ISI Honors Conference 2023

July 30-05, 2023
Annapolis, MD

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Program

Join other exceptional students from all academic disciplines and leading conservative intellectuals for ISI’s premier, all-expenses-paid, week-long summer program.

This year’s theme is God, Man, and State: Liberalism, Individualism, and the Crisis of the Post-Christian Era. Honors scholars will be taken on a journey from Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and to Philadelphia — Russell Kirk’s five cities that shape the American order — to gain perspective about what holds America together, and what can tear it apart.

It is by understanding the foundation of the American order that we can address the drift away from the “permanent things,” with the hopes that graduates of this program can remedy what ails American institutions today through virtuous leadership in any track they pursue.

Faculty members and speakers will join students for the entire week, passing on knowledge and guidance through lectures and discussion groups, and will serve as mentors—helping to further students’ academic and professional careers. But the Honors experience does not end after the week. Honors scholars will also be invited to attend additional lectures throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, led by leading conservative intellectuals. As an Honors scholar, you also have the opportunity to attend ISI’s annual Homecoming weekend as a capstone to the year-long experience, and continue to enjoy access to ISI’s many connections and resources.

If you are a hardworking, dedicated, undergraduate conservative leader, you are encouraged to apply to the 2023 ISI Honors Program. Applications are due by February 3rd. We look forward to reviewing your application!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ashley Kondracki at, Josie McDonell at, or Tom Sarrouf


Khalil Habib

Dr. Khalil M Habib is Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches political philosophy and American political thought. Dr. Habib has co-edited two books, The Soul of Statesmanship: Shakespeare on Nature, Virtue, and Political Wisdom, and Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Globalization: Citizens Without States.

Andrew Willard Jones

Andrew Willard Jones holds a PhD in Medieval History from Saint Louis University with a focus on the Church of the High Middle Ages. Jones’s work is primarily concerned with historical political theology and with the reconciliation of the post-modern with the pre-modern. Methodologically, his work treats history as a theological discipline and not as a secular archaeology. Jones is the author of Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in St. Louis IX’s Sacramental Kingdom and the one-volume history of the Catholic Church The Two Cities: A History of Christian Politics. He is also working on an overview of the Church’s social teaching.

Susan Hanssen

Susan Hanssen received her graduate degree in history from Rice University in Houston, TX. She received her undergraduate degree in history from Boston University (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). During the summer of 2008 she was adjunct professor for the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation at Georgetown University. She was the 2010-2011 Garwood Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

Luke Sheahan

Luke C. Sheahan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Duquesne University and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches the intersection of First Amendment rights and political theory. Sheahan’s scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in The Political Science Reviewer, Humanitas, Anamnesis, and The Journal of Value Inquiry and he has lectured widely on religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. He is author of Why Associations Matter: The Case for First Amendment Pluralism (AmazonBarnes and Noble). He is writing a second book tentatively titled “Pluralism and Toleration: Difference, Justice, and the Social Group.”

Brad Littlejohn

Brad Littlejohn, Ph.D., is a Fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping public leaders understand the intellectual and historical foundations of our current breakdown of public trust, social cohesion, and sound governance. His research investigates shifting understandings of the nature of freedom and authority, and how a more full-orbed conception of freedom, rooted in the Christian tradition, can inform policy that respects both the dignity of the individual and the urgency of the common good. He also serves as President of the Davenant Institute. He was previously a fellow at the Edmund Burke Foundation.

Yoram Hazony

Yoram Hazony is an Israeli philosopher, Bible scholar and political theorist. He is the Chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation, and serves as the President of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem. His book, The Virtue of Nationalism (Basic Books, 2018), won the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Conservative Book of the Year Award in 2019.

Chad Pecknold

Dr. Chad Pecknold is an Associate Professor of Theology at The Catholic University of America, Board Director for Americans United for Life, Resident Theologian at The Basilica of St. Mary’s Institute for Faith & Public Culture, Contributing Editor for The Catholic Herald, and co-founder of the online magazine Postliberal Order. Dr. Pecknold is the author of Christianity & Politics: A Brief Guide to the History, Transforming Postliberal Theology and The T&T Clark Companion to Augustine and Modern Theology. He is known foremost for his recovery of Augustine as a Catholic political thinker. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and their five children.

Patrick Deneen

Patrick J. Deneen holds a B.A. in English literature and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University.  From 1995-1997 he was Speechwriter and Special Advisor to the Director of the United States Information Agency.  From 1997-2005 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Princeton University.  From 2005-2012 he was Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, before joining the faculty of Notre Dame in Fall 2012.  He is the author and editor of several books and numerous articles and reviews and has delivered invited lectures around the world.

Deneen was awarded the A.P.S.A.’s Leo Strauss Award for Best Dissertation in Political Theory in 1995, and an honorable mention for the A.P.S.A.’s Best First Book Award in 2000.  He has been awarded research fellowships from Princeton University, Earhart Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Virginia.

His teaching and writing interests focus on the history of political thought, American political thought, liberalism, conservatism, and constitutionalism.   

Jay Richards

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is Director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, and the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute adjunct professor at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America.  

Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012); Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; and The Human Advantage.

He is also creator and executive producer of several documentaries, including three that have appeared widely on PBS. 

Richards’ articles and essays have been published in The Harvard Business ReviewWall Street JournalBarron’sWashington PostThe New York PostNewsweekForbesFox NewsNational Review Online, The Hill, Investor’s Business DailyWashington TimesThe Philadelphia InquirerThe Huffington PostThe FederalistThe Daily Caller, and many other publications.

His work has been covered widely in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington TimesNatureScienceAstronomyPhysics TodayThe Chronicle of Higher Education, and Congressional Quarterly Researcher.

He has appeared on over a thousand radio and television programs, including Larry King Live (CNN), CBS Evening News, MSNBC, HuckabeeDayside, Fox and Friends, Studio B with Shepard Smith (Fox News), Glenn Beck TV, PBSCBNTBN, and is a regular guest on EWTN.

An experienced public speaker, he has spoken at academic conferences; college and university campuses in the United States, Europe, and Asia; many think tanks in the U.S. and Europe; public policy meetings; and on several occasions to members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. congressional staff. His 2008 debate at Stanford University with Christopher Hitchens, moderated by Ben Stein, was broadcast live to several hundred churches in North America.

Ben Whalen

Dr. Benedict Whalen is Associate Professor of English at Hillsdale College. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Dallas, and went on to study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he received his master’s degree and his Ph.D. Dr. Whalen taught at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, before coming to Hillsdale College in 2014.

While a true generalist at heart, Dr. Whalen specializes in Renaissance British Literature, including the works of Shakespeare, Milton, and the lyric poetry of the period. He has published several articles on the works of Shakespeare, Donne, and Renaissance drama and has edited a volume of the poetry of the English martyrs titled Lyra Martyrum. He has served as the Book Review Editor for the Ben Jonson Journal since 2008. He was honored as Hillsdale College Professor of the Year in 2020.

Dr. Whalen lives in Hillsdale with his wife Lisa and their six children.

Carl Trueman

Carl Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. He has written more than a dozen books, including Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of HistoryLuther on the Christian LifeThe Creedal Imperative, and The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution.

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What ISI Honors Alum Are Saying

“The ISI Honors Program provided an unparalleled opportunity to carry the torch of the American intellectual tradition alongside its finest sons and daughters. I am honored and grateful to be associated with the institute which has united our nation’s top students and scholars in defense of her heritage. I would recommend ISI to any student serious about understanding the heart of American ethos and committed to defending, nurturing, and promoting it for generations to come.”
- Luke Dardis, University of Notre Dame
“ISI Honors has been a tremendous experience for my growth intellectually and professionally. It is a unique program which explores crucial parts of the Western canon in light of today’s issues. I had enlightening conversations with my fellow Scholars and with ISI faculty, that have inspired me to read, write, and explore new things.”
- Ben Frogel, College of William & Mary
“The high caliber of students inspired me to pursue not only authentic education even more, but also friendship based in virtue. I was challenged to become the best version of myself for the sake of the republic and for heaven.”
- Molly Zepeda, The University of Dallas
“The ISI Honors Program was the crowning experience of my college career, and gave me a heightened appreciation for the essential role of higher education, as well as some fond memories.” --- “The ISI Honors Program provides unique moments of encounter, where students meet individuals who are likewise pursuing self-betterment and the betterment of higher academia.” --- “ISI programs foster a greater understanding of the challenges of our day and help produce rounded students who are ready for action. ”--- “Where the preponderance of colleges lacks the creativity essential to the educative experience, ISI goes above, fostering essential conversations that are otherwise suppressed.”
- Claire (Delaplace) Kelly, The University of Dallas
“The ISI Honors conference, in my estimates, will prove to be one of the most formative experiences of my life. At the conference, I felt that the entirety of my person was edified. We explored the concepts of justice, beauty, truth, and goodness. We spent time molding our intellects together, challenging each other in a dialectic. However, principally, I feel as though we were pointed toward Christ’s commands “to love thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind,” and to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” I left with the knowledge that justice and politics ought not be centered around anything less than that."
- Micah Veillon, Georgia Tech
“At the ISI Honors Conference, I was given the historical and philosophical foundational knowledge which allowed me to think about my conservative beliefs more profoundly and to embrace the conservative spirit wholeheartedly. The lively spirit of debate and common thought created friendship ordered towards the same goal, rather than alliances of arguments, has shown me that conservatism goes beyond the mere political realm, and really has theological, cultural and philosophical implications which are important in order to see the world as it really is.”
- Marie-Sophie Brackstone, Catholic University of America
“To be immersed in ideas, to read great works and discuss great minds, to argue with energetic peers and study under brilliant professors, to feel the thick community that is the university—these are the opportunities given to me by ISI, both in online seminars and week long fellowships. I would recommend ISI for anyone thinking seriously about politics. Not the dry and unimaginative politics that we see, but a study of the ideas and institutions, the virtues and vices, which shape our political moment. Spend one week with the honors program; what you will find is this: that each conversation is given weight as we talk not merely amongst ourselves, but learn to dialogue among the dead.”
- Caleb Knox, Patrick Henry College
"I am so grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to participate in ISI’s Summer Honors Program. I cannot put a price on the education I received from this experience. Between reading literature of Plato and Kirk, learning from such highly esteemed professors, and creating lifelong friendships, this program has been one of the best experiences of my college career. I came out of this program as a better and more educated version of myself, ready to continue this learning process on my own."
- Sophia Corso, LeMoyne College

Applications Now Closed