The MLA Teaching Institute curriculum was originally designed in 2018 by a steering committee with the support of a planning grant from the Teagle Foundation. The curriculum was then piloted by three faculty facilitators with the support of an implementation grant from the Mellon Foundation in 2019. The curriculum was further developed and adapted by the expertise of additional faculty facilitators in 2021 and 2022. A model core curriculum is currently in development and will be publishing in the 2024 issue of the ADE Bulletin, accompanied by pieces written by past facilitators and institute fellows.

The core curriculum is accompanied by a reading list. Each summer, the list of readings has changed depending on the facilitators, the number of participants, and the particular interests of the cohort and facilitators. These readings are a starting point and should be adapted by facilitator teams to meet their regional needs and interests.