Past Forensics Data

View as Grid

We are very excited to announce that PLNU Sophomores Josh Gilbert and Brandon West have just repeated as National Champions in the Senior Division of NPDA Parliamentary Debate at the Christian College National Championship hosted at Cal Baptist University this past weekend (NCCFA Nationals March 7-10 ,2014).  They first won this honor last year as Freshmen at the National Championship hosted by John Brown University.  Brandon also won the National Champion Title for the Senior Division of NFA Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate. PLNU Frosh Autumn Schultz won the Championship for the Novice Division of NFA LD debate, and the Point Loma Team won the Second Place Debate Sweepstakes in the Large School Division, behind Kansas Wesleyan University.


Over 25 top Christian Colleges and Universities from across the country were competing at this Championship, as shown below.

Special thanks to professors Melissa Lazaro, and Lorina Schraugher, and alumni Sydney Awakuni, MacLean Andrews, and Ian Sharples for their help in coaching and judging.  We also had the great pleasure of running into one of our very early supporters for this team, Art Shingler and his family, who were there encouraging a niece competing from Minnesota.  

Here are the specific honors won this past weekend by PLNU students:

Second Place Overall Debate Sweepstakes Large School Division to PLNU


Josh Gilbert and Brandon West - Open Division National Champions NPDA Parliamentary Debate

Nick Kjeldgaard (frosh)- Open Extemporaneous Speaking Semi finalist and Fourth Speaker in the Senior Division of NPDA Debate


Autumn Schultz (frosh) - Novice Programmed Oral interpretation, 5th Place

                                  - NFA Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate Champion


Brandon West - Open Impromptu Speaking 3rd Place

                                - Open Division NFA Lincoln Douglas Debate Champion

                                - 8th Place Speaker in Open Division NPDA Parli Debate


Josh Gilbert.      - Open Division NFA Lincoln Douglas Debate Third Place


There are two remaining debate National Championships running next week at Northern Arizona University, co-hosted by another of our recent alums Professor Caitlyn Burford.  

We thank you not only for your support of our current students who are working hard and learning a lot, but also for your support in hosting the tournaments that we offer through the year.  Three of the top award winning PLNU students at this past championship are former home school league speakers introduced to our campus through the Point Loma Classic, or their National Championship hosted at PLNU in previous years.  A number of other top team members were unable to participate due to severe illness or conflicting travel plans.


Here is the list of participating colleges and universities for this years championship:


  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Belmont University (Nashville, TN)
  • Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN)
  • Bethel University (Arden Hills, MN)
  • Biola Univeristy (La Mirada, CA)
  • California Baptist University (Riverside, CA)
  • Carson-Newman University (Jefferson City, TN)
  • Cedarville University (Cedarville, OH)
  • Colorado Christian University (Lakewood, CO)
  • Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, GA)
  • Dordt College (Sioux Center, IA)
  • Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Howard Payne University (Brownwood, TX)
  • Kansas Wesleyan University (Salina, KS)
  • Liberty University (Lynchburg, VA)
  • Malone University (Canton, OH)
  • Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, ID)
  • Pepperdine University (CA)
  • Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
  • Saint Mary's College of CA (Moraga, CA)
  • San Diego Christian College (San Diego , CA)
  • Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, WA)
  • University of the Cumberlands (williamsburg, KY)
  • Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, CA)
  • Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL)
  • Whitworth University (Spokane, WA
Cal Baptist University

 The Point Loma Speech and Debate team competed against 35 colleges and universities at the PSCFA Spring Championship hosted this past weekend at Moorpark College and won First Place in the four year sweepstakes division, with double the points of the Second Place team.  Congrats to team president and senior Chris Danks, who won Gold Medals in both NFA Lincoln Douglass Debate, and Team Parliamentary Debate with his freshman partner Caleb Moore, and Fourth Place in Open Extemporaneous Speaking.


 In Lincoln Douglas Debate PLNU had 5 students entered in the event (4 in Senior Division, and 1 in Novice).  All five PLNU students posted strong preliminary round records and made the cut to the elimination rounds, where they won four Gold Medals and a Bronze.


 In Parliamentary Team debate, four of the six PLNU teams advanced to the medal rounds, winning two Golds, two Silvers and two Bronzes.  Danks and Moore were named Tournament Champions in the senior division without having lost a single debate.   


 Named to the PSCFA All-Academic Team from PLNU for maintaining a 3.75 GPA were:

Ben Becker         

Olivia Neidhart

Nick Kjelgaard


Here are the specific forensics awards won by the students.


Lincoln Douglas Debate:

Senior Division NFA LD Debate:

               Caleb Moore– Gold Medal

               Chris Danks – Gold Medal

               Josh Gilbert – Gold Medal

               Nick Kjelgaard – Bronze Medal


Novice Division Parliamentary Debate:

               Ben Becker – Gold Medal

In Parliamentary Team Debate: (6 of our 8 teams advanced to the elimination rounds)

Senior Division:

               Chris Danks and Caleb Moore –  Gold Medals (They then won the two follow up debates between the four gold medal teams in semi finals and finals, to be named the tournament champions).

               Frank Daniel and Kasey Graves –  Silver Medals

               Brandon West and Joshua Gilbert – Bronze Medals


Junior Division:

               Dana Miyashiro and Olivia Neidhart –  Silver Medals


Novice Division:

               Ben Becker and Autumn Schultz -  Gold Medals


               Katie McSweeney and Emilio Prieto – Bronze Medals


Speaker Awards:

               Brandon West – 6th Place Speaker in Senior Division

               Autumn Schultz – 9th Place Speaker in Novice Division


Individual Events:

               Chris Danks – Open Extemporaneous Speaking – 4th Place

Moorpark College

It was an exciting weekend at PLNU, as we hosted a number of well attended speech and debate tournaments this weekend.  The chamber of commerce weather may not have helped the region's rain table, but our guests from 44 colleges and universities from Whitman, and Oregon and UCLA to Notre Dame, the Air Force Academy, Valdosta State and Mercer, along with many other great local and out of state programs loved it.  

Our own teams of Chris Danks and Caleb Moore, Frank Daniel and Kasey Graves, and Brandon West and Josh Gilbert all advanced to the elimination bracket in Open Parliamentary Debate and did well.  Stephanie Haas and Nick Kjeldgaard almost advanced in their first ever time competing in British Parliamentary style debate, an event that is becoming popular world wide, and that we offered for the first time at PLNU.

We also discovered that PLNU is currently ranked in 9th place in the nation in NPDA Parliamentary Debate, with a few more opportunities to place even higher by the end of the year.

Many thanks for your support of our efforts to host these large events and special thanks to all the staff members on campus who contributed greatly to the events running so smoothly.  Many coaches and competitors from these other schools commented throughout the weekend that it is their favorite tournament of the year, reminding us how fortunate we are to be located on what in my book is the most beautiful campus in the country.  As you can imagine, I had the pleasure of talking with a group of extremely talented potential recruits from the strongest community programs around. Having enjoyed this special place for several days, they could more easily envision themselves  studying for several years.

Finally, thank you to our many alumni who came by to help out and visit as well.  It was exciting to see how many are involved in terrific graduate programs and or  successful careers of their own, some even in higher education, which is of course the A answer.

Point Loma Nazarene University

Two of our top debate teams just competed at a high level in two very difficult tournaments at the University of Utah this holiday weekend.


Team President and Senior Chris Danks and his Freshman partner Caleb Moore barely missed advancing to the elimination round of the first tournament, and went on to advance to and win in the elimination bracket at the next tournament, the next day.


Returning Sophomore debaters Joshua Gilbert and Brandon West advanced to the elimination rounds in both of these contests.  Advancing to the elimination rounds in three of the four opportunities to compete this past weekend is the best showing for PLNU debate in many years at this extremely tough national circuit tournament with almost a hundred teams competing in the Senior division, and a great way to begin the Spring semester.


Thanks so much for working with the students that had to miss a few classes on Friday and Tuesday due to the long drive.  Special thanks to graduate student MacLean Andrews who helped in the coaching, judging and driving.

University of Utah