Montpelier Seminars are a unique opportunity for anyone interested in the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and learning about the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Participants in a Montpelier Seminar will live and study on the grounds of James Madison's Montpelier, one of the central sites of the American constitutional founding.
Each of the Montpelier Seminars encompass a consistent core of knowledge about the principles of American constitutionalism — popular sovereignty, fundamental law, good government, full citizenship, and human liberty. They also highlight the systematic and persisting contrasts between Federalist and Antifederalist approaches to the Constitution.
Participants will receive a collection of primary documents in advance of the seminar, specific to the content of each program, which will be the basis of most discussions. They include writings by James Madison, sections of The Federalist Papers, selections from Antifederalist writers, and other fundamental documents. Each seminar includes an intensive session on ways of reading a document of political or constitutional theory.
The Seminars cost approximately $1250 per person to host; however, thanks to the generosity of private donors, the Center has a limited number of scholarships available at almost no cost for classroom teachers in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California. Scholarships cover the cost of accommodations, meals, reading materials, teaching resources, and documentation for recertification credits. However, the Center does require a $50 non-refundable registration fee once accepted into a seminar. Educators who work outside this region should contact the Center about tuition rates or other regional scholarships that might be available.
The public are encouraged to apply and may participate at a discounted tuition of $699 for the program.
Accommodations and Meals: You will be housed at the Constitutional Village on the grounds of Montpelier near Orange, VA. All meals will be provided.
Seminar Materials: You will receive readings that are specially edited and assembled to reflect the theme of the Seminar.
Recertification Points: Educators will receive documentation of the Seminar’s contact hours to qualify you for professional development from your local school system, according to your own school policies. You will also have the option to request Continuing Education Units through James Madison University for a small fee.
Apply Online for our Montpelier Seminars and take our free online Constitutional Foundations and Bill of Rights courses.
Admission will be decided for each Seminar on a rolling basis throughout the semester. Eligible applicants who cannot be included in a Seminar will be placed on a waiting list for any vacancies that may occur. Early applicants, therefore, will have a better chance of gaining admission. Applications received later in the season will be given full consideration as long as vacancies remain.