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Why Digital Storytelling?

The concept of story is known to be very potent when carefully created and applied to business, ministry, journalism, and other situations. Without a solid and compelling story, powerful production elements mean nothing, because your audience isn’t engaged or invested in your message. As a producer of stories, you want to influence, inspire, inform, engage, and move audiences. American literary scholar, Jonathan Gottschall, claims we are “the Storytelling Animal.” That’s because we storify everything around us: our adventures, sorrows, conflicts, dreams, and failures. Story, as a tool, works well in most contexts because everyone loves a good story. That’s why it is often used to influence social behavior and draw people together.

Why Asbury University’s Digital Storytelling Program?

The Digital Storytelling program is not about just producing stories. We teach students how to make stories compelling, mesmerizing, and memorable. Students master the art of storytelling through a variety of lenses, from cinematography to lighting to editing, weaving through the different production elements to create a visual and auditory tapestry that will captivate their audiences.

Our online program is uniquely faith-based, encourages collaboration between students, and provides students with powerful feedback from peers, faculty, and industry professionals, helping them to build a phenomenal portfolio to showcase their talents. Students will have exposure to industry expert guest speakers and project leaders, and have access to unique opportunities like media apprenticeships. Graduates of the program will leave with a mastery of the storytelling process, from conception through post-production, and the ability to make a strong impact in the areas of television, film, ministry, church media and journalism. Goals of Asbury’s Digital Storytelling program are to promote spiritual vitality and academic excellence, and to encourage students to become influential leaders and to serve others.

The goals of the Digital Storytelling program support a curriculum grounded on four pillars:

  1. The fundamental principles of storytelling as an art form
  2. Research
  3. The theoretical dynamics and interaction of communication and narrative, and
  4. Technology as a tool for message transmission.

Distinguishing Program Features

The M.A. in Digital Storytelling program extends into 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 then communicate it in a way that impacts their audience.

The M.A. in Digital Storytelling is designed to strengthen student skill sets in creating and managing narrative along with gaining expertise with technology requirements. The graduate learning climate promotes individual inquiry, questioning, application, analysis, evaluation, critical and reflective thinking. Students are encouraged to grow individually because of academic excellence and spiritual vitality and develop professionally through hands-on experience and mentoring through internships. The Digital Storytelling program prepares one to engage culture as a professional, find compelling stories, and share them in a captivating manner with target audiences.

While students take their classes online, students may choose to utilize the Miller Communication equipment and facilities on Asbury’s campus to complete their projects. A usage fee will be charged for the use of these facilities and access to the appropriate equipment.

Our frequently asked questions page answers the most commonly asked questions. You can contact us directly or e-mail us at gradcom@asbury.edu. Ready to apply? Begin the application process.

Also, be sure to check out our MFA in Screenwriting and MFA in TV/Film Production.