Skip Rutledge, Ph.D.

Professor of Communication
Department of Communication and Theatre Chair
Director of Forensics (Speech and Debate Team)

Upon earning his teaching credential at Point Loma Nazarene College in 1988, Skip Rutledge became a visiting professor and debate coach, and eventually earned his M.A., and Ph.D. in rhetorical communication from San Diego State University and Regent University, respectively.

Throughout these graduate studies, Rutledge taught communication courses and directed the PLNU Speech and Debate Team to multiple national championships. He has delivered academic papers; published journal articles and book chapters; and served as the president of regional and national forensics associations, including PSCFA, NPDA, and NCCFA. He has also hosted many major tournaments, and national championships at PLNU, as well as hosted and taught at various instructional campus and international events in Italy, Mexico, England, and China.

In his approximately 30 years of teaching and coaching, Rutledge's teams have won hundreds of top sweepstakes awards, over a half dozen national championships, and most importantly have graduated hundreds of amazing young men and women who have gone on to make a positive impact on their communities.

One noteworthy accomplishment for the team through the years is that cumulatively over the last 20+ years, PLNU is the top ranked college or university in the country in the year-round nationwide rankings for the National Parliamentary Debate Association by a significant margin, having won the national championship five times in the past 14 years. PLNU has also won the NPDA tournament sweepstakes, been named top two-person team, and had a student win the honor of being named top speaker at nationals for the NPDA during these past years. These awards were accomplished in an organization that has many of the top universities in the nation competing, like UCLA, Berkeley, the Air Force Academy, and other larger well respected institutions.

Rutledge is currently teaching, serving as chair for the Department of Communication and Theatre, and directing the forensics program at PLNU.

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Human Communication – COM 100
  • Media Literacy – COM 195
  • Argumentation & Debate – COM 231
  • Advanced Public and Professional Speaking – COM 260
  • Nonverbal Communication – COM 310
  • Gender and Communication – COM 312
  • Oral Interpretation – COM 315
  • Persuasion – COM 330
  • Rhetorical Theories and Models – COM 460

Experience in Field

  •  Director of Forensics, Point Loma Nazarene University, 1990 – present
  • President, National Christian College Forensics Association (NCCFA), 2009 – 2012

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Additional items available on the CV, including academic presentations and some recent media appearances on San Diego news stations.
  • Dissertation, Lewis E. (Skip) Rutledge, “Highly successful coaches in intercollegiate forensics: Seeking methods to the madness.” 2006. 
  • Rutledge, Skip & Forward, G. L. (Summer, 2004) “Presumption and Defending the Status Quo in Intercollegiate Debate: An Exploratory Survey of Judge Perceptions in Parliamentary & CEDA/NDT Debate Formats.”  Parliamentary Debate: The Journal of the National Parliamentary Debate Association, X. NPDA (pp. 24-48)  
  • Rutledge, Skip, (2004) “Value Hierarchies: A summary of value conflicts.” (Book chapter in) Argumentation and Debate: Taking the Next Step. (ed. Deborah Bush Haffey, Jeffrey B. Motter, & Christy L. Shipe. HSLDA: Purcellville, VA (pp.239-256)
  • Rutledge, Skip, (2004) “All I really needed to learn about debate I learned in Kindergarten: A coach’s guide to encouraging novice debaters.” (Book chapter in) Teachers’ and coaches’ guide to argumentation and debate: Taking the next step. (ed. Deborah Bush Haffey, Jeffrey B. Motter, & Christy L. Shipe. HSLDA: Purcellville, VA (pp.31-42)
  • Rutledge, Skip,  (Summer, 2002). Ethics in Action in NPDA Debate: A Philosophical and Pragmatic Analysis of Macroscopic and Microscopic Elements of Lying Parliamentary Debate. Parliamentary Debate: The Journal of the National Parliamentary Debate Association, VII. NPDA. (pp 1-23). 
  • Rutledge, Skip,  (Summer, 2000). Government’s Defense of the Status Quo: Advocating a Shift in Applying Presumption Theory In Intercollegiate Parliamentary Debate. Parliamentary Debate: The Journal of the National Parliamentary Debate Association, V.  NPDA. (pp 24-45).
  • Rutledge, Skip, (Summer, 2000). "Points of Information from the President's Podium." Parliamentary Debate: The Journal of the National Parliamentary Debate Association, V. NPDA.
  • Rutledge, Skip., (Summer, 1999). “Notes from the president: Where are we headed?” Parliamentary Debate: The Journal of the National Parliamentary Debate Association, IV, (26-30). NPDA.
  • Rutledge, L. E., (1997, August). Forensics fellows: Integrating faculty participation into intercollegiate parliamentary debate programs. In S. Whitney (Ed.), Third National Development Conference on Individual Events. Houston: Rice University
  • Rutledge, L. E., (1996, March). A coach’s guide to encouraging novice debaters: Or, everything I needed to learn about debate I learned in kindergarten. In G. J. Treadway (Ed.) The Cross Examination Debate Association’s development guide.  (pp.286-297). Cross Examination Debate Association.
  • Rutledge, S. (1985, August/September). Notes from a very special journal: Found and translated by Skip Rutledge. The Wittenburg Door, 86, 30.