Speech and debate are a popular extra-curricular or club activities for many students in high school. You’ll find many private school, public school and home-schooled students honing their skills through frequent competitive speech tournaments and enriching debate activities at the high school level. But what about college? Most people don’t realize that many colleges and universities offer speech, debate or both through tailored higher education forensics programs. These programs not only further develop public speaking skills, they also offer matchless friendships, continued professional development and even scholarship opportunities!
Concordia University, Nebraska’s forensics program is committed to providing a Christ-centered, team-centric and supportive environment where students use competitive public speaking as a context for forming lasting friendships, building confidence and more. The program also offers ample opportunities to practice the foundational habits of a liberal arts education, including empathy, wisdom, moderation and courage.
“We provide a safe space for students of all backgrounds to share messages they are passionate about in an effort to make positive changes in our world, our community and ourselves,” said Concordia Nebraska Head Coach of Speech and Debate Joe Davis. “We believe that speech is an activity that is central to the university’s mission to inspire students to learn, serve and lead in the church and world. We constantly and unapologetically push our students to be better: better students, better competitors, better people.”
With a solid, established and well-supported forensics program, Concordia Nebraska has dedicated spaces for student research, practice and performance. These spaces also serve as gathering spaces for fellowship and networking, as students build life-long friendships with forensics teammates.
The art of interpersonal communication, the concept of verbally defending a thought or idea and the ability to express ideas clearly have always been important, but the lasting impacts of the recent world-wide pandemic dramatically effected personal communications skills, hampered the passions of students and left many struggling. After a pandemic-driven hiatus, in-person debate returned to Concordia Nebraska in the Fall 2021 semester.
“The art of in-person communication is more important than ever,” said Davis. “As part of our debate team, you can grow in your argumentative and persuasive speaking skills and help establish a new team culture and traditions while engaging in necessary and valuable discussions within the campus community.”
Each year, Concordia awards speech and debate scholarships to students who demonstrate the ability and desire to improve the team. These scholarships are granted in addition to other merit-, talent-and need-based aid for which students may be eligible.
“Build your resume and find your place on campus when you choose forensics at Concordia Nebraska,” said Davis. “If athletics or other special interest programs on campus aren’t the right fit for you, you might find that forensics can ‘be your sport’. Here, you’ll find your voice and discover a matchless community of student and faculty support that will equip you to learn and grow.”
Concordia University, Nebraska features a distinctive community of believers – peers, professors and others - that not only help students discover what they’re meant to do, but also the joy of being part of something bigger. By intentionally combining Christian, Lutheran faith with rigorous academics and practical, real-life experiences, Concordia helps students fulfill a higher purpose in their vocations and life. Concordia promises to deliver a Lutheran, Christian higher education that will equip students not only with a set of skills and a degree, but also a sense of Christian vocation and purpose for the future.