coming soon

Annual Conference

Please join us for the First Annual Conference of the Coalition for Life-Transformative Education (CLTE).

Register today

See Speakers


Open to everyone


Two day conference with a
key note speaker each day


The conference will be held entirely in a virtual format


September 22-23, 2021


The CLTE is a growing coalition of diverse but like-minded institutions that are aimed at higher education’s “grand challenge.”  Over the past decade, colleges and universities have focused their efforts on student success as measured by increased graduation rates and reduced time to degree. These efforts have led to major gains, and they are ongoing. They also lead naturally to the next frontier in higher education which is success as measured by impact on students after graduation.  This goal is as appropriate to small liberal arts colleges as to regional and national public flagships with a dual mission of human development and work force development. If college is meant to prepare students to achieve financial viability, find meaning in their human relationships and their work, and contribute to the common good, higher education needs to figure out which experiences during a student’s education are most likely to lead to these life-transformative outcomes.  And it needs to make these experiences available to all students at scale. This is the grand challenge for higher education that animates the work of the Coalition for Life Transformative Education.


The conference will feature keynote presentations by Prof. Laurie Santos of Yale University and Dean Jonathan Lee Walton of Wake Forest University.  Professor Santos is a psychologist who is best known for her innovative course “The Psychology of the Good Life,” and Dean Walton is a trained social ethicist and Dean of Divinity at Wake Forest University whose work emphasizes inclusion and social justice.  More information on each speaker is provided below.

In addition to the keynotes, the conference will include reports from faculty and staff from CLTE member universities involved in pilot programs on their campuses intended to improve the long term wellbeing of every student, with particular attention to their wellbeing long after they graduate.  These projects are diverse in goals and methods, potentially scalable to touch all students, and potentially transferable to other universities.  Each project addresses student identity, agency, and/or purpose in some way.  Project descriptions are available on our website here

We invite you to join us as we explore how to develop best practices in this journey. 



Professor Laurie Santos

Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University

Dr. Santos is an expert on human cognition and the cognitive biases that impede better choices. Her new course, Psychology and the Good Life, teaches students how the science of psychology can provide important hints about how to make wiser choices and live a life that’s happier and more fulfilling. Her course recently became Yale’s most popular course in over 300 years, with almost one of our four students at Yale enrolled. Her course has been featured in numerous news outlets including the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, GQ Magazine, Slate and O! Magazine. A winner of numerous awards both for her science and teaching, she was recently voted as one of Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant 10” young minds, and was named in Time Magazine as a “Leading Campus Celebrity.” Her podcast, The Happiness Lab, has over 35 million downloads.

Dean Jonathan Lee Walton

Dean of the Divinity School at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Trained as a social ethicist focusing on evangelical Christianity, his work and insights have been featured in several national and international news outlets that range from the New York Times, CNN, Time Magazine, ESPN, and the BBC. His latest book, A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World (Westminster John Knox Press) explores the Bible from the perspective of the most vulnerable and violated characters. Its aim is to underscore a tradition of Christian witness that privileges radical inclusion and social justice. He is also the author of Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism (New York University Press). Watch This! examines the impact of evangelical religious broadcasting on African American religious and political thought. Dean Walton earned his Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University prior to his appointment at Wake Forest. Along with serving as the Dean of the School of Divinity, Professor Walton also occupies the Presidential Chair in Religion & Society and is the inaugural Dean of Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University. Dean Walton is married to Cecily Cline, a children’s book author, and they are the parents of three children—Zora Neale, Elijah Mays, and Baldwin Cline.


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