2023 wrapped: forensics

Posted by Mark Shankov on 12/29/23 11:14 AM


Forensics competition prepares our students to excel in the public arena by teaching them to think deeply, speak articulately, and write persuasively.

PHC forensics programs scored big this year! Let's look at some of the victories our teams brought home. Summaries for all three of PHC's forensics programs below are followed by a list of the various tournaments and competitions where PHC students have excelled! 

God’s goodness surrounded the Patrick Henry College forensics program this year, enabling our students and coaches to achieve remarkable success as they used their talents for His glory. All three programs—moot court, civic debate, and mock trial—competed in-person for the first time since 2019. We are thankful for the investment of our coaches—many of them alumni—as they guided our students in developing godly character and winsome communication. We celebrate His care and give Him the glory for the blessings He bestowed. – Sue Johnson, Director of the PHC Forensics Program


Moot Court:

Patrick Henry College Moot Court Team is the #1 collegiate moot court team in the nation. In January, PHC won its 13th National Oral Advocacy championship with one team taking 1st place in National Oral Advocacy and another taking 1st place in Brief Writing (Petitioner Brief). Overall, 3 PHC teams placed among the top 8 in the nation and won 7 of the top 25 speaker awards.

Mock Trial:

Patrick Henry College finished again in the top 1% in the nation. PHC is one of only seven schools to advance two teams to the American Mock Trial Association’s National Championship Tournament—PHC’s 3rd year in a row achieving this distinction! Amber and Navy teams earn 8th place and honorable mention titles, respectively.


The Patrick Henry College Debate program had its strongest season in PHC history. Juniors Hannah Bruck and Eden Mackie were selected as the winning presenters at the International Holistic Justice Challenge hosted by California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, California on May 5th and 6th! This was the first event of its kind hosted by Cal Poly, with the next iteration expected to occur in the fall of 2023. Additionally, four PHC students won the Schuman Challenge championship, a prestigious academic competition hosted by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States in Washington, D.C.

Did you miss Year in Review 2023 Part 2? Click here.

1. Moot Court teams win double AMCA championshipsSpring 2023 AMCA Nationals_Champions

Two PHC moot court teams won first and second place at the AMCA National Tournament in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hope Rawlson and Isaac Bock had one of the three greatest single-season records ever!

2. PHC debate team wins The Schuman Challenge

Schuman Challenge ChampionsThe Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America hosted The Schuman Challenge, an annual competition that challenges undergraduate student teams to respond to a topic impacting transatlantic relations before a judging panel. Four PHC students participated and took first place in the challenge!

3. PHC students win NCCFA Championship

IPDA team_Spring 2023

Two freshmen, Ben Spivey and Aiden Forbes, won the National Christian College Forensics Association (NCCFA) Tournament in Idaho after advancing to the final round of the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) Christian Championship.


4. PHC 1 of 7 schools to advance 2 teams to Mock Trial Nationals


Two PHC mock trial teams secured spots at the mock trial national championship for the third year in a row. Multiple members won awards and both teams demonstrated outstanding performances!

5. Victory at Terps Challenge

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A PHC freshman moot court team won the regional championship at the Terps Challenge Regional tournament in Maryland.


6. Victory at Elm City Regional Tournament

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Another PHC moot court team won the regional championship at the Elm City Regional tournament at Yale!


7. Moot Court teams place 1st and 2nd in Florida

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Two PHC moot court teams won the regional championship at the University of Central Florida, placing first and second!


8. Victory at Liberty University


A PHC moot court team won the regional championship at the Mid-South Regional tournament at Liberty University!


9. Victory at Penn State


PHC Gold Team (Mock Trial) won the Happy Valley Invitational tournament at Pennsylvania State University.


10. Freshmen win Novice Final at Miami Oceans Debate Tournament

SP 23 Miami Oceans Civic Debate-2

A freshman civic debate team placed first at the Miami Oceans Debates tournament at the University of Miami. The topic revolved around the acceleration of open ocean aquacultures, requiring debaters to temporarily become marine experts.


11. Victory at Cyber Strategy Competition

2023, Sept. Cyber Challenge Win

A team of Strategic Intelligence in National Security students won the Atlantic Council's 2023 Cyber Strategy Challenge in Miami, FL. Thirteen teams from across the globe developed policy recommendations to solve a hypothetical cyber catastrophe and PHC's team was excited to take home the victory after their only second time competing!


12. Two PHC students win the Criminal Justice Policy Competition

SP 23 Holistic Justice Challenge (5)

Two PHC students, Hannah Bruck and Eden Mackie, won the International Holistic Justice Challenge at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, CA. The debate and presentation competition revolved around criminal justice policies and the PHC team was able to successfully present twice in front of the judging panel and argue for winning solutions.

Part 1 of PHC's 2023 Year in Review 

Part 2 of PHC's 2023 Year in Review


 Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.


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