Truett McConnell University’s (TMU) Debate Team recently finished up a successful first year in the tournament circuit despite facing unpredictable circumstances.

“We officially started the team fall 2019,” said debate team coach Samuel Thomas. “Debate is a wonderful tool to sharpen your critical thinking and communication skills. Those skills are crucial for Christians, whether it’s for professional development or the defense of our faith. I would argue—and I think many of our professors will agree—that debating skills can help equip students to more effectively share God’s Word.”

Like most organized groups, the TMU Debate Team, which includes Bryson Enoch, Camden Enoch, Samuel Thomas, Savannah Sears, and Lydia Hammack, faced a challenging first year when the pandemic closed the campus.

“We traveled to a couple of tournaments last year,” said Thomas, “but our schedule was pretty much derailed by COVID-19.” Although the shorter season was unexpected, the team was able to gain valuable debate time through online practice sessions and tournaments.

Thomas says the technology and structure of this semester’s online debates have improved significantly compared to spring debates at the beginning of the pandemic. “This season has been unlike any season before it,” Thomas said. “Although the pandemic has changed how we operate, we still have done well this season.”

At the team’s latest online tournament, sponsored by the University of North Georgia (UNG), debate team members Lydia Hammack, Camden Enoch, and Bryson Enoch competed in the novice division, reserved for debaters with less than a year-and-a-half of experience, while Thomas competed in the pro division, open for coaches, alumni, and graduate students.

Bryson Enoch ranked third in novice, and the team had its first pro division win with Thomas ranking first.

“It’s incredibly exciting to keep our momentum rolling with this tournament, despite the difficulties this year,” said Thomas.

“This momentum should carry us into spring semester and set us up for an even more successful debate team next year,” the coach added.

Anyone interested in the debate team is welcome to attend debate team practice to learn the basics without committing to a full tournament schedule. Please contact Coach Samuel Thomas at for more details.


Jenny Gregory is the Digital Marketing Specialist for TMU.

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