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Milligan to start intercollegiate debate program

MILLIGAN, Tenn. (January 11, 2021) – Milligan University will launch a parliamentary debate team in fall 2021, announced Dr. Garland Young, academic dean and vice president for academic affairs. Scholarships will be available for incoming students.

Dr. Michael Blouin, associate professor of English and humanities, has been named director of the debate team. Blouin also serves as co-director of the Milligan Honors Program. He holds a doctorate degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s from the University of Vermont.

“Parliamentary debate fits clearly with existing courses and majors at Milligan,” said Blouin. “It is a strong fit for the Honors Program and Model UN, and it contributes to the development of Christian servant leaders who are articulate and possess the skills to participate in respectful, dignified dialogue and debate.”

The debate team will participate in intercollegiate competitions with several regional colleges and universities.

The format is based on the British model of government and usually includes two teams that follow specific rules and format in a back-and-forth argument of a current event topic. Judges award points based on organization and clarity, use of argument, use of cross-examination and rebuttal, and presentation style.

Blouin explained that the soft skills developed within a debate team translate to almost any profession.

“These skills include the ability to research diligently and wisely, the cultivation of digital literacy, the construction of effective arguments, the ability to dialogue constructively with persons, and the ability to engage in oral presentation confidently,” explained Blouin. “Specific career paths that are especially relevant to debate include law, politics, teaching, journalism and management.”

Interested students should contact Dr. Michael Blouin at mjblouin@milligan.edu or visit admission.milligan.edu/debate-team to learn more.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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