Forensics Team

The California Baptist University forensics team(also known as speech and debate) currently travels to at least 12 tournaments a year, with a season stretching from October until April.  For information on what we've been up to lately, click on the "news" page to the right.  Students in forensics compete in a variety of speech events, including:

  • Interpretation of literature events
  • Platform speaking events
  • Limited preparation events
  • Debate events

To go to another site (Bethel University's forensics page) which describes the various events in more detail, click here.

The three goals for the forensics team are:

  1. Education – Helping each other learn and become more effective speakers.  Helping each other think faster and more clearly.
  2. Fellowship – Serving the other members of the team, working as a unit.
  3. Ministry – Providing a Christian witness to a largely secular activity.

Why is it called forensics? - The name can be confusing.  When most people hear the term forensics, they think that we search dead bodies for clues to a crime.  The reason why both activities have this name is that both activities go back to ancient Greece, where speaking was known as a "search for truth."  In that way, both activities are searching for knowledge, though they use vastly different evidence and research techniques.

How do I join the forensics team? - At the moment, there is no audition required.  Students may sign-up for the Forensics workshop, which is listed in the catalog as COM 110 and 310 in the fall, and 210 and 410 in the spring.  Enrollment in the class in not required to attend a tournament.

Students can be enrolled in Forensics workshop for 1, 2 or 3 units. To receive an "A" in the course, the following is required:

  • Enrolled for 1 unit – Weekly coaching appointment, attendance at one tournament in one event
  • Enrolled for 2 units – Weekly coaching appointment, attendance at two tournaments in two events
  • Enrolled for 3 units – Weekly coaching appointment, attendance at three tournaments in two events

The forensics team meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:45 p.m.  Attendance at the team meeting is required for scholarship students.  Attendance at the meeting for non-scholarship students can be excused for a class, job, etc.  Contact Prof. Marse for more information.

Scholarships? - In addition, a limited number of scholarships are available for those students who wish to commit to the forensics team for the whole year.  For more information about the requirements for a forensics scholarship, contact Prof. Mike Marse at

What about debate? - Students who are interested in debate can also take COM 401, Argumentation & Debate, which is offered in the fall and spring every year.  The first time the class is taken, it is a traditional course offering with normal class attendance, homework, tests, etc.  After that first semester is completed, the class can repeated for up to 9 units.  The class then requires attendance at a weekly debate team meeting, and attendance at tournaments in debate events.

CBU currently offers three forms of debate, Parliamentary, Lincoln-Douglas and Cross-Examination debate.

How much traveling does the team do? - Every year, the goal of the team is to win the national championship at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational.  CBU won the Individual Events national championship in 2003, and was 4th Overall (3rd in Debate) in 2007.  A limited number of students will travel to that tournament, and as the budget allows other national invitationals will be added to the schedule.  A grand majority of our tournaments are in the southern California area.

In recent years, the team has traveled regularly to:

* Pt. Loma Nazarene University
* Azusa Pacific University
* Biola University
* Mt. San Antonio College
* Grossmont College
* Southwestern College
and many others!

My question isn't answered here! - Contact the coach of the Forensics team, Prof. Mike Marse at (951) 343-4207, e-mail him at, or drop by his office in Business Building 233.