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.
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.

  • 100% Online

    Learn at your own pace, with lifetime access on mobile and desktop.

  • Expert Faculty

    Better understand what you believe, why you believe it, and how to advance your conservative principles.

  • Enroll for Free

    Thanks to the generous and dependable support of Leadership Institute donors.

Discover Conservatism

Learn more about your conservative heroes, how conservatism developed, and where America is headed today.

Course curriculum

    1. What are conservatives trying to conserve?

    2. Conservatism is the antidote to tyranny

    3. The conservative alliance

    4. Quiz -- Introduction to Conservatism with Chrisopher Malagisi

    1. What conservatism is not

    2. Understanding American progressivism

    3. The waves of liberalism

    4. Quiz -- Defining Progressivism with Dr. Matthew Spalding

    1. A libertarian conservative fusion

    2. Three legs of the conservative stool

    3. Working together

    4. Quiz -- Fusion Conservatism with Becky Norton Dunlop

    1. What is at stake in America?

    2. America's contract with its citizens

    3. Judicial Activism

    4. Quiz -- The Constitution with Mark Levin

    1. Peace through strength

    2. Seeking order, stability, and moderation

    3. The post-Cold War era

    4. Quiz -- National Security & Foreign Policy with Cliff May

    1. The engine of conservative politics

    2. Building a movement

    3. Political action

    4. Conservative politics today

    5. Becoming a wise conservative

    6. Quiz -- The Real Nature of Conservative Politics with Morton Blackwell

About this course

  • Free
  • 50 lessons
  • 8 hours of video content


  • 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.

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 more than 50 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.