Modesto Debate is a local homeschool speech and debate club in Modesto, California, taught personally by IPS President, Mike Winther, and his wife, Mary.  Founded in 1999, Modesto Debate students regularly place high in national rankings and many earn significant college debate scholarships – but that is not its overall primary objective.

It is the goal of the Winthers to teach effective communication skills in the context of the proper biblical view of government and economics.

Through their work with Modesto Debate, Mike and Mary have helped influence and guide the debate “culture” of the club—a culture which has developed into a group of educated, eloquent, and impressive young people who are often extremely eager to take their newfound knowledge out into the world and make use of the skills they have honed through debate.  One parent testified, “Because of your faithful worldview and Biblical teaching with healthy debate competition, you have influenced thousands of people for the Lord’s glory.”

Debate is unique because it is a dynamic speech, logic, and research activity that teaches students how to reason and communicate calmly and persuasively.  Debate creates a fun environment that motivates students to lean skills that are almost impossible to acquire in any other way.  Debate capitalizes on the “logic” and “rhetoric” stages of development and provides some enormous benefits, including:  research skills, logic and reasoning, critical thinking, improved speaking ability, and persuasion skills.

Who Can Participate?
Students who are 13* years of age or older and at least 51% privately homeschooled are eligible.  Students enrolled in a public charter school are not eligible.  (*Younger students may be accepted on a case by case basis.)

Enrollment begins in August with both novice and varsity classes starting in September.  Tuition is $200 per semester for both novice and varsity students.  Sibling discounts are available.  Please contact the IPS office at (209) 575-2005 for more information.

“Is not the great defect of our education today… that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning.”

– Dorothy L. Sayers