Current Openings

***Note: the application deadline for summer 2018 has passed. Please check back in the fall to apply for the 2019 Seminar Chair position. Details will remain largely the same as below.***

Seminar Chair – 2018 Blue Ridge Session

June 17th-August 11th, 2018

The Arete Project is seeking a Seminar Chair for the 2018 Blue Ridge Session. The Seminar Chair oversees the program’s academic pillar, leads our 16-18 women students in a daily seminar, and is responsible for the intellectual vitality of the community. Intellectual rigor is a foundational value of the Arete Project, and the Seminar Chair should exemplify, expect, and encourage its highest achievement.


Applications are due by October 27th, 2017. Applicants will receive notifications regarding interviews by early to mid-November. An employment offer will be made by mid-December. Please direct any questions to


Our online application is available here:

The core of the application consists of the following materials:

  • Cover Letter, including:
    • Your reasons for seeking this position
    • Any experience teaching in a living-learning context, mentoring, or advising
    • Three proposed courses that you would be excited to teach, including a 1-2 sentence description of each. If hired, the Hiring Committee will select which of the three courses you will be invited to teach.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  • Responses to the following (max. 400 words each):
    • Integral to the mission of the Arete Project are the three pillars of academics, labor, and self- governance. What do you find compelling about teaching and living in a community built on this model? How do you see your approach to teaching engaging with this mission?
    • Give an example of a time when you had to navigate teaching a diverse group of students (in terms of academic interests, background, identity, etc.). How did you make content accessible?

Applicants are also asked to furnish two letters of recommendation, due at the same time as the rest of the materials. Please have recommenders email their letters as PDF attachments to


All applicants must be credentialed at the appropriate level for college instruction, generally meaning a terminal degree. We also accept applications from Ph.D. candidates who are ABD. Substantial teaching experience is a must, and experience mentoring, advising, or teaching in living-learning situations is an added bonus. Teaching experience should feature prominently in the application, including in the letters of recommendation.

Applicants must be legally qualified to work in the United States of America. We regret that the Arete Project is not in the position to sponsor work visas.

Teaching at the Arete Project

The Seminar Chair will conduct a daily class for the 16-18 college-age women participating in the 2018 Blue Ridge Session. Class time should comprise roughly 12 hours each week, though this may take many forms (whole group or partial-group discussions, individual writing or research time, etc). This does not include time spent preparing for class. The Blue Ridge Session runs from June 17th to August 11th, 2018, and – with the exception of orientation, field trips, and other special events – class time should be a part of each weekday afternoon.

The Seminar Chair will propose three courses as part of his or her application process. Upon making an offer of employment, the Hiring Committee will select which of the three courses the Chair will design and teach the following summer. We accept course proposals in any disciplinary or thematic area, though we give preference to proposals whose intellectual substance dovetails with the experiential components of the program or opens onto any of the “big questions” faced by young adults. By way of example, this may include such diverse courses as “democracy in theory and action,” “field ecology of the Southern Appalachians,” or “women and the written word.” For other ideas, read through out past courses here. We highly encourage interdisciplinary courses, courses that give opportunities for student leadership and participation, and courses that involve both experience and experiment. We do consider co-taught courses.

All courses must adhere to the general standards for college material, though they must be accessible to students without any but the most basic prerequisites. (For example, it is appropriate to expect competency in algebra but not calculus. Though you will likely have students who are not native English speakers, you may expect fluency in written and spoken English). Students may opt to take the course for college credit, and for these students you must create an acceptable final evaluation and assign a final grade. These need not apply to other students.

As a member of the Arete Project community, we expect the Seminar Chair to participate in community life. Though the Chair’s apartment will have a private kitchen, we suggest that he or she take approximately ten meals each week with students, as some of the liveliest and richest conversations of the summer occur during mealtime. The Seminar Chair may also be called upon to serve as an informal mentor or advisor to students and should be prepared to serve in that capacity. Individuals students may want to discuss course material over a cup of coffee or their future careers over a morning walk. We furthermore highly encourage mutual sharing of skills and interests between staff, faculty, and students.

Administratively speaking, the Seminar Chair is responsible for attending a weekly Logistics Meeting, usually held over lunch. These meetings simply coordinate time and resources between students, staff, and faculty. The Seminar Chair will also serve as the staff member on-call for two weekends over the summer in case of student emergencies. Otherwise, weekends are free.

Academics and Student Self-Governance

The Arete Project’s educational model is centered upon the three pillars of academics, labor, and self-governance. All three pillars interact with one another, but in the course of his or her responsibilities in the academic pillar, the Seminar Chair is very likely to interact with student self-governance processes. This begins at the outset of the hiring process, which is overseen by a student-run committee (though composed of students, staff, and faculty). Students help read all faculty applications, conduct all interviews, and determine both employment offers and course selection.

Over the course of the summer, students in the 2018 Blue Ridge Session cohort will likely discuss self-governance matters that bear on the academic pillar. In the past, these have included student-proposed readings, field trips and guest lectures, restructuring of class time to take advantage of a unique opportunity, and the like. As the Arete Project encourages students to exercise authority over their own educations, we encourage staff and faculty to treat all educational activities as a partnership between educators and students. This does not mean that staff and faculty must accede to every student request, nor does it mean that students may discard academics or disrespect their instructors. It does, however, require open dialogue and compromise from both sides. Ultimately, the Seminar Chair will be responsible for working with students – and their self-governance bodies – to co-create a dynamic and student-driven intellectual community.


Compensation is $8,000-$10,000, based on experience. Room, board, and $500 in travel expenses are also included in the compensation package.

Living at the Arete Project

The Seminar Chair will be housed on the campus of Arthur Morgan School. While the school’s housing options vary from year to year, the most likely accommodation will be a private, second-story one-bedroom apartment with a bathroom, kitchen, and small living area – comfortable, but not fancy. Wireless internet is provided. Verizon gets good reception in Celo; AT&T does not.

Arthur Morgan School is based in Celo, North Carolina – a small community of about fifty households with strong homesteading and Quaker roots. The nearest towns (for grocery shopping, medical services, etc.) are Burnsville and Spruce Pine, NC, both about a 20 minute drive away. Asheville – about an hour away – boasts a wonderful food and music scene as well as the closest airport. The entire region provides wonderful access to hiking, backpacking, climbing, and other outdoor activities; the highest peaks in the east sit directly opposite the school. Deeply-rooted artistic traditions have flourished into a lively community of musicians, artists, and artisans whose gigs, exhibitions, and studios provide a vibrant cultural life. And the rustic, natural surroundings also afford the peace needed for thought and writing.

The Arete Project staff and faculty community is small, consisting of the Program Director, Seminar Chair, Labor Coordinator, and two Arete Project alums who serve as Program Assistants. The Program Director and Labor Coordinator live in Celo, both within a 5-10 minute walk. Other Arthur Morgan School staff members may be around for all or part of the summer. Though small, Celo offers a wide variety of social opportunities: summer celebrations, well-populated swimming holes, community service days, a farmer’s market, a Quaker meeting, concerts and dances, and a community center with a small but excellent library.

A car is necessary to access much of the surrounding area, and the Seminar Chair is eligible to be placed on the AMS drivers’ insurance policy, giving him or her access to AMS vehicles for the summer. These should be used primarily for program business, but may be used for small personal outings. We do highly recommend that the Chair bring a personal vehicle. We can also make inquiries to see if a local rental may be available; however, such a rental is not covered as part of the compensation package.

The Chair’s family is most welcome to come along for the summer, and different accommodations may be available if more space is required. If needed, we can help make connections to summer camps and babysitting services in the area.

Please contact us if you have specific accommodation needs.

Equal Opportunity Employment

The Arete Project is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national and/or ethnic origin, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, gender identity/expression, or political affiliation in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, financial aid, and other related policies and programs, as well as volunteer and employment-related policies and activities.