Welcome to Pacific Lutheran University's Speech & Debate program website. Our program is a part of the Department of Communication & Theatre located within the School of the Arts and we have been an active member of PLU's community since it was founded in 1890.

One of the oldest nationally competitive forensics programs in the country, PLU has a long tradition of championship speakers and a strong commitment to excellence in forensics competition. Each student entering our program helps enrich and shape its direction and becomes part of our history and tradition.


We practice National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA)
debate and participate in the following individual events:

Extemporaneous Speaking
Impromptu Speaking
Persuasive Speaking
Informative Speaking
Communication Analysis
After Dinner Speaking
Poetry Interpretation
Prose Interpretation
Programmed Oral Interpretation
Duo Interpretation of Drama
Dramatic Interpretation

Recent Tournaments

The PLU Speech and Debate team sent two teams to the Northwest Pacific Warm-up tournament on September 25th at Bellevue College, “Most of last year’s top teams from nationals are here this year,” Aaron T. Sherman, Senior, Philosophy major. First year debaters had the opportunity to observe out rounds on that Sunday in anticipation for the upcoming semester. The observation paid off, first-year Pamela Barker and sophomore Ashley Skinner took second place at the Lewis and Clark tournament in Junior Parliamentary Debate, “I liked debating the Bush tax cuts and learned a lot about Israel-Palestinian politics” Pamela Barker. Students continue preparation for the upcoming University of Puget Sound tournament on October 23rd.