Piety Hill Seminars

Transmitting Our Western Heritage Through Education

For more than thirty years, thousands of students and dozens of distinguished lecturers have participated in seminars at Piety Hill, the ancestral home of Russell Kirk. These gatherings have addressed a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Can Virtue be Taught?
  • Recovering Historical Consciousness
  • The Founders and the Constitution
  • T. S. Eliot and the Defense of Culture
  • The Role of the Professor in the Postmodern Age
  • A Humane Economy

Importantly, these seminars provide for fellowship and informal conversation and they foster an appreciation for the importance of an authentically liberal and humane education.

The Russell Kirk Center administers an annual program of  seminars at Piety Hill that includes the following:

Redeem the Time: These day-long seminars at Piety Hill introduce the works of Russell Kirk to the interested public.

– The Politics of Prudence: A weekend conference that explores Russell Kirk’s understanding of the “permanent things” and ways this understanding may be applied practically to social, educational, and political issues today.

– Liberty and Liberal Education: A weekend schedule of lectures and seminars organized for graduate students who are committed to a teaching career.

– The Roots of American Order: The Center is designing a new conference for high school students and their teachers to explore American constitutionalism and its roots deep within Western Civilization.

The Kirk Center also hosts seminars held by leading colleges, think tanks, and educational organizations, including The McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Mackinac Center, Hillsdale College, the Acton Institute, Hope College, and the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University, among many others.

“Unlike the homes of so many other prominent public figures, Piety Hill, the ancestral home of the late Russell Kirk, is neither museum nor mausoleum; rather, it is a living, functioning home. … the only way that the best lights of our civilization can be conserved through these times of leveling innovation is by building and conserving those places where the life of the moral imagination, the sacramental life, can be lived by unbroken generations.”

-Jacob Culberson, Vanderbilt University

“This place holds a deep sense of living history, which I feel blessed to have experienced.”

-Samuel Klee, Former Wilbur Fellow and Current Graduate Student at St. Louis University

“The Kirk Center is a unique intellectual institution, nestled as it is in rural Michigan. Its location lends itself to thinking and reflection. This is especially true in its library, full of many of the great works in the English language, and where Russell Kirk himself wrote and thought. The gracious hospitality of Mrs. Annette Kirk and her staff, and the humane people drawn to Kirk Center events was of great benefit to me as I continued my research into President Martin Van Buren and American politics and religion. This was an opportunity I hope many other scholars will have.”

-Jason K. Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of History at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan