Speech and Debate

Bellarmine's Speech and Debate program seeks to empower students by giving them confidence in their voice and ideas. Our mission is to create a place where students' lives can be positively transformed in three areas:


Intellectual vitality

Speech and Debate forces students to grapple with complex political and philosophical issues, sharpen their critical thinking skills, and approach issues from different perspectives.

Emotional vitality

Speech and Debate gives students the opportunity to get in touch with their emotions so that they are able to be effective communicators in their delivery. The goal is not just to improve our students’ communication abilities with facial expressions, tonal variation, and physical movement, but ultimately to help them connect and empathize with others.

Social vitality

Whether it’s coaching underclassmen, researching together, or holding each other accountable, Speech and Debate can be a place where students learn what it means to put the team before the self. Our hope is that Speech and Debate becomes a place where our students live out Bellarmine’s mission to be men who are for and with others by becoming invested in their peers’ growth and success.

Our speech and debate program is recognized at both the state and national level as a highly-competitive program.  One of the largest co-curriculars at the school with approximately 100 participants and seven coaches, Bellarmine has won nine consecutive state team championships (2005-2014) and has earned the highest level of team excellence awards at the national level for seven years over the past decade. 

The competitive calendar begins in September and ends in June, but most team members also prepare throughout the summer. Students compete locally, throughout the state, and/or throughout the country. In all cases, they keep in mind the broader goals of Bellarmine and of the team.