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Home > academics > Forensics > PHC's Culture of Debate

Debate is a prime opportunity for PHC students to interact within collegiate academic circles, an area of our culture that is in desperate need of salt and light.  Despite academia’s resistance to cultural change, debate is an arena where students can make a difference and communicate their beliefs in an open forum. Therefore, our debate team emphasizes the importance of communicating truth above simply winning a competition. While we have a very successful team nonetheless, our members stand out in collegiate debate because they argue for biblical morality, state Constitutional principles, believe in absolute truth, and challenge postmodern thought. We believe that learning how to communicate truth should be the purpose of debate at any Christian college.

Additionally, we have taken a firm stance against our debaters falling into so-called “speed and spread,” a style where one talks at hundreds of words per minute in an effort to bring more issues into a round. Only "elite" audiences can judge this style of public speaking—coaches and former debaters—because so few can even understand words spoken so quickly. Occasionally, slowing down means “dropping” arguments and losing a round, but our team is explicitly trying to reorient the culture of debate to teach true persuasive skills that can convince a general audience.