"God speaks. During the New Hampshire [tournament] I felt like God spoke to me about the tournament and gave me peace about the results. It was surprising but reassuring to hear God in an activity that I sometimes forget I should be doing for Him."
"I remember watching Ian Reid present the gospel message during his final impromptu round at the Randolf-Macon tournament. At first I was surprised and thought it was too risky a move since he could be ranked lower for getting “preachy,” but then I realized what he had really just done—presented the complete gospel message to a room full of likely unsaved people. Even though he might not have placed as high as he could have, that opportunity to present the gospel in such a forum reminded me why we do debate at PHC—not just to win trophies, but to glorify God."
"Although I only went on one NFA trip, I’ve debated at three Parli tournaments this semester and have really enjoyed competing at the collegiate level. One of the most exciting things to me is that, in the realm of college debate, we have the opportunity to make some [of] the tough arguments and deal with the tough issues which simply didn’t come up in high school. I think that we have a lot of truth to share so far as our perspective on the world is concerned, and I’m excited that debate helps me think through my positions and beliefs so that I can articulate them persuasively to those I meet."
"PHC debate has given me the opportunity to hone my communication skills in a secular context at tournaments. Because collegiate debate is very much a team-oriented activity, competing at a tournament brings the opportunity and responsibility to represent PHC, Christianity, and, most importantly, Christ. I have appreciated competing against high-caliber competitors and being challenged to further my research and argumentation skills in the collegiate forensics environment."
"I ran a successful speed kritik on someone who talked absurdly fast. Afterwards, I had a few minutes to chat with my opponent. In round, it was so easy to judge him as an abusive debate nerd and essentially dehumanize him. But in my conversation afterwards, he really opened up to me and shared some of the struggles in his life that debate helped him face. With the NFA’s emphasis on technicalities and theory over communication and substance, it is easy for me to criticize the league and develop a holier-than-thou attitude, but this experience really reminded me of the core humanity of debate and that individuals and leagues are not always defined by the sum of their parts."
"One of the most meaningful parts of being on PHC’s NFA team has been the opportunity to go out from PHC and be salt and light in our debate league. By the way we act, speak, argue, and persuade, people are realizing that we are different—and hopefully, they are turning and giving the glory to God."
"My most meaningful experience this semester came not in debate but while speaking in class—my oral presentation. I was the ninth of ten speakers, each of whom had had five minutes to explain something about Cuba. Basically, when I got up to speak, I confronted a dead audience. They wouldn’t even look at me, preferring instead to stare at the wall with glazed eyes.
I spoke, critiquing the resolution. I managed to inject some life into the room too—by the end of my speech I had people looking at me and laughing out loud. It was an extremely rewarding experience that made me want to improve my public speaking skills dramatically."
"During the debate trips, I observed students from non-Christian schools, and I became even more thankful for PHC. I am so blessed by the strong, Christian environment and the great people all around me. I am glad debate reminded me of this."