Journalism and Communications have been a hot topic over the past 12-18 months, especially at the end of the year following the US Presidential election. Traditional news outlets were discovered to have presented misleading (or outright false) information. Integrity is a critical component of journalism and communications; and one result of the impropriety of the “mainstream media” is an explosion of alternative sources for news. Christian colleges and universities have a wonderful opportunity to fill a need for accurate, equitable and objective journalists and communications individuals to disseminate good information to the public. In light of this, Christian Universities Online is pleased to present the top 10 Communications and Journalism degree programs for 2017.
For this ranking, members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) or schools that could be considered member eligible were evaluated for degree programs in the fields of communications and journalism. We then collected publicly available data in the following five categories: 1) Number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the field of communications or journalism, 2) Faculty-to-student ratio, 3) Percent of full-time beginning undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid, 4) Selectivity, 5) Overall retention rate and 6) Overall graduation rate. Weights were assigned to each of these categories with the category of the number of degree programs having a slightly higher weight than the other categories.
Eastern University is a private, Christian institution of higher education located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, Eastern University began in 1925 as the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Founded for the purpose of creating a theologically conservative seminary within the American Baptist Churches denomination, it was not until 1932 that the collegiate division of the school was formed and in 1952 the school was chartered as a four-year college. Today, Eastern University’s mission statement declares its dedication to the “preparation of undergraduate, theological and graduate students for thoughtful and productive lives of Christian faith, leadership and service.” Eastern University has a total enrollment figure of over 3,500, including more than 2,000 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 10 to 1.
Eastern University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1954. A wide range of academic programs are offered through its several colleges and seminary including the College of Arts and Sciences which offers both a Bachelor of Arts in Communication as well as a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Journalism. This latter program seeks to develop in students their “sense of justice” and “practical, flexible communication skills” for the purpose of graduating journalists who will “make change one word, one concept, one story at a time.” Similarly, Eastern University’s Communication Studies program endeavors to equip students who will be “competent, creative, and ethical” communicators who will integrate a “commitment to faith, reason, and justice into each communication act.” Students are also given the opportunity to gain valuable workplace experiences through study away or abroad as well as internships offered within the greater Philadelphia area, Washington D.C. and more.
- B.A. Communication
- B.A. English- concentration in Journalism
Azusa Pacific University (commonly abbreviated APU) is a private, coeducational, evangelical Christian institution of higher education located in Azusa, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Rooted in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition and APU boasts the second largest evangelical undergraduate student body with an undergraduate enrollment of nearly 6,000 and a total enrollment figure of nearly 10,000. APU’s average student to faculty ratio is 11 to 1. Originally called the Training School for Christian Workers, the school was founded by a small group of Quakers and a Methodist Evangelist in Whittier, California in 1899 and was the first Bible college established on the West Coast. Today all ties to the Quaker denomination are diminished as APU holds a more evangelistic theology and is not associated with any particular denomination. After merging with three other Evangelical colleges in Southern California, APU moved to its current location in 1949. Today, the University holds its accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which was granted in 1961.
A wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and special programs are made available through Azusa Pacific University’s several colleges and schools. APU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. APU describes this latter program as being “embedded with a Christian worldview and First Amendment values,” with a mission to enable “honest and person-driven storytelling, equipping students to seek out and reveal the truth.” A 48 unit program, this Journalism major is only offered at APU’s main campus. APU’s Communication Studies major is also offered at its main campus in Azusa and is available with a focus on Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, Media Studies, or Rhetoric and Public Address. The mission of this program is to prepare students to “combine convincing arguments with appropriate media to convey an effective and compelling message.”
- B.A. Communication Studies
- B.A. Journalism
George Fox University is a private, coeducational institution of the liberal arts and sciences and professional studies located in Newberg, Oregon. Affiliated with the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends, George Fox began in 1885 when a group of Quaker pioneers founded the school, originally calling it the Friends Pacific Academy. Eventually the name was changed to Pacific College and in 1949 was again renamed George Fox College (eventually attaining university status) in honor of the founder of the Quaker movement. Today, George Fox University’s mission is to be a “Christ-centered community [which] prepares students spiritually, academically, and professionally to think with clarity, act with integrity, and serve with passion.” George Fox University has a total enrollment figure of nearly 4,000, including more than 2,500 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 14 to 1. George Fox ranks high among Christian colleges in the nation and has been classified as a first-tier “Best Regional University (West)”.
George Fox University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and has been so since 1959. More than 40 undergraduate majors are available as well as several adult degree programs, six seminary degrees, and more than a dozen master’s and doctoral degree programs in the areas of business, counseling, education, physical therapy, and psychology. George Fox offers several undergraduate programs in the areas of Communication and Journalism, including majors in Cinema and Media Communication; Communication Arts; Organizational Communication; and Journalism. George Fox purposefully integrates faith with learning and takes an interdisciplinary approach when it comes to the subject of communication and requires that students take a series of integrated courses covering a wide range of topics in the field. The end result is that students gain valuable and marketable skills, preparing them for a career in communication.
- Cinema & Media Communication
- Communication Arts
- Organizational Communication
Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of higher education, located in Abilene, Texas. Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, ACU was founded as a small learning institution in West Texas in 1906, having grown out of an idea held by A.B. Barret and Charles Roberson and backed by the Churches of Christ in Abilene. Since then, ACU has come to be known as a leader in Christian higher-education and has received a number of honors and recognitions from several sources including Apple, which named ACU a distinguished school for its innovation, leadership and educational excellence. ACU’s mission is clearly stated as having the goal of educating students for “Christian service and leadership throughout the world.” ACU requires daily chapel services and mandatory Bible courses and the majority of students spend time volunteering for community service. Approximately 4,500 students are currently enrolled at ACU, including over 3,700 undergraduates, hailing from nearly every state in the Union and more than 40 foreign nations. The University’s average student to faculty ratio is 15 to 1.
Abilene Christian University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, offering both undergraduate and graduate-level degrees and is made up of the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Biblical Studies, College of Business Administration, College of Education & Human Services, Graduate School, Graduate School of Theology, and ACU’s Honors College. ACU offers four distinct degrees in Journalism and Communication, including a B.A./B.S. in Communication with concentrations in Corporate Communication, Interpersonal and Cultural Studies, and Public Advocacy; B.S. in Convergence Journalism; a Master of Arts in Communication; and a Master of Arts in Corporate Communication. ACU also offers undergraduate minors in Communication and Convergence Journalism as well as a Convergence Journalism/Multimedia Teacher Certification program.
- B.A./B.S. Communication
- B.S. Convergence Journalism
- M.A. Communication
- M.A. Corporate Communication
Cedarville University is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of higher education located in Cedarville, Ohio. Chartered by the New Light Reformed Presbyterian Church in 1887, in the 1950s the school came under management of Evangelical Baptists after merging with the Baptist Bible Institute of Cleveland, Ohio. Today, Cedarville University maintains this affiliation with the Baptist denomination and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Cedarville University’s mission is to be a “Christ-centered learning community equipping students for lifelong leadership and service through an education marked by excellence and grounded in biblical truth.” The University’s objectives are to graduate students who, “glorify God; think broadly and deeply; communicate effectively; develop academically and professionally; and engage for Christ.” Cedarville University has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,500, including over 3,000 undergraduate students.
Divided into several departments, the Cedarville University’s Department of Communication offers four distinct majors, each of which offer their own unique specializations and concentrations. Major programs include Broadcasting and Digital Media, with concentrations in Digital Film and Video, Digital Radio and Audio and Integrated Digital Media; Communication, with concentrations in Organizational Communication, Public Communication, and Strategic Communication; Journalism, with specializations in both Convergent Journalism and Public Relations; and Professional Writing and Information Design. Taught by professors who care about and serve as mentors for their students, Cedarville University’s Department of Communication seeks to develop in students the “ability to communicate ideas fluently and coherently… helping [them] to cultivate [their] abilities to express [themselves] through communication in many formats: spoken, written, visual, nonverbal, and digital.” In addition to these, Cedarville University’s Department of Art, Design, and Theatre also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication Design which focuses on preparing students for careers in the fields of graphic design and interactive web design.
- Broadcasting and Digital Media
- Professional Writing and Information Design
- Visual Communication Design
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