Jenna Lorence, left, and Rachel Heflin with championship plaques (Photo: Patrick Henry College)
Just 10 years old, 350-student Patrick Henry College won its fourth national debate championship in six years.
The Virginia evangelical Christian school, founded by the leading Christian homeschool organization, is the only college or university to win the American Collegiate Moot Court Association national championship more than once.
Other schools competing included Harvard, Miami, Syracuse, Holy Cross, the College of Wooster and Fitchburg State College.
PHC, in Purcellville, Va., near Washington, D.C., sent the maximum number of eight teams to the 64-team competition at Florida International University College of Law in Miami and placed first, third, ninth, 11th, 13th and 17th.
The team of Rachel Heflin and Jenna Lorence beat a team from Baylor University, giving Heflin back-to-back titles and making her the tournament’s only two-time champion. The school also won national Brief Writing titles.
Patrick Henry’s moot court coach and college chancellor, Michael Farris, reveled in the victory before a cheering crowd of students on campus Monday.
“The competition in Miami was incredibly rigorous, and keeps getting stronger each year,” he said. “But this little college in Virginia has amassed a tremendous track record.”
Farris told students, however, the “goal was not simply to win a national tournament but to carry Christ and His message into everything that we do.”
“Doing your best in a moot court round is simply the foundation for serving Christ to the best of your ability in the future,” he said.
In 2004, a Patrick Henry moot court team won an exhibition against the University of Oxford’s Balliol College in England.
Last year, the school was one of just 18 among 300 from around the world to be granted the Outstanding Delegation award at the National Model United Nations conference.
The college’s goal is to train up tomorrow’s leaders to influence the culture “for Christ and for liberty.” Its core curriculum educates students in government with classes in the freedom’s foundations, international relations and economics.