What is the mission of Fortitude?

We are a group of parents each working on discipling our own children. Speech and debate is just one tool that we use to aid in that discipleship process. Through participation in speech and debate, we want our children to grow in these three areas: (1) faith, (2) character, and (3) forensic skills. Most important is growth in faith. Second, growth in character. And last, growth in forensic skills. 

What are the forensic events?

Platform Speeches

Platform speeches are informative, self-written, and memorized verbatim. These include Original Oratory, Persuasive, and Expository speeches. Original Oratory speeches are informational, Persuasive speeches present information and advocate for a course of action, and Expository speeches use visual aids to both show and tell informational topics.

Interpretive Speeches

Interpretive speeches are story-based speeches where a competitor takes a piece of literature, a play, a short-story, or even writes their own story and brings it to life by acting out ALL the people in the story. These can be funny or dramatic and events include Open Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation (two competitors telling/acting the story together), and for the 2022-2023 school year, Interp in a Box, which uses visual aids to help tell the story. These speeches are also memorized verbatim.

Limited Preparation Speeches

Limited Prep speeches typically thought through ahead of time, but not memorized.  The "limited" time refers to the short period of time wherein a student has a set number of minutes to collect their thoughts during a tournament after receiving three speaking prompts. The topics for Apologetics and Mars Hill Impromptu speeches are released by the league (Stoa) prior to the outset of each competition year, and students should research and prepare for the topics ahead of time. (Students are allowed to bring a 4x6 card of notes to aid them as they speak.) Apologetics topics give students an opportunity to grow in their understanding of facets of their Christian faith, and learn to explain them to others in a winsome and compassionate way. Mars Hill speeches takes the sharing one’s faith to a new level by asking students to take a piece of artistic cultural significance (movies, books, plays, art, etc.) and use it to bridge the gap and share Christ with a nonbeliever, in the model that the apostle Paul did in Acts 17. Extemporaneous speeches are geared to current events in the world news cycle and vary in that students receive their question and have 30 minutes to craft a speech before presenting it. Impromptu speeches are five minutes in length and can be on any topic that a tournament can conceive, although students still receive only three prompts from which to choose during prep time. 

Team Policy Debate

Team Policy Debate features two competitors going up against another two competitors debating a policy resolution. The resolution for the 2023-2024 competition year is: 

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reform its energy policy. 

Students prepare cases for both sides of the resolution as they will be debating both sides. Evidence is highly valued in policy debate.

Lincoln Douglas Value Debate

Lincoln Douglas Value Debate features one competitor going up against another competitor debating a value based resolution. There will be three resolutions for the year. 

Resolution for 10/1/2023 – 1/31/2024

Resolved: A free press ought to prioritize objectivity over advocacy.

Spring Resolution will be announced 12/1/2023, and will be debated 2/1/2024-3/31/2024

Last Resolution will be announced 3/13/2024, and will be debated 4/1/2024 – NITOC 2024

Students prepare cases for both sides of the resolution as they will be debating both sides. Logic and reasoning is valued highly alongside evidence. LD debate is recommended for ages 14+ but can be introduced earlier by request.

Parliamentary Debate

Parliamentary Debate (known more commonly as “Parli”) features two competitors going up against another two competitors in a limited preparation style format. Students receive the resolution 20 minutes ahead of the speaking time. The resolutions can be policy, value, or fact based. Parli is recommended for 16+ but can be introduced earlier upon request. 

Who is eligible to participate?

Competitors shall be ages 12 through 18 on October 1 of the current season.

We do not currently have a stand-alone juniors program, but we do allow younger siblings to watch, learn, and sometimes participate with a goal toward competition. Some tournaments will host a Junior Tournament, and for that reason do accept junior level competitors who are BOTH (1) aged 9 by October 1 of the current season, and (2) have an older sibling aged 12 or above who is also a part of our club in that school year. Families should note that we do prioritize investing more heavily in our students aged 12 and up.

All families need to read and agree with the Fortitude Statement of Faith.

Our league is exclusively for independently home schooled students. Students participating in club time and tournaments cannot be enrolled in a charter school or public school. Here are the full eligibility rules. 

In addition, all families need to be members of our league, Stoa. You can register here. 

What are the costs ?

There are several costs to consider:

What are the expectations for families?

How is club meeting time structured?

We meet every Tuesday during the school year (with a few breaks for holidays, etc.) at Trinity Community Church, from 4:00 - 8:45 p.m. 

4:00-5:45 - Speech events

5:45-6:15 - BYO Dinner (please note that we do not have kitchen access)

6:15-7:00 - Apologetics Bible study

7:00-8:45 - Debate (Team Policy and Lincoln Douglas)


Parents should plan to be present and plan to help with coaching whenever their student is there. We can, occasionally, make exceptions to this expectation, but please communicate your needs to the leadership team in advance of club time. Because our club is parent led and our goal is discipleship, parent participation is expected even if your student can drive themself.

Younger siblings are permitted to attend alongside their parents, but no childcare is provided and children should not be left unattended. 

When students are not presenting, they should be listening and giving constructive feedback to others. 

*This schedule is subject to change as determined by the needs of the club.