Thinking Critically about Civil Discourse

It’s not easy to think critically; it takes time to let the words sink in. We have to examine our preconceptions and where and how we got our beliefs. This is not easy work, but it is rewarding.
        - Dr. Susan Blassingame

What is the Thinking Critically Initiative?

Beginning in Fall 2011, LCU began an initiative tied to its Quality Enhancement Program called the Critically Thinking Initiative. The program was designed to focus the student body each year on developing critical thinking skills and focusing those thoughts on a particularly impactful subject. 

The inaugural topic was "Thinking Critically about Poverty." Since that year, other topics have included "Thinking Critically about Success," "Thinking Critically about Justice," and "Thinking Critically about Popular Culture," each of which challenged LCU students, faculty, and staff to examine and evaluate our own biases, thought processes, and beliefs about these topics in a critical way.

Thinking Critically about Civil Discourse

This year's theme is Thinking Critically about Civil Discourse. In an age of political and social divisiveness and a prevailing attitude of "us vs. them," this theme seeks to enable students to find ways to have deep discussions on important issues of the day in a respectful, productive way. Not only is this discussion important in a political and philosophical context, but also in day-to-day life—the ability to recognize that others' views can be equally valid and that it's okay to agree to disagree are becoming quickly lost in our modern cultural climate.

2018-2019 Initiative Events

Chapel Discussion: Introduction — Dr. Susan Blassingame
September 14, 2018

Chapel Discussion: Fake News and Cognitive Dissonance — Dr. Ronna Privett and Dr. Shawn Hughes, 
Baker Conference Center
September 24 and November 13, 2018

Chapel Discussion: Faith and Science — Dr. Amanda Boston and Dr. Kirt Martin
McDonald Moody Auditorium
September 24 and November 13, 2018

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (film and panel discussion)
September 27, 2018 | 6:30 p.m. 

Chapel Discussion: “We’re Just Talking...” — Dr. Carlos Perez 
October 1, 2018

Plenary Presentation — Dr. David Roach
Chapel Presentation: The Jesus Frame | McDonald Moody Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.
Plenary Session: UnCivil Discourse: Context and Alternatives | Baker Conference Center, 1:00 p.m.
October 15, 2018

Won’t You Be My Neighbor (Mr. Rogers) (film and panel discussion)
November 5, 2018 | 6:30 p.m.

“Raise Your Argument Not Your Voice” — panel discussion with Dr. Ronna Privett, Dr. Matt Byars, and Dr. Carole Carroll
Cardwell Lecture Hall
October 18, 2018 | 4 p.m.