One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville
Female communication student taking notes in class

Forensics at Cedarville

Speech and Debate

Are you interested in competing in speech and/or debate in college? Cedarville’s Christian forensics program offers a team that is highly competitive in both!

There are over a dozen different public speaking events in which you can compete. They include:

  • Persuasive speaking
  • Rhetorical criticism
  • Informative speaking
  • After dinner speaking
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Prose
  • Duo Interpretation
  • Programmed interpretation
  • Extemporaneous speaking
  • Impromptu speaking


Cedarville competes in the International Public Debate Association, where individual debaters go head-to-head debating a resolution that is given to them 30 minutes before the round starts. In this style of debate, you hone your skills of:

  • Speaking on your feet
  • Communicating under pressure
  • Conducting quick and focused research
  • Argumentation


Auditions for the forensic team are held early in the fall semester.

  • For speech-focused competitors, you are expected to present two speeches. The first should be a five–seven-minute public address speech, such as a persuasive or informative speech that you wrote yourself. The second is your choice between an impromptu speech or a five–seven-minute interpretation of literature of your choice.
  • For debate auditions, you will participate in a limited preparation debate.

You may audition for both speech and debate. An interview with the coach is the final step in the audition process.


Scholarships are available for all members of the forensics team. New scholarships are given based on past speech and debate experience and financial need. Returning team members will reapply for a scholarship that will be awarded based on collegiate competitive success, leadership on the team, financial need, and commitment.