening activity
10 p.m. — Room check
11:30 p.m. — Lights out
Thursday, June 4
7:30 a.m. — Breakfast in Heritage Cafeteria
8:30 a.m. — Speaker: Dr. Kevin Kehl "Strengths Results"
9:30 a.m. — Speaker: Professor Lori Sloan
10:15 a.m. — Break
10:30 a.m. — Speaker: Dr. Randy Willingham
11:30 a.m. — Lunch in Heritage Cafeteria
1 p.m. —  Speaker: Dr. Randy Willingham
2 p.m. — Speaker:  Dr. David Kee "Living at the Edge"
3 p.m. — Afternoon activity
6 p.m. — Dinner: Banquet/team competition
10 p.m. — Room check
11:30 p.m. — Lights out
Friday, June 5
7:30 a.m. — Breakfast in Heritage Cafeteria
8:30 a.m. — Check out of dorms

2020 Extreme: Leadership on the Edge

Anne Bradley

Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and Academic Director for The Fund for American Studies. In this capacity she teaches TFAS students at George Mason University and directs academic programs. She has served as Vice President of Economic Initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics, where she develops research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. She is a visiting professor at Georgetown University, Grove City College and she also teaches at The Institute for World Politics. She is a Research Scholar at the Acton Institute where her research focuses on the morality of a free society. Additionally, she is a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy.

Previously, she has taught at Charles University, Prague, and she has served as the Associate Director for the Program in Economics, Politics, and the Law at the James M. Buchanan Center at George Mason University. She is an editor of and contributing author to IFWE’s recently released book, For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty. In her chapter, Dr. Rathbone Bradley examines income inequality from both an economic and biblical perspective and provides guidance to Christians on how to respond, particularly through our vocations.

Dr. Rathbone Bradley’s other academic work has focused on the political economy of terrorism with specific emphasis on the industrial organization of al-Qaeda. Her research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes. She is currently working on a book that analyzes the political economy of al-Qaeda post 9/11. Based on her academic research she also worked as an economic analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Terrorism Analysis. Dr. Rathbone Bradley received her Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2006, during which time she was a James M. Buchanan Scholar.

Brian Brenberg

Professor Brian Brenberg serves as an Executive Vice President and Chair of the Program in Business and Finance at The King’s College. Prior to joining the King’s faculty, he worked in the financial services and medical device industries, as well as public policy research and philanthropy. He earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. In addition to his teaching at King’s, Professor Brenberg is a frequent guest on several FOX News and FOX Business programs, and has also appeared on CNN and CNBC. He has written for many publications, including USA Today, Forbes.com, the New York Post, and The Hill. His speeches have been covered by Time and The Washington Post, and he regularly lectures for several organizations, including the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Brian, his wife Krista, and their three children live in New York City.

This is a photo of David Kee.

Dr. David Kee currently serves as assistant professor of business at the Paul R. Carter College of Business at Harding.  He teaches courses in management, economics and entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Kee completed a Doctorate in Business Administration with the Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France. In June 2016, he defended his paper-based thesis titled Ascetic Entrepreneurship: An Elite Prosopography. Kee, who was raised in Geneva, Switzerland, first owned and operated three different businesses over a period of 20 years in the upscale food industry — an import/distribution company, a consulting firm and a publication, all three based in the Atlanta area.

Kevin Kehl

Dr. Kevin Kehl serves as the Dean of both the University and Honor’s Colleges at Harding University. He has been working in Higher Education for more than 25 years with special emphasis on Intercultural learning and leadership development.  Kehl holds an M.S from Texas A&M University in Educational Psychology, an M.A from Harding School of Theology and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Baylor University.  He has served for 8 years in Kenya, East Africa in cross-cultural church planting and community development. Kehl is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach that he uses extensively in helping students explore ideas related to vocational interests and leadership styles.

Kim Kirkman

Professor Kim Kirkman serves as Executive Director of the American Studies Institute at Harding University since 2015. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. She has been an English and journalism teacher, owned children's store, has a residential contractors license, and served as a children's minister. Her research interests include development of mentorships, relationships and educational success, and first-generational higher education. 

This is a photo of Larry Reed

Dr. Lawrence Reed became president of the Foundation for Economic Education in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984. He holds a B.A. in economics from Grove City College (1975) and an M.A. degree in history from Slippery Rock State University (1978), both in Pennsylvania. He holds two honorary doctorates, one from Central Michigan University (public administration, 1993) and Northwood University (laws, 2008).

Lori Sloan

Professor Lori Sloan serves as assistant professor of Integrated Marketing Communication at Harding University.  She taught in the Paul R. Carter College of Business for 23 years and recently moved to the College of Arts and Humanities Communication Department to launch a collaborative degree between both colleges titled Integrated Marketing Communication(IMC).  Sloan holds an MBA and has taught marketing, advertising, branding, sales and ethics courses at the undergraduate level. She has served on the Arkansas Board for the Girls Scouts of America and the Board of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Sloan continues to do sales and marketing consulting ranging from musicians, authors, movie production projects and sales training and sports events. Her passion is teaching and interacting with college students and inspiring them to use their gifts to glorify God.

Randy Willingham

Dr. Randy Willingham teaches ministry courses at Harding University and is a Christian coach, a church consultant, the director for Pure Heart Vision and the Center for Spiritual Leadership, and the owner of Courageous Conversations. He began serving in ministry over 25 years ago. His approach is also informed by his experience as a world class athlete (winning a bronze and silver medal in world wrestling tournaments) under some of the best coaches in the world.  He holds a Doctor in Ministry from Abilene Christian University.

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 more than 200 students participate every year. Many are sponsored by civic clubs and state and county Farm Bureaus in 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.

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