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Conservatism 101

Understand the foundations of Conservatism

Discover what conservatives fight to conserve



Many people know the basic tenets of conservatism, but when asked the question, “What are are conservatives trying to conserve?” most will have trouble coming up with the right answer.

This course will consider the origins of the modern conservative movement and explore the new basis America claimed for political legitimacy: Rights do not come from a government, but from nature and nature’s God.

Taught by a selection of America’s top conservative professors, columnists, politicians, and organization leaders, this course is delivered via email. Each session features lively teaching, suggested readings, weekly quizzes, and more.

Are you interested in digging deeper into your own conservative values—or do you want to know more about the future of conservatism? This course will help you understand the values and principles that conservatives share—so that you can better preserve and defend the principles of liberty.


"If more conservative candidates have the same secret weapon I had -- top staff and key volunteers trained by the Leadership Institute -- you and I will see many more conservative victories in the future."

- Rand Paul, United States Senator

For 30 years no one has done more to inspire and train young conservatives than Morton Blackwell and the Leadership Institute.

Mike Pence, Vice President of The United States

Course Curriculum


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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

Get started now!




The Leadership Institute's mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process.

To accomplish this, the Institute identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media.

Founded in 1979 by its president, Morton C. Blackwell, the Leadership Institute (LI) teaches conservatives the nuts and bolts of how to succeed in the public policy process.

The Institute strives to produce a new generation of public policy leaders unwavering in their commitment to free enterprise, limited government, strong national defense, and traditional values.

Institute graduates are equipped with practical skills and professional training to implement sound principles through effective public policy.

LI offers 47 types of training schools, workshops, and seminars and a top-notch intern program. The Institute also provides an Employment Placement Service to help place conservatives in public policy positions and in the broadcast media, at no cost to employers or job seekers.


Visit our main website here for more training opportunities and to learn more.

The Leadership Institute is a non-partisan educational organization approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a public foundation operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. The Leadership Institute does not endorse, support, or oppose candidates or proposed legislation. The Institute has an open admissions policy; all programs are open to the public. Contributions to the Leadership Institute by individuals, corporations, and foundations are tax deductible.