John Adams Academy is restoring America’s heritage by developing servant-leaders who are keepers and defenders of the principles of freedom for which our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.
All programs, services, and systems of John Adams Academies, Inc. (the “Academy”) are designed to achieve this mission of developing servant leaders. The following statement provides definitions and details to further articulate the meaning and intent of the vision and mission statement:
What is America’s Heritage?
America’s heritage is a tradition of self-governing and virtuous citizens who unite in pursuit of unalienable, certain, and universal principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. It is a tradition that is passed on to each generation, and each generation fights to make these principles available to all and to preserve them for future generations. Such a free society is necessary for true human flourishing.
Liberty: This free society is grounded in the principles of liberty and freedom embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. These principles include:
- individuals are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights
- the existence of objective truth and natural law which govern all humanity
- governments are instituted to secure the inalienable rights of the governed and derive their just power from the consent of the governed
- good governments are inherently limited in the form of a republic with checks and balances and separation of powers
- the inseparability of individual liberty and personal responsibility
- justice under the law for all people
Self-Governing Citizens: America’s Heritage is a tradition of responsible, liberally educated citizens exercising their free will to improve and govern themselves according to natural laws. The foundational principle of individual liberty, as referenced above, is when an individual freely chooses to align him or herself with natural laws. Self-governing citizens embody the ideals of self-reliance, virtue, and wisdom. Receiving a liberal arts education grounded in the classics, in disciplines from the sciences to the arts, helps citizens become self-governing. As such, they are able to discover truth by reading deeply, thinking soundly, and communicating ideas eloquently to others; and they are well-versed in the great ideas of Western Civilization that have shaped our nation. This enables a self-governing citizen to participate effectively in society.
Society: America’s heritage is a tradition of communities of such self-governing citizens, each with their own unique gifts, voluntarily acting for the benefit of their community and for the preservation of free society by leading as servants in all levels of that society. Morality based on natural law is an indispensable support to prosperity in a free society. In other words, for such a free society to perpetuate under a government of, by, and for the people, the consenting governed must embrace the principles of liberty and virtue, be informed, be liberally educated, serve in their community, and participate in the process of governance. Free societies also adhere to a tradition of advancement in those communities rooted in property rights, entrepreneurship, and the freedom of voluntary exchange in free markets of ideas, goods, and services.
In sum, the tradition of a free society is only sustainable with a citizenry of virtuous, self-governing servant leaders, who lead out to improve themselves, their families, and their communities.
What is a Servant Leader?
A servant leader is a self-governing citizen who is dedicated to causes greater than self; in particular, the cultivation, propagation, and defense of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for self and others. A servant leader pursues these high causes by courageously applying truth, wisdom, and virtue as he or she leads others through service.
A servant leader is driven by an inner compass of virtues and core values, with a natural desire to serve and empower others. This is not about being subservient but about the sincere desire to help others. A servant leader has the vision to see what is and what could be, and has the will and abilities needed to move self and others toward the ideal. A servant leader has the courage to apply the virtues even at their testing point.
A servant leader develops natural and moral authority. Natural authority comes through excellence, when a servant leader develops his or her innate qualities and gifts to serve mankind. A servant leader has the competence to build coalitions and inspire others to follow as first among equals. Moral authority derives from a developed character, as he or she serves before leading and self-governs according to true principles. A person becomes a leader because of his or her example of selflessness and influence. Although positional authority — titles, credentials, degrees — may give opportunities to lead, it is only the natural and moral authority of a leader that moves others.
A servant leader is about becoming. A true servant leader models humility, knowing that there are always more opportunities for growth.
The purpose of servant leadership is to pursue human flourishing by restoring the principles of America’s Heritage.
How do we Restore America’s Heritage?
John Adams Academy restores America’s Heritage in three ways:
In the Individual:
Each generation of new scholars, parents, teachers, staff, and community members comes to us without a full understanding of a free society and servant leadership. The Academy restores this understanding of a free society and servant leadership in each individual through an American Classical Leadership Education. Also, the restoration of America’s heritage is a journey, not a destination—each individual needs to continue to grow and improve through practicing servant leadership. It is a lifelong effort to restore the principles of America’s heritage in one’s heart, mind, and actions.
In the Education System:
The end of education is a self-governing individual who is a servant leader. Education has strayed far from the academic results that America’s founding generation achieved. We seek to restore, develop, improve, and implement a system of education rooted in the same principles of liberty and freedom that embody America’s heritage, thereby imparting a full understanding of a free society and developing self-governing servant leaders. By combining classical content, the practice of the liberal arts, and liberty-based pedagogy with our Ten Core Values and the guidance of mentors, John Adams Academy provides an American Classical Leadership Education. By doing so, we provide an education rooted in the same tradition in which the great servant leaders of the founding generation were educated—an education that cultivates scholars in foundational principles of servant leadership discovered through the classics and guided application of those principles.
History has shown that a free society is constantly under attack and must be restored each generation. It is perpetuated only by constant restoration of the foundational principles of a free society. Servant leaders from John Adams Academy go forth to fulfill their unique roles in the grand tradition of a free society by preserving it, healing it, and improving it. Servant leaders do this in all levels of society (family, community, nation). In this manner, we develop servant leaders who become keepers and defenders of the principles of freedom throughout society and by doing so restore America’s heritage.
How do we Develop Servant Leaders?
Developing a servant leader is about becoming, not about teaching a certain set of facts or training in a particular skill. We recognize each scholar as a sovereign and an individual agent that is best developed not through dictate, but through a process rooted in the principles of liberty. Through this process, individuals are inspired to take responsibility for their education, to grow from nurtured to self-governing, and to progress from self-improvement to virtuous service.
This growth process is accomplished through our Ten Core Values combined with the practice of the liberal arts using classical content guided by mentors who lead through a liberty-based art of mentorship. The classically-educated scholar discovers truth, develops virtue, and becomes wise from living the principles of this education. As a result, scholars naturally transition from preparing to serve to leading others through service in their sphere of influence.