Academic Retreat for Teachers

July 22-25, 2024
Spiritual Life Center | Wichita, KS


Since 2007, our Academic Retreat for Teachers has been giving new and veteran teachers, administrators, and board members — anyone involved in Catholic liberal education — the opportunity to rekindle their passion for learning while exploring the foundations of Catholic education with colleagues from around the country.

This event elevates reading from a privatized, cerebral process into a communal experience of charitable discussion, debate, and discovery, transforming the way educators introduce to their students the great works of the Western tradition.

With over three decades of experience leading engaging discussions, ICLE’s Co-Founder and Senior Faculty Consultant Dr. Andrew Seeley leads this retreat, balancing genuine fellowship with a deep dive into the Catholic intellectual tradition.

The Academic Retreat for Teachers offers:

      • The opportunity to taste Truth as it is found throughout the typical Catholic liberal education curriculum — in Language, History, Mathematics, Science, Literature, Music, and Theology. Discuss the emotional conclusion of the Iliad, Pericles’ and Lincoln’s stirring funeral orations, the trial of Socrates, Augustine’s dramatic conversion story, the elegance of Euclid’s geometry, Descartes’ rejection of classical education, and much more.
      • Small group discussions led by master teachers with fellow Catholic educators who want to ponder the depth and breadth of a curriculum alive with Catholic wisdom and experience the joy of a vibrant Catholic learning community.
      • All meals and evening social receptions, beginning with dinner on day one and concluding with lunch on day four.
      • Sacramental and liturgical opportunities, including Morning Prayer, Vespers, Rosary, Confession, and Mass.

Space is limited for maximum personal interaction, and the retreat often sells out. This program is suitable for any educator with a love of learning, regardless of the teacher’s level of experience with seminar-style discussion.


Unlike our other programs, the Academic Retreat for Teachers is not intended to provide training in techniques and strategies for direct use in the classroom. Rather, it is an opportunity for classroom teachers and others to experience true leisure in a restful academic and spiritual setting. We will retreat for a few days from our practical concerns in order to enjoy together a deep experience of liberal learning itself, one which will affect our lives and permeate all of our work by engaging the sense of learning and wonder in each participant.

Academic Retreat participants gain a lived experience of seminar discussion, and enjoy the opportunity to engage with experienced seminar leaders. These experiences and informal discussions provide support for educators wishing to integrate seminar into their teaching.

“Leisure implies an attitude of total receptivity toward, and willing immersion in, reality; an openness of the soul, through which alone may come about those great and blessed insights that no amount of ‘mental labor’ can ever achieve.”

– Josef Pieper, Josef Pieper: An Anthology


The program begins on day one at 3 p.m., with check-in from 3-4:30 p.m. The program concludes on day four after a 12 p.m. lunch.

COST FOR 2024: 

Member School Rate: $745 per person, due within 15 days of registration

Non-Member School Rate: $795 per person, due within 15 days of registration (Become an ICLE Member School today!)

The cost includes all program sessions and materials, overnight lodging in a private room with private bathroom at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas, and meals and receptions beginning with dinner on day one and concluding with lunch on day four.


Title funds (federal monies administered by your Local Educational Agency) may be available to help offset participant costs related to this event. Past participants in this event have successfully secured title funding. Please review some helpful information here.


A limited number of partial, needs-based scholarships are reserved specifically for clergy and vowed religious interested in participating in this program. If you are a member of the clergy or a vowed religious interested in applying for a scholarship, please complete this scholarship request form.


Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the Spiritual Life Center (7100 E. 45th Street North, Bel Aire, Kansas 67226). Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) is located about 20 minutes by car from the Spiritual Life Center. Sleeping rooms at the Spiritual Life Center are private and have private bathrooms.


The Spiritual Life Center has automatic front door openers for accessibility. There is an elevator for those who need access to the basement or second floor. Both chapels are located on the main floor. Throughout the Center there are open lounge areas that are easily accessible. There are two ADA rooms that can accommodate a wheelchair. The nature trails are also wheelchair accessible for those who would like to enjoy the outdoors.


Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are granted for participation in ICLE workshops, programs, and events. You may request a certificate of attendance for a previous event HERE.


For all programs, cancellations received at least 60 days in advance of the event will be honored with a full refund. Cancellations received at least 30 days in advance will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received less than 30 days in advance will receive no refund. Please allow up to 30 days for a refund to be processed.


Please contact Program Manager Megan Fassero with questions:


The Academic Retreat for Teachers can be customized and brought on-site for an entire faculty. Contact an ICLE faculty member and mention your interest in an Academic Retreat for more details.

What Past Participants Say

"The program reminded me that the best teachers are students themselves. Lifelong learning and seeking the truth is a beautiful pursuit that we engage in alongside our scholars. It was a great encouragement that the end of wisdom is never reached, but that lessons in humility and understanding are endless in the seeking of wisdom. We have such a rich culture of beautiful works to draw from and getting to know more of them is such a gift to pass to our students. Enriching our minds helps us to enrich theirs!"

"I came away from this retreat much enriched. I will definitely apply what I learned from our Euclid presentation regarding shadows. I am super excited about that because I will be adding it to my lessons using Plato's Allegory of the Cave!"

"I enjoyed the evening discussions after the official schedule of the day was over. That kind of time to relax and talk through past or coming readings was enjoyable."

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