Mission / Values


College of Arts & Sciences

 Gary Gillespie

Gary Gillespie

Associate Professor


  • B.A. Western Washington University, 1979
  • M.A. Western Washington University, 1982

Department Chair, Debate Coach, Drama Coordinator


Gillespie, Gary¬†  "Take My Partner, Please: Use of Humor in World Style Debating." A paper presented at the Western States Communication Association Convention, Seattle, WA, February 18, 2007. Paper accepted for publication in Parliamentary Debate, Journal of the National Parliamentary Debate Association

Gillespie, Gary "Moral Relativism in Pro-Choice Rhetoric: a Reply to Stephan Sullivan,"¬†  Values Newsletter, A Publication of The Highlands Center for Faculty Initiatives at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA. Vol. 13,  Issue 2, Spring 2006, pp 1 - 4.

Gillespie, Gary "Happiness as Pedagogy: A Model for Teaching Ethics," Values Newsletter, A Publication of The Highlands Center for Faculty Initiatives at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA.  Vol. 12, Fall 2004, pp 1 - 2.

Gillespie, Gary. "Let the Games Begin: Tips for Winning Debates," IDEBATE, magazine of the International Debate Education Association, January 2003.

Gillespie, Gary. "Message in an Electronic Bottle:  the Internet After 9/11." Interface: The Journal of Education, Community and Values of the Berglund Center for Internet Studies, August-September, 2002.

Gillespie, Gary. "Are We Having Fun Yet? A Debater’s Guide to Happiness." Parliamentary Debate, National Parliamentary Debate Association, Pacific Lutheran University,  Tacoma, WA. 5 vol.1 (2000, August) 70—79

Gillespie, Gary. Pro-Life Talking Points: Speaking Out for Human Dignity, first and second editions published by Human Life of Washington in 1997 and 1999.

Gillespie, Gary. "Abortion as Symbolic Action: Fetal Victimage in Pro-choice and Pro-life Rhetoric? When Life and Choice Collide: Essays on Rhetoric and Abortion, ed. David Mall,  Kairos Books, Inc. Libertyville, Illinois. (1994) 229-249.

Additional Articles in the Pentecostal Evangel, the Eastside Journal, the Northwest Catholic and Human Life News.


Associate Professor Gary Gillespie has taught communication and speech courses since 1980. He came to Northwest the fall of 1985. During his career as an instructor and debate coach, he has critiqued more than 5,000 student speeches.

Gillespie serves as chair of the communication studies department. He specializes in public speaking and debate and teaches such courses as Debating Controversies, Advanced Public Speaking, Analysis of Famous Speeches, and Introduction to Human Communication.

He coaches the Northwest debate team, recognized throughout the nation as a successful and innovative program. He has the second longest tenure of all debate coaches in the five northwest states. For nine years in a row the Eagle Debate team has made final rounds at every National Parliamentary Debate Association national tournament from1996 to 2005 and since then is a leading American program in the international format of debate known as World’s Style.

Northwest has competed at the World Universities Debating Championships in Athens, Greece, Scotland, Sydney Australia and Vancouver Canada. We have sent teams to compete at Oxford and Cambridge Universities twice. Our program has sponsored fall workshops on international debate for six years.

Northwest has hosted international debate teams from Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and China on ten occasions. We has sponsored show debates with area schools, including Portland State University, Seattle University, Lower Columbia College, and Bellevue College. Most of these show debates with our students have been broadcast on local cable television stations or presented at one of the monthly meetings of the Microsoft Political Action Committee in Redmond.

Northwest debaters have competed internationally,  including the World Universities Debating Championships in Athens, Sydney,  Glasgow and Vancouver, Canada and the International Forensics Association tournament in Madrid, Spain.

The fall of 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009 the team competed at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii and won fourth place in 2008.  We attended a tournament in Prague, Czech Republic in March 2006. We have sent team to compete at Oxford and Cambridge in 2006 and 2009.

One team won first place at the International Forensics Association tournament in Vancouver, Canada in March, 2003, making Northwest debaters international champions.

He has traveled with students for debates and other classes to Greece, Scotland, Australia, Spain, Czech Republic, Canada as well as Idaho, Oregon, California, Alaska, Nebraska, Arizona, Texas and Hawaii.

In 2000 he help launch the Communication Studies major featuring concentrations in Drama, Film, Media, Public Affairs and Organizational Communication. It is now one of the largest programs at the University.

Gillespie designed two intercultural communication travel courses and recruited qualified professors to teach them. Native Peoples of Hawaii offered during spring break in 2008 and Anthropology of Northwest Native Peoples travel course to Canada. Northwest Natives has been offered four times in September and once in May.

He is the 2003 recipient of the President’s Award for Service to the University.

Gillespie received the NFC Educator of the Year Award for 2005.

He lives in Kirkland with his wife, Teresa, an attorney and Dean of the Northwest University School of Business and Management.  Personal interests include gardening, creative writing, cooking, backpacking,  fishing, weight lifting and fitness.

Recommended Reading

Language as Symbolic Action, Kenneth Burke When Character was King, a Story of Ronald Reagan, Peggy Noonan Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder The Presence of the Kingdon, Jacquess Elluel The Cost of Discipleship,  Dietrick Bonneffer Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman Darwin on Trial,  Phillip Johnson Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life, Henri Nouwen Lime Five: Exploited by Choice, Mark Crutcher Body for Life, Bill Phillips The Road Less Traveled, M.Scott Peck Love is Stronger than Death,  Peter Kreeft Strength to Love, Martin Luther King A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C. S. Lewis, C.S. Lewis