Overview - Communication Arts Department


Dr. Jim Owens, Dean, and Dr. Doug Walker, Associate Dean


                Communications Arts

                Media Communications

                Journalism & Digital Storytelling

                Theatre & Cinema Performance

                Worship Arts

Asbury University recognizes that communication competence is vital to success in every field and strongly encourages the development and understanding of a Christian philosophy of communication. The objective of the School of Communication Arts is to prepare students to communicate truthfully and effectively in this age of diversity. The ability to clearly present information to others is more than a desirable skill, it is also a responsibility. Communication Arts is a multi-dimensional department with a major in Media Communication; majors and minors in Communications, Journalism & Digital Storytelling, Theatre & Cinema Performance, and Worship Arts; and minors in Leadership, and Public Relations. 

1. Communications is the number one skill sought in job interviews and is vital for nearly every human interaction.  The COMMUNICATIONS MAJOR and MINOR give students the theory and practice necessary to communicate effectively in multiple environments through appropriate channels.  Asbury’s program empowers students with ideas and skills that benefit their personal and spiritual lives as well as equips them for professional careers.  In the modern world where people increasingly have multiple jobs over a lifespan, Communications delivers flexibility for a broad range of vocations including public relations, politics, event planning and management.  Rooted in the ancient traditions of oratory and rhetoric as well as modern social scientific research, Communications majors can concentrate their studies in public relations, leadership, or international communications. 

2. The MEDIA COMMUNICATION MAJOR is designed to prepare Christ-centered students who think creatively and critically about their messages, their audiences and their communication tools.  These men and women will develop competency in using a variety of media to communicate – including the Internet, audio and radio, television and the cinema – and they will seek to engage and transform culture.  Recognizing the media’s collaborative nature, each student will also develop greater self-understanding, an appreciation of diversity, and the abilities to listen and to work in a team.  The program has concentrations in production, performance, management, film studies, multimedia, and audio production.

3. The JOURNALISM & DIGITAL STORYTELLING MAJOR and MINOR grounds students in an understanding of the power of writing, photo-imaging and graphics to bring meaning in an ever-changing marketplace of ideas.  Students with a journalism major or minor gain not only professional journalistic skills but an understanding of how Christian values can be applied to competent leadership over print and online media ranging from newspapers and magazines to public relations and advertising materials.  Areas of concentration within the major include News-Editorial, Magazine & Publishing, Photojournalism, and Literary Journalism.

4. The THEATRE & CINEMA PERFORMANCE MAJOR and MINOR give students an opportunity to develop and refine acting, directing, and production skills. Students will develop a strong understanding of the history of the theatre and the cinema and their power to influence society and culture. This knowledge enables students to experiment with theatre communication techniques and approaches to an audience that stress excellence in performance and purity of purpose and message.

5. The WORSHIP ARTS MAJOR and MINOR equips students theologically, spiritually, and technically to play significant leadership roles in the worship arts in congregations. Building on a foundation of biblically- and theologically-informed study of the church and its worship, the program leads students in personal spiritual growth and in opportunity to develop abilities to lead in music, media ministry, drama, the visual arts, and intra-church relationships in today’s church.

Together, these five programs help students learn to creatively and effectively communicate with others. The expectation is that students’ communications abilities be guided by a deeper understanding of how one’s faith in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, can shape personal communications. Communication knowledge and skill can enhance student marketability in a variety of professions ranging from law, business, entertainment, advertising, public relations, electronic and print media, ministry, education, government/politics, health, high-technology industries, international relations and negotiations, and social and human services. Vocational opportunities in the 21st century demand that employees be able to use their technical expertise to communicate through varied and multiple media.



6.  The M.A. in COMMUNICATIONS: “DIGITAL STORYTELLING” program is grounded in many different fields including film production, television production, radio, public relations, journalism, multimedia/web-based media and church-related media. As the boundaries between these fields continue to converge, storytelling remains their one common characteristic. The Digital Storytelling program is built on the idea that storytelling, with the consideration of audience, not technology, empowers students to develop the skills necessary to adapt to any new emerging technology. Instruction within the program, then, explores ways to capture an idea or event and communicate it in a way that impacts their audience.


2013-2014  9/23/2013