Carroll College, Helena Montana



Of the more than 50 regional tournaments held in the past 23 years, the Carroll College Forensics team have won all but two of them and places within the top 20 of the nation consistently.

Carroll College offers interested students one of the finest forensics programs in the Northwest, competing against colleges and universities of all sizes. Carroll's Forensics Team has won more Northwest Regional Championships than any other team in the region, with students regularly qualifying for national competition. Carroll offers forensics scholarships to promising students in debate, drama, and speech.

Talking Saints Off to a Promising Start

The Talking Saints, the Carroll College forensics team, are off to a fast start as the freshmen won nine awards at two early season tournaments.

Talking SaintsCarroll sent three frosh to Vancouver B.C. and all three won awards.

Haley Meredith of Jerome, Idaho, who partnered with a student from Northwest University in Seattle, reached finals of World Debate at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Novice Tournament in Vancouver, B.C, on October 3-4. UBC won the championship, with the University of Victoria second and Carroll third.

Katie McNichol of Vancouver, Washington, and her partner Amber Griffin of Idaho Falls, Idaho, reached the semi-finals at UBC. Meredith was named sixth best speaker and Griffin was eighth.

Carroll’s freshmen also won four awards at the Carroll tournament held on September 18-20. Freshmen Frank Stumbo of Shelley, Idaho, and Alex Thielman of Spokane, Washington, reached the finals, losing a split decision to a senior team from Northwest University of Seattle. Thielman was named third best speaker and Stumbo was ninth. Read more

Talking Saints Share Regional Crown for 25th Straight Year

February 12, 2015 - The Carroll College Talking Saints forensics team won more than 40 awards and earned a share of the regional championship for the 25th consecutive year at the regional tournament held at Western Washington University on Jan 30-Feb 1. Whitworth University won the tournament, with the Talking Saints a close second. Story

Talking Saints off to another winning season

Freshman Jake MacDuffBy Marga Lincoln, Helena IR

Photo right: Freshman Jake MacDuff grins at his fellow Talking Saints Wednesday at Carroll College. The Talking Saints have won or shared the Northwest Regional championship for the past 24 years, recently sharing Gold Program recognition with Boise State University. Thom Bridge, Independent Record

The Carroll College Talking Saints continue their winning ways. This past weekend, 20 of 24 team members came home with awards. But, according to their coach, Brent Northup, it’s not about taking the gold.

It’s all about education.

And it’s quite an education Carroll College Talking Saints need to call upon at a moment’s notice to be on top of their game. Last Wednesday, five members of the team gathered early before classes to share what they love about competing and how they prepare. Later that day, they were hopping a charter bus with 20 of their team members at 11:30 p.m., heading to McMinnville, Oregon, to compete in their next tournament at Linfield College, Nov. 14-16.

"Twenty out of the 24 team members came back with awards,” said Northup on Monday. “The success has been pretty nicely spread out. The Talking Saints won 38 awards,” he said, “including the second place Division 1 school sweepstakes award."

Read More

Talking Saints take gold in world debate

Talking SaintsThe Carroll College Talking Saints forensics team continued their red hot streak in their latest outing with Carroll’s leading World Debate team winning a 55-school tournament at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, while five freshmen brought home eight trophies from Casper College in Casper, Wyoming over the October 10-12, 2014 weekend. The Portland tournament was one of the largest in Northwest history. More

Carroll College Talking Saints excel at world debate

Talking Saints

The Carroll College Talking Saints forensics team swept to victory in one tournament and reached the semifinals of another to open the 2014-2015 forensics season. At the Rocky Mountain College Tournament in Billings on September 12-14, Carroll first-year students swept three of the top four places in World Debate.

The freshman team of Ryan Kotek of Boise, Idaho and Jake MacDuff of Seattle, Washington won the Rocky event. Freshmen Ashlee Buller of Kalispell, Montana and Becca Poliquin of Hamilton, Montana also reached the championship round as did Tori Hill of Sidney, Montana and Luke Kendall of Stevensville, Montana. Read the story

Talking Saints Make it Year 23 for Northwest Championship Title

Talking SaintsCarroll’s Talking Saints are atop the Northwest Forensics Conference again after the team swept to victory at the regional championship tournament held at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., on Jan. 25-27, 2013.

The win earned the Saints a share of the Northwest Forensics Regional Championship, the 23rd consecutive year the Saints have won or shared the title. Of the more than 50 regional tournaments held in the past 23 years, the Saints have won all but two of them.

The Saints were named a Gold Medal program, the conference’s highest honor. Boise State University and Whitman College were also named Gold Medal Programs for year-long achievement. Read more »


The Carroll College forensics team was started in the 1940s and has witnessed many changes in the lives of students, as well as the college. Competing in debate, platform speaking, and interpretation events, the members of the Carroll College Talking Saints have consistently excelled in tournaments across the country. More importantly, participation on the team provides an opportunity to build career goals, develop interpersonal skills, and build relationships that will last a lifetime. More importantly, participation on the team provides an opportunity to build career goals, develop interpersonal skills, and build relationships that will last a lifetime.

The Carroll College Forensics team competes in the Northwest Region, which is composed of the schools of Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. During the course of the year, members of the team attend an average of ten tournaments, competing not only within the region, but on the national level as well.

The Carroll College team, although directed towards success, has puts many values above winning. The team members must maintain high academic standards to compete for the squad, and grades are always more important than travel. The Forensics team itself, although competitive, has developed a family orientation, allowing the team to become close to one another in times of trouble.

The program is coached by Professor Brent Northup, who also heads the Communication Department at Carroll.

Member: American Forensics Association

National Parliamentary Debate Association

International Debate Education Association

Carroll debate team to compete at Oxford, Cambridge

Two seniors on Carroll College’s debate team competed with students from the most prestigious universities in the world in London, UK in 2012.

Megan Towles, a senior communications major, and Chris Axtman, a senior political science major, competed in the Grant Thornton Oxford Inter-Varsity 2012 debate tournament. The next week they will also competed at the Cambridge Inter-Varsity tournament. Read more | How did they do?


Forensics Strong Finish in First Year of World Debate

The Talking Saints forensics team closed its season with one of the best weekends in Carroll forensics history by recording three runners-up finishes in three national championship events held at the University of LaVerne April 13-15, 2013.

Seniors Chris Axtman of Portland and Megan Towles of Huntington Beach, Calif., began the weekend by reaching the championship round of the America’s Cup, a by-invitation-only event featuring 16 exceptional teams from the United States and abroad.

Carroll was the only undergraduate team to reach the America’s Cup final round, losing to a team from Ireland and England. Also in finals was a team from Oxford. Read more »