Public Deliberation Initiative


The goal behind deliberation is not merely to draw a crowd and fill a room with opinionated people. The purpose is much bigger and more powerful. When citizens deliberate about an issue and when a community has a habit of asking citizens to make choices, the directions that are chosen often are better and they have a legitimacy that simply doesn’t exist otherwise.

Framing Issues for Public Deliberation, Kettering Foundation

The Public Deliberation Initiative (PDI) at Baylor University is an initiative of critical deliberative democracy, activism, interdisciplinary collaboration, pedagogical research, student involvement, and training for ongoing community engagement. This initiative seeks to engage students, staff, faculty, and community members in constructive dialogue and deliberation that addresses important global and local issues and offers new perspectives for participants. Baylor's PDI strives to enhance local civic culture, to increase student/citizen participation in community problem solving, to expand collaborative decision-making on campus and in the local community, and to improve citizenship through civic pedagogy.

Joining together in this way allows our community to practice hospitality for one another and differing opinions, engaged listening, and thinking of ways to serve our local and global community.

Baylor PDI is a collaboration between Spirituality and Public Life and Community Engagement and Service. MA staff members serve on the PDI Advisory Board.