The Modus Vivendi Society

What is the Modus Vivendi Society?

Modus Vivendi means "way of life" in Latin; for the purposes of our program, the phrase signifies a commitment to integrating leadership into one's everyday life. It also requires a commitment to the regular examination of leadership from a theoretical perspective as a means of understanding ourselves and the contexts in which we choose to lead.

Members of the Modus Vivendi Society have participated in at least one of our three previously offered overnight programs, or in our new winter and spring cohort program. Modus Vivendi is an interactive, energizing, and unique experience that will help you build leadership skills, engage in meaningful discussions with other UChicago students, and develop a critical understanding of predominant leadership theories. 

Any UChicago student, regardless of program or year, can apply for the program. We encourage people of all genders, religious practices, races, etc. to participate. We look for participants who show a willingness to explore their personal values, an openness to engage in difficult conversations, and who express a desire to make positive change. We are also looking for participants who are committed to the entirety of the program's curriculum and who are willing to do some exploration and work outside of formal meetings. 

The new curriculum is specifically designed to apply UChicago’s Uncommon Ethic and commitment to critical inquiry to the concept of leadership. 

Modus Vivendi is offered at no cost to attendees and includes dinner at each meeting and all program materials.

Learning Outcomes

Each biweekly session is spent participating in interactive activities and small group discussions designed with the following objectives in mind:

  • To gain an understanding of six families of leadership theories
  • To construct a personal understanding of leadership based in both theory and experience 
  • To understand and respect the values of others 
  • To increase comfort discussing controversial topics with civility 
  • To design a personal plan for creating change on campus through a reflection of personal values

Benefits of Joining

  • Deepen your awareness of personal identity and leadership style
  • Practice engaging in civil discourse
  • Connect with people you may not otherwise interact with - from a wide range of programs, houses, RSOs, and more!
  • Apply the principles of critical inquiry to leadership theory
  • Build relationships on campus with other students and faculty/staff facilitators
  • Identify your values and passions
  • Develop leadership competencies
  • Form a plan to make a positive impact on your community

How to Join

At this time, we do not have plans to recruit a cohort during the hybrid Fall 2020 quarter. Please check back here in Winter quarter for more information about upcoming cohorts.

Expectations of Society Members

Society members are advocates for civil discourse and meaningful dialogue. With support from their peers and facilitators, members are expected to carry out the personal action plan developed at our program, demonstrate integrity, and act as leaders of positive change. Beyond attendance at biweekly sessions, there are not ongoing tangible expectations of Society members. There will also be an opportunity for current Society members to attend the program again by serving in the role of peer facilitator. 

Questions? Email Casey at

UChicagoSocial: Center for Leadership and Involvement