Azusa, Calif. — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently awarded David Weeks, Ph.D., dean of Azusa Pacific University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with 1 of 20 $25,000 grants from their "Enduring Questions" program. 

Through the grant, Weeks will develop a new undergraduate humanities course on "The Art of Leadership," using the "mirror of princes" or de regimine principum genre. Readings include Xenophon's The Education of Cyrus, Niccoló Machiavelli's The Prince, Desiderius Erasmus' The Education of a Christian Prince, and Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

"By tackling these classics, students learn how a Greek philosopher, a Florentine nobleman, a Christian humanist, and an East Asian military strategist agree and disagree on the principles and practices of good leadership," said Weeks.

In the course students will explore different aspects of leadership including answering questions such as: Who is a good leader? What does a good leader do? Is leadership an art or a science? How does one prepare for leadership? Are leaders constrained by any boundaries or obligations? The course is set to begin in Spring 2010. The course is open to all undergraduate students and also counts toward general studies requirements for students in APU's Great Works Option (High Sierra Semester) or humanities and leadership minors.

This competitive grant program is intended to encourage undergraduate students and a teacher to grapple with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities, and to join together in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential thinkers over the centuries and into the present day. Each award supports the design, preparation, and assessment of a new course.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities.