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Areté Academy

Areté (\ærətiː\; Greek: ἀρετή): excellence and moral virtue.

Areté Academy is designed to equip and engage the next generation of leaders to take up positions of influence in law, government, public policy, media, academia, and other culture-shaping institutions. It prepares exceptional students and young professionals across the globe to pursue God’s unique calling in their career, and to deploy their full potential as they grow in servant leadership in positions of public impact. Areté Academy offers a unique combination of biblical worldview at the highest intellectual level applied to the most pressing challenges of our time, character and spiritual formation, and specialized professional development.

During each stage of Areté Academy, participants (‘Delegates’) examine the foundations of true freedom and justice and explore solutions to many of the most pressing concerns of our current culture. Under the teaching of distinguished faculty from across their region and the world, Delegates gain unique perspectives on addressing these issues on a national, regional, and global scale. With a commitment to excellence, Areté Academy has equipped hundreds of selected individuals around the globe to become leaders in their career fields and prepare for long-term impact. Areté Delegates are involved precedent-setting cases and matters around the world, serving the common good and defending freedom in their spheres of influence.

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excited Arete delegates
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excited Arete delegates


Areté Academy comprises a 4-month online curriculum leading to participation in the 5-day Academy, culminating in the commissioning of permanent Areté Delegates into the ongoing global Areté Community and wider ADF International network. 

Online Journey 
Selected Applicants are called Areté Delegates and commence their training online together as a class in each region. Currently, Areté Academy is offered in Europe, Asia, and Latin America with a yearly class. They receive substantive, foundational training with expert faculty in a bi-weekly rhythm over four months. The online Journey challenges Delegates to think deeply, expand their perspective, hone their communication skills, and build relationships with their fellow participants.   

Following the online training, the full class will come together for a 5-day in-person training. Delegates will learn from and engage with world-class faculty, and explore real solutions to the pressing legal, political, and cultural issues of our time. Delegates live, learn, laugh, and pray together, and examine what it means to faithfully live a vocation of public leadership ‘for such a time as this.’  

Areté Academy is a beginning, not the end. Building life-long relationships and connections is a central component of Areté Academy. From the start, each Delegate goes through the Journey and the Academy as a part of a small team led by designated Mentors. Mentors are instrumental to foster connection and support as Delegates grow together in the pursuit of their individual and collective callings.  
Following the Academy, successful Delegates will join the Areté Community: a global professional network of Christians who passionately engage at the highest levels of law, governance, and culture-shaping institutions. They are also part of the wider ADF International network of lawyers, experts, and senior individuals serving in strategic positions of impact. Together, they are empowered to pursue the competence and character needed to excel in their professions, the conviction necessary to effectively engage the culture, and a community that enriches and fuels that pursuit in the long run.

ADF International offers Delegates essential resources to impact culture and remain firm in their Christian commitment through ongoing professional development, training, reunions, access, and fellowship.   


Each day at Areté Academy is founded upon worship, reflection, and devotionals – placing Christ first in position and in priority. Without Christ we can do nothing, and Areté Academy helps the leaders of tomorrow to form deep conviction and commitment to speaking the truth in love in positions of influence.

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Faith and intellect go hand in hand. Areté Academy gives Delegates the opportunity to study under some of the most distinguished Christian academics and experts in their fields, and wrestle with some of the most challenging questions facing society today.

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More than simply a point-in-time experience, Areté Academy is an ongoing, thoughtful community that grows throughout the professional lives of its members. Delegates depart with real intellectual and personal resources – knowing they have community support as they face and overcome future challenges.

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Areté Academy is tailored geographically and professionally. Applicants can have any academic background, it is not limited to law. They should apply for the programme in the region in which they live, or in which they intend to engage professionally long-term. Full attendance online and at the Academy is required. Lodging, meals, and programme costs of Areté Academy are covered by ADF International.

Areté Academy Latin America

Academy: 28 January – 2 February 2024, San Jose, Costa Rica

Online Journey: October 2023 – January 2024 (every 2 weeks – Tuesday evenings).

Application is Closed
Areté Academy Europe

Academy: 21 – 26 April 2024,

Online Journey: December 2023 – April 2024 (every 2 weeks – Monday evenings).

Application is Closed
Areté Academy Asia

Academy: August 2024,

Online Journey: April – July 2024.

Apply Here
Application Deadline 15 December 2023


"Areté has envisioned and equipped me … to advocate for those who have no voice … and to defend the right of every person to live freely according to their faith."
"At Areté Academy my eyes were opened to the scholarly depths of legal and Biblical philosophy that underpin our causes."
"Areté Academy showed me that to stand for what is true and good should be done in the most professional and diligent manner possible. Not only bringing to light the strongest, most solid arguments, but doing so strategically."
"Areté Academy has emboldened and vitalized in me a spirit to courageously present the faith in the public square and engage with the issues that matter in our time. Areté Academy was truly the launching pad for many of the activities I now do and I thank God for the way it has enabled me to speak hope and love to a broken world."
"It has been a challenge for me to find the right community of Christians who are equally passionate about stepping out of their comfort zones to stand up for the Gospel in the public square. Areté Academy has made this seemingly impossible task possible and reminded us of the power of unity."
"I participated in Areté Academy – Europe in 2016, which was an amazing experience. The ecumenism of professionals from across different Christian communities, working together on the defence of basic universal social values, left an especially strong impact on me."
"Areté Academy is truly about building community around shared values, a strong commitment to defend our Christian heritage and to live our faith without hesitation and ambiguities. This is something I’m deeply thankful for, as I made life-long friends around the world that inspire me and help me carry on fighting the good fight."
"Areté Academy has deeply inspired me to stand up for the Truth with courage, helped me to do so intelligently and strategically, and allowed me not to be alone in this battle."
Maria Anne
"At Areté Academy I had one of the best experiences of my life, met the next leaders of Latin America and realized the value of continuing to raise the flag of the fair, the true, and the right. Areté changed my life."
Juan Pablo


Areté is ancient Greek, denoting moral excellence and virtue, specifically living up to your full potential and God-given calling.   St. Paul exhorts those who follow Christ to set their minds on areté or ’excellence’ (Philippians 4:8).

A delegate is one designated to act for or represent someone else. Areté Academy attendees are known as ‘Delegates’ because as Christians, we are commissioned to serve as Christ’s delegates in this world. Areté Academy Delegates are reminded by this designation that they are representatives of Christ within their callings as outstanding professionals. 

Criteria for selection are based upon academic achievement, intellectual and spiritual maturity, professional leadership potential, and demonstrated Christian commitment. 

Areté Academy is open to university students from all academic disciplines who have completed at least their first year at university prior to attendance, and young professionals (including PhD and post-doc students) within the first years of their professional careers. If you have questions regarding eligibility, please contact us. Candidates are encouraged to apply specifically for the programme in the region in which they will be living and working long-term.  

Yes. All application items must be uploaded to your online application account by midnight on the deadline date (in the time zone in which the programme will take place). It is your responsibility to remind recommenders of the deadline date for their letters of recommendation. 

Yes. Unofficial transcripts are accepted. Please make sure any unofficial transcripts include the full list of your completed university courses and grades obtained in each course. 

You will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of your recommenders in the Letters of Recommendation section of the online application. An email will automatically be sent to the recommenders with an online recommendation form. After the recommender submits the form online, it will be sent directly to the Areté Academy selection committee. 

If you wish to send the request for recommendation directly to the recommenders yourself (rather than utilize the automated process) you may instead request a copy of the recommendation form be provided to you by email, and it is then your responsibility to transmit that document to your recommenders. After they complete the recommendation, they (or you) can return the completed form to the Areté Academy staff at  

Applicants will be notified by email approximately six (6) weeks after the application deadline. Applicants who are accepted will then have approximately one week to accept the offer by providing additional information online. 

ADF International covers lodging, educational materials, and meals for each Areté Delegate during the Academy. Delegates are responsible for travel costs as well as any personal expenses incurred while attending Areté Academy.