The Oct. 12 event is sponsored by the Lott Leadership Institute and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, which announced details of the event Monday.
The debate, the only one between the two candidates, will begin at 5 p.m. at the Overby Center Auditorium on the Ole Miss campus.
Under the format agreed upon by both sides, the candidates will respond to questions from a panel of journalists from the district. Both candidates will have a chance to deal with each issue that is raised, and back-and-forth exchanges between the two men will be encouraged.
On the panel will be the Daily Journal's Emily Le Coz; Jonathan Scott of the Oxford Eagle; Caroline Lee of the Daily Mississippian; J.B. Clark of the DeSoto Times; and Sandra Knispel of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
The event is free and open to the public. Because a large crowd is expected and seats in the Overby Center Auditorium are limited, plans have been made to simulcast the program for any overflow to another hall in the same building.
"We are delighted that Congressman Childers and Senator Nunnelee have chosen our venue for their only debate of the season, and we're looking forward to a spirited exchange," said Curtis Wilkie, an Overby Fellow who will serve as moderator.
Childers, a Booneville Democrat who won the seat in a special election in 2008 and was re-elected to a full term later that year, is defending his position against a challenge by Nunnelee, a Republican from Tupelo. The election is Nov. 2.
The race is being considered by political analysts in Washington as one of the key battlegrounds in the nation this fall as the Republican Party tries to wrest control of Congress from the Democrats. Both national parties are making significant investments in the two campaigns.