Affiliated Programs

The John Dickinson Forum for the Study of America’s Founding Principles

John Trumbull's painting 'Declaration of Independence'

In his lectures on law, James Wilson remarked that “there is not in the whole science of politicks a more solid or a more important maxim than this--that of all governments, those are the best, which, by the natural effect of their constitutions, are frequently renewed or drawn back to their first principles.” The mission of the John Dickinson Forum is to promote thoughtful study, discussion, and debate about America’s founding principles.  As well, we hope to encourage conversations about whether or how these principles are relevant today.

The Center is named for John Dickinson, the “penman of the Revolution,” delegate to the Federal Convention of 1787, and one of the most thoughtful advocates for liberty in the Founding Era.  Born into a Quaker family, his convictions led him to voluntarily free his family’s slaves. 

The John Dickinson Forum supports a variety of activities including lectures, book/current event discussion groups, and debates.  The Forum partners with other institutions to make programming available to students at other schools and to the general public throughout the Pacific Northwest.

For more information about the Forum, please contact Mark David Hall at

Mark David Hall
Herbert Hoover Professor of Politics
Faculty Fellow, William Penn Honors Program
George Fox University