Jewell Debate


William Jewell Debate is one of the longest running and most successful programs on campus. Our program enjoys the continued support of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and staff because of the consistency at which the debate program is able to deliver Jewell’s promise of a rigorous, small-group liberal arts education. Jewell consistently acknowledges the benefit of competitive debating to a liberal arts education—we seek to produce students who exemplify thoughtful, disciplined public speaking, research, critical thinking and public advocacy skills.

Using the laboratory of nationally and regionally competitive debate competitions, you will be prepared to communicate with audiences ranging from highly-specific, limited-preparation competition environments to argumentation and advocacy intended for public audiences.

While the most successful members of the team come to Jewell with significant high school debate experience, all William Jewell students are welcome to join the debate team. Scholarships are available for students with substantial high school experience.

2017 Capital City Classic Top Individual Speaker


Haley Uttley earned the Top Individual Speaker award at the capital City Classic in November 2017 at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. The award, a first for Jewell, was determined by speaker ranks from the judges, and Haley outperformed 61 other students.

Program of Champions

Jewell Debate produces national-level competitors.

  • Welcome from Director of Debate Kyle Dennis

    William Jewell Debate is one of the longest running and most successful programs on campus. Our program enjoys the continued support of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and staff of William Jewell College because of the consistency at which the debate program is able to deliver Jewell’s promise of a rigorous, small-group liberal arts education. William Jewell College consistently acknowledges the benefit of competitive debating to a liberal arts education—we seek to produce students who exemplify thoughtful, disciplined public speaking, research, critical thinking and public advocacy skills— we are critical thinkers in community pursuing meaningful lives.

    Using the laboratory of nationally and regionally competitive debate competitions, students are prepared to communicate with audiences ranging from highly-specific, limited-preparation competition environments to argumentation and advocacy intended for public audiences. William Jewell College Debate seeks national-level competitive success, to engage the William Jewell College student population at-large, and to build connections with the Kansas City high school debate and forensics community. We explicitly aim to prepare students to access top-tier post-graduate opportunities.

    While the most successful members of the team come to Jewell with significant high school debate experience, all William Jewell students are welcome to join the debate team. Scholarships are available for students with substantial high school experience. If you are interested in joining the debate team, please contact me at dennisk@william.jewell.edu.

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  • 2016 NPDA National Tournament Champions

    David Hansen and Katelyn Johnson won the 2016 National Parliamentary Debate Association championship. Over a three-day period, the duo beat more than 170 debate teams from across the country. They finished 6-2 in preliminary rounds before advancing through the elimination rounds, beating a team from Southern Illinois University in the finals by a 7-0 judges decision. Another Jewell team made up of Mia Richardson and Stefanie Flood advanced to the elimination rounds. 

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