WallBuilders Leadership Training Gets Remarkable Results Part 1

WallBuilders Leadership Training Gets Remarkable Results Part 1: Leadership is essential for us to turn the nation around. We have to raise up the next generation to understand what it means to be an American and what it means to have a biblical, constitutional, and historical perspective. In today’s episode, we interview Jonathon and Victoria on their experience at the WallBuilders Leadership Training program! Tune in now to learn more! 

Air Date: 04/16/2018

Guests: Victoria Johnson and Jonathan Ritchie

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we talk about the day’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. Always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton’s with us. He’s a national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

You can find out more about us at WallBuildersLive.com. It’s actually got a list of all the stations around the country carrying the program as well as some archives of programs over the last few months. And then you can also go to WallBuilders.com, that’s our main website where you can get a lot of things that will equip and inspire you to be a better citizen and actually help others to do the exact same thing.

David, Tim, I think we probably get more questions about how do we get more leaders that are people of integrity, that understand the Constitution. I maybe get that question at live events more than anything else. People know we have a shortage of leaders that are well grounded in constitutional principle, well grounded in that biblical, constitutional, historical, perspective that we’re talking about. But there are a lot of leaders being raised up. There’s a remnant being raised up and you guys actually get to spend time with a whole group of them for several weeks during the summer.

Tim:

Yeah, we do. And, Rick, let me just first acknowledge what you pointed out. There is so much of a lack of Biblical worldview in culture, there’s so much of a lack of constitutional knowledge. And even constitutional, I guess, giving a wit, caring about it. So many people just don’t care about the foundations of our nation, they don’t care about what makes us strong. They enjoy the benefits and because they don’t know where those things come from that they’re enjoying – their freedom, their liberties, the prosperity, oftentimes they undermine and attack the very things that allow them to be free.

Leadership Training

Tim:

This is not only true in culture, it’s something that when you look at the next generation whether it’s millennials are now Generation Z, these up and coming kids in high school about to get into college. This is something that in their generation we just don’t see very many kids seem to really get it and really understand it. So, that’s one of the things that, obviously, when we started Patriot Academy a dozen whatever years ago, well then probably seven or eight years ago we said, “Hey, we want to do something related to Biblical worldview, and Christian heritage, and American history, and in a pursuit of truth.

So, we started the leadership training program. Which, so, every summer we take a couple of weeks out, it’s a two week program, this summer we’re having three sessions. But for two weeks we bring in 18 to 25 year olds and so whether they’ve just got at a high school, whether they’re in college, whether they’ve gotten out of college, maybe they’re just beginning a career, if they can carve out two weeks we bring them into Dallas and we bring out all kinds of amazing artifacts. And so we just kind of talk through American history, talk through a pursuit of truth in a culture that says, “Truth is whatever you think, and it’s how you feel, and it’s subjective, and it’s relativistic.” And, well, that just doesn’t work in reality.”

So, how do we know what is true and how can we determine if something is true or not? So, we kind of walk through a lot of this stuff. And then certainly base a lot of it on the founding fathers on the principles of our nation and using original source documents to do all of that. It’s something that we have seen absolute transformation for students that have come in– and some come in with a great foundation. And so all it does is bolster their foundation.

Some come in with not as strong of a foundation and it’s able to take them to a place where at the end of that two weeks they’re able to defend so much about this notion of American exceptionalism, or the idea of truth, or a Christian heritage of our nation, the importance of the Bible in culture, things that we talk about on the show on a daily basis, but it’s equipping the next generation to be able to do that.

The Choir Needs Some Preaching To

Rick:

And, Tim, sometimes, like you talk, about the people that come in with a good foundation already. I’ve had people say, “Well, you’re just preaching to the choir.” Well, the choir needs preaching to, the choir need some equipping, we need to be armed. I go to trainings and get more education and training. Everyday when we do radio together we’re getting additional training and education. So, I think having those people that come in with a foundation– and then you have, how long do you have with them during the training?

Tim:

So, we have two weeks of training and it’s probably more than 40 hours a week.

Rick:

Wow.

Tim:

So, there’s a lot of training. And even, Rick, saying somebody has a foundation. There’s a lot of parents who are doing things to help their kids have a solid foundation, but that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily ready to deal with a college professor yet, right?

Rick:

Right.

Tim:

It doesn’t mean they’re ready to defend the apologetics questions that come against faith, or Christianity, or truth. And so we really are very intentional about trying to equip the next generation’s leaders with knowing how to unfold things and discover where truth lies. What is true, what’s not true, how do we know what true is? What does the original document say, right, what did they actually write, what do they actually do? And what does the Constitution actually mean, what does it say?

So, there’s a lot of unfolding that happens. And actually, on the program today we’re going to talk to a couple of people who were part of the leaders training program this last summer. I think the first one is, if I’m reading the schedule right, is Victoria Johnson. She’s somebody who, she’s currently up at Hillsdale which is certainly recognized in a lot of places as being this great constitutional school. But she has some pretty amazing stories with what she was able to take to learn and get a foundation at the leaders training program and then take back to school with her. We’re going to talk to her right after the break.

What the Founders Said About Training the Next Generation

Rick:

Alright, David, real quick before we go to break. Just a thought on what the founders said about training the next generation and how important it was to not just assume they’re getting it, that we have to do this purposely.

David:

Well, training the next generation is huge. John Jay, original Chief Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court said, “You need to know and defend the Constitution.” He said, “But you have to train the next generation to be free.” And training to be free is something that, really, we kind of took it for granted. Rick, you and I are not millennials which means we got some history coming through, we got some constitution coming through, but we did not get the apologetics that are necessary today.

When people come after a guy with 14Phds tells you how crazy the founders were, or how bad America is. We could say, “No, that’s not true.” But we could not really handle that debate with the professor. It’s different now. These kids now not only are they being trained to be free and know what freedom is. They’re being trained with ways to actually get their professor turned in a different direction. And that’s a step above what you and I got, Rick, and it’s really good to see what happens at the leadership training program.

Rick:

Well, we’ve got one of them coming with us right after the break. So stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.

And you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Special guest one of our leaders training program graduates, Victoria Johnson. Victoria, thanks for joining us.

Victoria Johnson:

Thank you.

Rick:

Well, we’re glad you’re here. So you had to spend two weeks with Tim Barton at WallBuilders. Did you have to put up with him for that whole two weeks? Was he trouble? Was he– no?

Victoria Johnson:

Yeah, I did. But it was it was worth the experience.

Rick:

I bet you learned a lot from him. I bet you had a great time.

Victoria Johnson:

Yeah.

Rick:

Tim, how’d she do? Good student?

What Made You Spend Two Weeks Out of Your Summer?

Tim:

Oh well my goodness. So, Victoria is wonderful and I’m just sitting here thinking, “Now, Victoria, now don’t throw me under the bus too much because we both have buses we can throw each other under. So, we have to be–” No, but, yeah, absolutely. She was somebody that, as we mentioned, sometimes people come in with having a fairly solid foundation.

But Victoria, like so many that come, was somebody who was very eager to dig in and learn. And so, Victoria, as we’re having this conversation, I would love to know – as you look back what was it that made you think, “I want to go and spend two weeks”– because that’s a pretty big commitment for your summer. So, why did you think, “I want to go spend two weeks doing this history kind of program.”?

Victoria Johnson:

Yeah, well, my dad had heard about the program and he had told me to look into it. And I go to Hillsdale college so kind of like the big thing is pursuing the true, the good, and the beautiful. I just started reading the description and it kind of seemed like along that line of pursuing the higher things and really digging into truth. So, that’s kind of what got me interested. I wasn’t really sure it was going to play out and what it would do.

But I feel that in doing the program it took my education to the next level and just really helped me to dig in and find resources on how to better my learning experience. Especially since I go to a more conservative college and I don’t have to deal with a lot of things that people have to deal with on a regular basis as they go to a not so conservative college that the program is just something that I feel has equipped me going on in life. And just to challenge professors who often have the same biblical standards as I do and how we like approach that in a way that doesn’t sound rude or come off as me being *.

John Witherspoon

Tim:

Sure. And Victoria, one of the reasons that we wanted to have you on the program is because we got a message from you which– so, one of the really cool things is you actually contacted me and said, “Hey, what do you know about John Witherspoon and where can I find his writings?” And I was kind of like that’s kind of an odd question for someone in college to say, “Hey, this John Witherspoon guy, I want to study him, I want to know more about him.” But I said, “Okay, yeah, let me see if I can find you a link to his writing.” So, why were you interested in John Witherspoon and what did you do with that information?

Victoria Johnson:

So, I had to do an economics term paper and I really wanted to focus on something biblical and something American. And I remembered when we were doing in the leadership program that we had talked about like economics and the ethics in the Bible. And so I wanted to somehow tie that into my term paper. So, I was doing research on the Scottish Enlightenment and Witherspoon was a name that came up and I remembered that he was a preacher. And I just started looking into him and he had huge influence like over 80 some people who end up becoming government leaders, studying under him in school. So, I started–

Tim:

And by the way, when you say they studied under him in school that’s because he was the president of New Jersey College–

Victoria Johnson:

Yes.

Tim:

–it went on to become Princeton. And I’m saying this not for your knowledge, but, right, so if we have a listener and they’re going, “Okay, who is this guy?” So, he was a signer of the Declaration, he was a president of what became Princeton University. As you mentioned, trained more founding fathers than any other single individual with more than 80 people that became significant individuals that he personally trained. So, he’s kind of a big deal, which is what you’re discovering.

The Influence of the Scottish Enlightenment on American Economics

Victoria Johnson:

Yes. So, when I went and started looking for his works, I used the research you had told us about the program – looking for those books around the time he lived in and his original documents. And so I wanted to see– my question for my term paper was the influence of the Scottish Enlightenment on American Economics with a focus on John Witherspoon.

And what I was finding out was that the majority of Americans, a lot of times you think of American economics you think of Adam Smith and understanding of morality and the invisible hand. But even though Adam Smith was very influential in America John Witherspoon had even greater influences. And you see people like Alexander Hamilton quoting almost word for word economic ideas coming straight from Witherspoon and * just a lot of the ideas that we have implemented today. Just ideas with trade, ideas with the currency and how it has value, which were huge modern ideas at the time. Something that we know now we take for granted. But John Weatherston actually had a huge impact on how American economics turned out being and how our society became what it is today.

Tim:

Now, Victoria, as I’m hearing you say that’s just so cool that you were able to dig in and find those connections and then that you found other founding fathers quoting the things that he laid out, quoting things he did. But I really, it now makes me curious like, how did your professor receive that? What did– was he as impressed as I am right now going, “This is amazing, Victoria, you’re awesome.” Or was it something that he was like, “Okay, that is kind of weird. Why are you making these preacher connections to economics.” How did he receive it?

Victoria Johnson:

He was shocked. It’s one of the harder economic classes and so it’s really hard to get a good grade on this paper because he’s been around and done so many things. But he was actually shocked about John Witherspoon, everything he did to contribute to our American economics because he had never heard of him before. He actually thought it was so interesting that he asked me to email him my paper and he wanted to continue talking about it, and keep digging into Hamilton, and Witherspoon, and their connection and just the other influences. And he’s encouraging me to keep researching and maybe publish something or try to continue to see what I can dig up from that. So–

Tim:How a

“I’ve Never Heard This”

Tim:

Victoria, this is why I wanted to have you on. This is amazing that you did a paper on how a founding father, a pastor, influenced economics in America. You’re at a conservative school, your economics professor goes, “I’ve never heard this.” Which, by the way, I would think that’s probably very normal for every American – virtually no Americans heard that. Like you actually maybe could publish your research paper and sell it people would want to see this.

But it’s so cool that you took this and said, “Well, let’s see the Founding Fathers, let’s pursue truth, let’s see what’s there.” And this is obviously why we encourage people to come be a part of leaders training programs. So, Victoria, before we go from this interview, what would you say to people maybe that are listening– so, maybe they’re your age, right, maybe they’re in college right now. Maybe it’s a parent, maybe it’s a grandparent, they’re thinking, “I have a kid, I have a grandkid.” What would you say to someone who’s thinking about this leader training program? Is this something you would encourage people to go to and if so why?

Victoria Johnson:

Yes, I’ve definitely encouraged a lot of my friends to look into the program. For me it was just life changing in the sense that this is something I’m very passionate about in education and learning truth. And so if truth interests you it’s a great way to equip yourself for going out into the world and trying to pursue that in a moral way. Also, it’s just you learn so much. I learned more, I feel, in the two weeks I was there than I had my first whole year of college and, in my opinion, I have a pretty good conservative college where we focus on things like morality, and the good, and the truth. But I think it was an amazing program, so I would encourage anyone who’s interested to apply.

Tim:

Awesome. Victoria, you are amazing. I know you’re in the middle of midterms, so it’s a big deal for you to take time out to do this, but thank you so much for taking time out.

Victoria Johnson:

Thank you.

Tim:

God bless you and your midterms. I hope they go really well. Get some more A’s. But really do appreciate you and thanks for taking time to be with us today.

Victoria Johnson:

Thank you.

Rick:

Thanks, Victoria, we appreciate having you on today. We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back Jonathan Ritchie will be with us. He also went to the leaders training program and now working at WallBuilders. So, stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Avalon Project

Tim:

Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand.  See the things they did.”

I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.  

Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our WallBuilders Library. And under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites.  Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We’re back. We’ve got another graduate of the leadership training program. Tim, before you introduced him, there’s got to be listeners saying, “Me, me, me, I want to do that. That sounds awesome.” What is the age range and how do they actually apply to come spend this couple of weeks at WallBuilders?

Tim:

Yeah, so, they can find out more information – WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining will take you to the page. And it is limited for 18 to 25 year olds. They’re the ones that are really in the middle of this battle going on in the collegiate world and academia. And so although we want every American to have this knowledge we don’t have a room big enough to fit every American.

Picking the Niche

Tim:

So, we did have to pick this niche, right, that we’re trying to reach. And so we do limit it 18 to 25 year olds. We might make an exception if somebody is graduating at 17 and they want to come. Yeah, we definitely can do a case by case exception. But generally the kind of that age range and we try to keep them in that collective group together.

Because one of the other things we do is really promote them being able to form bonds, relationships, with each other so they have other like minded people they know. So, oftentimes on a college campus you might feel like you’re the only one that has this worldview, has this ideology, that cares about the founding fathers, or Christianity, or conservative, and the Constitution, whatever it is. And so it helps connect them and so, again, trying to keep that age range relative to each other.

But 18 to 25 year olds, WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining, and we have somebody else in the studio with us now who has actually been working at WallBuilders and somebody that I’ve known for a few years. But he came and did actually two of the leadership training programs last year. He came to the first one and then said, “Hey, do you guys need any help with the second one? Can I stay around” And we said, “Okay, yes, we would love to have your help.”

And it’s Jonathan Ritchie. He’s a graduate from Houston Baptist University and has a degree, I guess, in Jonathan, what is it, classics?

Jonathan Ritchie:

Yeah, it’s classics.

Tim:

Classic literature. So, he likes to read. I don’t really know what the degree program is. He speaks different languages, can read maybe a Latin, Greek, Hebrew, something. So, he’s been very helpful in that regard. But, Jonathan, what was your experience at the Leader Training Program?

The Value of Truth and How to Discern It

Jonathan Ritchie:

Well, kind of like what Victoria’s was talking about, we just come and we get to listen to you guys talk about what y’all have learned, talk about the value of truth, what you need to do to be able to have that discernment, to be able to tell between what is true and what is not, what are the signs that something’s true, what is a signs that somebody is kind of making stuff up. And once you’ve been able to tell that, where do you go from there to find it for yourself.

Tim:

Now Jonathan, you as someone who you came just out of college, you had just graduated, and so you had a foundation in literature, studying, reviewing, analyzing text, and so you already knew a great amount coming in. So, were there things that you learned that maybe were new? Or was it kind of just a reaffirmation of things you already knew?

Jonathan Ritchie:

So, like you said, most my education college was in kind of ancient history – Rome, Greek, kind of the foundation principles of government. Obviously, pre Christian, so coming in a lot of the information about just American history specifically was new to me. But the think I think I gleaned the most from was learning how to then go out and talk to people about this, right. How to have those conversations with people.

Because obviously in college, even going to a conservative university, most of the people are liberal. And so having those conversations is something that I always found incredibly difficult. How do you get somebody who has such a specific and set mindset, how do you get them to a place where they’re able to talk and be open to a conversation about things that are kind of against what they always have been taught, and always have been thinking?

Learning How to Get Others Looking for Truth

Jonathan Ritchie:

And so for me that was one of the biggest things that I got out of the leadership program is learning how to ask the in the kind of predicate questions and get them to a place where now they’re questioning what they know and then they’ll start looking for truth too.

Tim:

And that’s a great point because of the things we emphasize is you don’t– you should never be combative in trying to help lead someone to truth, right. So, you always ask questions and they’re really multi-dimension questions because you want to ask questions that help them realize they don’t know what they’re talking about. But then also ask questions that might help lead them to thinking, “Well, what is true? What really is the scenario here?” And so, Jonathan, obviously from that we were able to start connecting you, helped do a lot of research. Enough that we said, “Hey, we would love to bring you to help start actually doing more research for us at WallBuilders.”

And so do you find that the foundation from the leaders training program helped lead you to a place where, not just because you’re WallBuilders, right. So, had you gone anywhere else, do you think this program gives you a foundation, maybe, for a career for the future to help give you a foundation to prepare you, maybe, for what you’re doing wherever God leads you. Could this be helpful for you?

Jonathan Ritchie:

Oh, without a shadow of a doubt. In fact, actually, very soon, one of the weekends upcoming I’ll be traveling out west to speak at a national conference for classics. I’ll be talking about some ancient Latin stuff. And the research techniques that I’ve learned through the internship program and obviously that have been developed and sharpened over working for you guys here, just based on reading some of the other papers– and these are coming from PhDs, doctoral students– their research method seems so much kind of subpar, actually, compared to what we do here.

One of the Great Ironies

Jonathan Ritchie:

Because all they’re doing is relying on people like themselves – it’s just a PhD, quoting a PhD, quoting a PhD. And, yeah, maybe they get back one or two hundred years, but there’s always a surprising lack of going back to what they actually said. What did the people that were there with them actually say?

Tim:

So like original source documentation?

Jonathan Ritchie:

Exactly.

Tim:

So, it’s one of the great ironies, right, because at WallBuilders, sometimes we get criticized by academics that, “Well, you guys, and you have these extreme positions, and you’re so far out there.” And ultimately we try not to have a position that’s not based on original artifacts, original documents, original writings. So, we’re not trying to be extreme, we’re trying to just show what the actual writers, the actual founders, actually said. But for a lot of academics because they just quote each other, they don’t even recognize that our positions aren’t extreme – they’re actually far more accurate in many regards than anything these PhDs have done. But, again, it’s because we use different sources than they use.

Jonathan Ritchie:

Yeah, it’s just the difference between having a higher standard, right. What is your standard for truth? Is it something that your teacher said back when you’re in grad school? Or is it something that they actually said getting? Getting a paper accepted at an academic conference is just a passing thing. It honestly doesn’t take much at all. Getting a paper accepted by you guys takes a lot more work, actually.

Rick:

That’s pretty good.

A Key to Success

Tim:

So, I don’t know that we’ve written papers that have been largely accepted in the academic community. So, bravo to you for doing that. That’s really awesome. But, so it’s something that, Rick, dad, as we’re talking to Jonathan, and talking to Victoria earlier, this is something that certainly is something we think is such a key to success for kids who want to know what truth is. How do we defend truth? Where did America come from? What makes us special? And so this leadership training program is something we think really does help equip young people to be successful.

Rick:

All I could think is more, more, more. I want more young people saying exactly what Victoria and Jonathan have said today. So, to get more of them through the training is good for the whole nation. So, even if you’re listening and you’re saying, “Well, I’m over 25.” Well, you know someone that’s between 18 and 25 that would greatly benefit from this. Tim, remind us where they can go to sign up and when this summer, or when do they need to start applying.

WallBuilders Leadership Training Gets Remarkable Results

Tim:

Sure. It’s WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining. We have three sessions and they do fill up fairly quickly. But WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining, send in an application in, and we would love to have you there this summer.

Rick:

Jonathan, appreciate you coming on today. Folks, we appreciate you listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.

2018-04-17T16:02:49+00:00April 16th, 2018|Education & Schools|0 Comments

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