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A Contemplation of Prudence – 2024 National Conference
July 17
- July 20, 2024
Francis Marion Hotel

Even though this event is sold out you can still attend virtually!


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If you did not secure a seat, make sure and sign up to the waiting list. There will be cancelations throughout the year.


The 2024 CiRCE National Conference will take place in Charleston, SC, July 17-20, at the Francis Marion Hotel.

The fragmented and immature condition of our age is a cliche, a living one that plays itself out in our apparent inability to deliberate together and our evident unwillingness to exercise self-control.

One gets the impression that, whatever else we are doing, we are not educating our children well.

Classical education cuts to the heart of the matter. Because it always took the education of “the whole child” for granted, it has always taken seriously both public and private decision-making. It offers those who are willing to listen a long tradition with practices, models, and principles for the cultivation of prudence.

For our 2024 national conference, the CiRCE Institute has called classical educators to contemplate prudence. Come join us!

Further details coming soon, including more confirmed speakers, paideia prize winner, and schedule.

The Pre-Conferences:

The 2024 pre-conference will be held Wednesday, July 17th from 9am-4pm ET. Breakfast and Lunch are provided along with Coffee, tea, and water during the day. 
Recordings of each track are provided afterwards at no extra cost. 

The Art of Hospitality with Dr. Matthew Bianco

Hospitality, that thing by which we might entertain angels unawares, is not just a thing we do. Hospitality is an art, and to do it well is to open up physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual paths that can enable real growth, learning, and union. As an art, hospitality is more than just inviting neighbors over for dinner or offering a guest room for a night to visitors. Hospitality is a way of being that extends, or should extend, to everything we do.

In this pre-conference, Dr. Matthew Bianco will look at the art of hospitality: what it is, how we do it, and what are those paths that open up and allow for growth, learning, and union? Since the art of hospitality is most easily recognized in the sharing of a meal, we will look at hospitality through that lens and then consider what lessons and principles can be drawn from the shared meal and brought into the classroom, the church, and all aspects of life.

This preconference is priced slightly higher at $147 than the others because it will include a special lunch experience to embody the principles of hospitality that will be learned as part of it. Not only will participants be learning “about” hospitality, but they will actually get to practice hospitality. The special lunch will include a full, special menu for the meal and wine. Please come prepared to participate in the full hospitality experience with food and wine.

Starting a Christian Classical School or Homeschool with Jonathan Councell

School formation is at its core a creative and artful act. The Christian Classical Renewal is not merely a movement of our time but a timeless return to the permanent things, like goodness, beauty, and truth always necessary for the nurturing of wise and virtuous souls.  We are surrounded by assumptions within the spheres of community, governance, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment that, when unexamined and practiced, lead inevitably to what C.S Lewis calls the “abolition of man.” Successful educational enterprises must navigate from within the humane tradition in a manner that creates a harmony between the local community, the Christian tradition, and the age.  This challenge cannot be “solved” by either a stubborn adherence to some past age or by conforming to current convention.

In this pre-conference, Jonathan Councell will present some of the fruit and learnings from the decades of teaching and research of the CiRCE Institute on school formation: what should be prioritized, what are supporting materials and organizations that can aid a start-up school, homeschool, or co-op, and what are the ways in which a community can undergird, protect, and sustain real education? Much of current thought on school formation comes from sources that are derived from neither a classically humane or Christian tradition. We will be considering the practical and normative commitments necessary to consciously work against the broad movement towards a world of post-humanity.

New Book Launch with Andrew Kern

Join Andrew Kern for the book launch for his highly-anticipated new book, Unless the Lord Builds the House! This pre-conference launch will feature a day long discussion of Andrew’s new book and the core ideas surrounding its development, see the description of the book below:

In this new treatise on Christian education, Andrew Kern returns to the roots of education by exploring the Hebrew Temple as a pattern for learning. He shows how this pattern applies to all of education, from selecting the course of study to practicing life-giving pedagogy and argues that if we rightly understand this pattern, it will transform all we do in education.  

Going beyond merely diagnosing the symptoms of conventional education, Unless the Lord Builds the House prescribes a cure: returning to the eternal foundation of Christ the Logos and building a house of wisdom on that Rock. 

Attendees will also receive a free copy of Andrew’s new book along with their registration fee!

Latin – Fabulae Latinae with Buck Holler

In this year’s Latin workshop, attendees will work through five sessions on the reading and teaching of Aesop’s Fables as translated by Phaedrus. Each session will introduce a new set of fables and apply a different mode for reading, understanding, and teaching the text. In the final session, participants will have an opportunity to fabulam agere, perform a skit of a selected fable Latine! While instruction will be in Latin, participants may use either Latin or English. Selected fables and instruction will be taught at a beginner/intermediate level (A2-B1 fluency), though all are welcome.


Register for the Pre-Conference


Our Pre-Conference Sponsor:

Watch Debbie Harris get Surprised with the Paidea Prize Announcement!

The 2024 Paideia Prize Winner:

>> Watch Debbie get Surprised with the Announcement <<

Debbie Harris graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and has spent 30 years as a classroom educator, administrator, and instructional coach in the elementary grades.  Since 2000 Debbie has been a part of Hope Academy, serving diverse and under resourced families with a God-centered classical education. In 2017 Debbie joined the Spreading Hope Network as an Academic Specialist, helping the classical movement spread in new inner-city schools across the country through coaching urban instructional leaders and teachers.  She is also a consultant for the Circe Institute. Debbie has two sons, and she and her husband Mark live in Hugo, Minnesota.

Brought to you by The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal

Confirmed Speakers

Darrell Falconburg

Wes Callihan

Kristen Rudd

Katerina Hamilton

Director of Press

John Hodges

Director, Center for Western Studies

Laura Berquist

Christopher Perrin

CEO/Publisher of Classical Academic Press

Martin Cothran

Ken Myers

Tim McIntosh

Greg Wilbur

Joshua Gibbs

Michael Buck Holler

Director of Consulting

Heidi White

Jonathan Councell

James Matthew Wilson

Nena Harris

Angel Adams Parham

Dr. Matthew Bianco


Andrew Kern

President & CEO

Andrea Lipinski

Vice President of Training and Consulting

Francis Marion Hotel

The historic Francis Marion Hotel, named for the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” has a long tradition of gracious service, elegant accommodations, and hosting splendid banquets and events dating back to its opening in 1924. Built by local investors at a cost of $1.5 million from plans by noted New York architect W.L. Stoddard, the Francis Marion was the largest and grandest hotel in the Carolinas. The 1920s was the Golden Age of railroads, radio and grand hotels, and the Charleston Renaissance was in full bloom and the Francis Marion Hotel was “the place to be”.

Please click here to book your hotel room on our block at the discounted rate! Use code CIRCE24.

Please click here to book your hotel room on our block at the discounted rate! Use code CIRCE24.

EST time
July 17

Schedule Coming Soon

July 18

8:30 – 9:45am – Plenary I – Andrew Kern
10:15 – 11:30am – Pillar I – John Hodges
12:00 – 1:00pm – Breakout Session A:

Heidi White –
James Matthew Wilson – Classical Reflections on the Human Body and the Purpose of Human Life
Laura Berquist –
Greg Wilbur – In My Beginning is My End: How Prudence Hears Music (or What You Hear is What You Get)
Joshua Gibbs – That’s Just, Like, Your Opinion, Man: Prudence and Good Taste
Colloquy – Nena Harris –
Colloquy – Jonathan Councell –

2:30 – 3:30pm – Breakout Session B:

Christopher Perrin –
Ken Myers –
Tim Mcintosh – Prudence in Paradise: Dante on What Makes Us Happy
Dr. Matthew Bianco –
Andrea Lipinski –
Colloquy – Renee Mathis – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Colloquy – Eliot Grasso – Psalm 127 verses 1-2: 

4:00 – 5:00pm – Poetic Knowledge Panel
5:30pm – State Of Circe – Andrew Kern

July 19

8:30 – 9:45am – Plenary II – Ken Myers
10:15 – 11:30am – Pillar II – Laura Berquist – Classical Education in the Light of Prudence
12:00 – 1:00pm – Breakout Session C:

Dr. Matthew Bianco –
Johnathan Councell –
Andrea Lipinski –
Greg Wilbur – Animating Virtue: The Integral Parts of Prudence as Harmony
Katerina Hamilton –
Colloquy – Martin Cothran –
Colloquy – Buck Holler –

2:30 – 3:30pm – Breakout Session D:

Joshua Gibbs – Sorry, There Is No “Rhetoric Stage”
John Hodges –
Andrew Kern –
Buck Holler –
Christopher Perrin –
Colloquy – Darrell Fallconburg –
Colloquy – Kristen Rudd –

4:00 – 5:00pm – Breakout Session E:

James Matthew Wilson – What Makes a Poem a Poem?
Heidi White –
Wes Callihan –
Tim Mcintosh –
Martin Cothran – Prudence as a Pedagogical Principle
Colloquy – Andrew Kern –

July 20

9:00 – 10:00am – Plenary III – Wes Callihan – The Ancient Art of Memory and the Cultivation of Prudence
10:30 – 11:30am – Plenary IV – Musical Performance
12:00 – 1:15pm – Q&A Panel and Closing Remarks – Andrew Kern


Frequently Asked Questions

No. The banquet registration is included in the standard conference registration.
Absolutely. Nearly all of the sessions will be available to purchase as downloadable mp3s a few weeks after the event.
Breakfast is provided Thursday, Friday, and Saturday along with lunch on Thursday and Friday, and dinner at the banquet on Friday evening. The Wednesday evening reception includes heavy hors d’oeuvres.
The conference will end at lunchtime on Saturday, July 15th.
Refund requests received by January 1st, 2024 will be honored in full, minus a $20 cancellation fee per person. Cancellations received between January 1st and April 1st, 2024 will receive a 50-percent refund, minus the cancellation fee. No refunds will be granted after May 1st unless your seat can be replaced by someone on the waiting list, in which case we will refund 50% of the registration. Please note that seats pre-ordered at the 2022 conference do NOT qualify for refunds. Cancellations and refund requests must be made by email: [email protected].
A “colloquy” is a session that is designed to be discussion-based. Each colloquy is moderated by one of our speakers whose job is to kindle the conversation and maintain the session’s civility. Because of the Socratic nature of these sessions, they are limited to twelve per colloquy. There are two colloquies and 5 workshops per break-out period.
There are typically 2 plenaries each day, the Friday night banquet, the Thursday Poetic Knowledge Panel, approximately 35 total workshops, and 14 total colloquies.
The conference begins at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 17th with a welcome reception and meet-and-greet. Food is provided. The sessions begin Thursday morning, July 18th, at 8:30 am.
Due to the length of our waitlist, we do not allow the transfer of tickets, except under extreme circumstances. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you have any questions about this policy please email us at [email protected].