BJA students in the middle and high school have many opportunities to develop and practice their speaking and acting skills. Classes in performing arts, public speaking and debate are offered as part of the high school curriculum.
In addition, students can audition for stage productions and can also compete against other schools in categories such as interpretation, mock trial and debate.
Drama can be a fun and memorable part of the middle and high school experience, helping students to build confidence in speaking and teaching them to work as a team.
Dramatic productions also give interested students a chance to work behind the scenes as stage crew, running the lights, curtains and more.
High school students have the opportunity to participate in speech and debate through an interscholastic team, competing in debate, public speaking, and interpretation events. The competitive speech experience teaches students to think carefully, respond intelligently to opposing viewpoints and to communicate what they believe.
Members of the Academy team may join a national honor society, the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA), enabling them to gain national recognition in their speech accomplishments.
The team competes in about 15 tournaments during the year including the South Carolina State tournament and the NSDA District and National tournaments.
Bob Jones Academy students consistently excel in these competitions. Highlights include:
- 1A State Champions (1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
- 2A State Champions (1989, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)
- National Speech and Debate Association Leading Chapter (1989, 1994, 2001, 2008, 2014, 2021)
- Over 100 NSDA national qualifiers in all events
- Two National Champions: Extemporaneous Commentary (2003) and Storytelling (2004)
- Nine NSDA National Finalists in various speech events
- NSDA Hall of Fame Coach induction in 2021
- NIETOC (National Individual Events Tournament of Champions) Prose finalist in 2011 and semi finalist in 2013.
- Middle and high school students may also participate on Mock Trial teams. The teams compete successfully on the regional and state levels. In 2004 the high school team won the national championship. In 2021 the high school team was the state champion as well as 5th in the nation. In 2022 the BJA mock trial teacher/sponsor was awarded the SC Bar Teacher of the Year award.