2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Dec 01, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Communication Studies

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Mission Statement

As communicators, all humans are part of an ongoing conversation. Communication is inevitable, irreversible, and continuous. The messages we send and receive shape our attitudes, build our relationships, and impact the environment in which we live. The mission of the Department of Communication Studies is to empower students with a meaningful Christian voice in the ongoing conversation of the world in which we live. We strive to meet this mission through learning, growing, and serving.

Learning Informed by our Faith in Christ

  • Students will learn basic theory about the discipline of communication, organizational communication, and media communication.

Growing in a Christ Centered Community

  • As students understand the process of communication, they will be challenged to use communication competently in a variety of complex environmental and social contexts.

Serving in a Context of Christian Faith

  • Students will participate in the disciplines of Communication Studies in the collective community around them.

The Department of Communication Studies is committed to helping each student learn, grow, and serve so that they may contribute meaningfully to the ongoing conversation of all humans and seek to make a positive impact in the world through their communication abilities. The power to communicate is the power to transform our world one conversation at a time.


  • To instruct students in the philosophy, content, methodology, skills, and responsibilities of communication;
  • To provide specialized training for those entering communication-centered professions including: management, sales, public relations, training; broadcasting and electronic media; and theatre and the performing arts;
  • To provide background courses for those desiring to enter communication related fields including ministry, law, education, government, social services, journalism, and graduate studies;
  • To help students develop skills through involvement in a nationally competitive forensics program, internships in major corporations, law firms, radio and television stations, and professional theatre companies.

Tradition of Excellence

The Department of Communication Studies is a comprehensive and dynamic department that prepares students for leadership in a variety of communication-intensive careers. Classroom instruction is enhanced by the smaller class sizes and individual attention from faculty who are committed to the academic and personal success of each student. There are three programs of study to choose from: Communication Studies, Media Communication, and Organizational Communication.

Career Opportunities

The Department of Communication Studies believes in the benefits to be gained from hands-on developmental experiences. These experiences not only teach real world skills, but some also provide scholarships or payment for performance or participation. Students are encouraged to participate in such developmental opportunities as:

  • Theatre - The Theatre program has been the home for more than 150 stage productions in the last 40+ years, including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Waiting for Godot, You Can’t Take It With You, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
  • Media - The department supervises an on-campus television studio, Point TV, and a radio station, Point Radio. Both stations are student-managed, creating original productions for on-campus audiences. The stations are based in well-equipped facilities which include a multi-camera HD studio, digital audio and video editing, HD field production cameras and radio broadcast booths. Students also have opportunities to work in PLNU publications such as the student newspaper, yearbook, and literary magazine.
  • Speech and Debate - The forensics team has won many national championships in the major national debate organizations. This includes being named number one debate program in the nation by the National Parliamentary Debate Association at least 5 times in the last 20 years. Considering nearly 25 years of NPDA statistics, which include other fine debate programs like UCLA, Berkeley, Rice University, and Wheaton, PLNU’s cumulative points earned each year place Point Loma in first place in the nation by a very wide margin.
  • Conference Presentations - Students seeking further academic opportunities have presented original research at professional conferences and gained successful admission into graduate schools.
  • Internships - Most students in the department complete an internship, as this is the most effective way for students to network and explore career paths. It is common for students to be offered a paid position as a result of their internship work upon graduation.

A degree in Communication Studies can prepare a student for a career in media communication and business, public relations, theatre and performing arts and other related careers in politics and government, social and human services, journalism, and ministry.


Bob Brower, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

Jeffrey Birdsell, Ph.D.
The University of Texas at Austin

Melissa Newman, Ph.D.
Regent University

Lisa Raser, Ph.D.
Southern Illinois University

Skip Rutledge, Ph.D., Chair
Regent University

James Wicks, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego

Walter Williams, Ph.D.
Regent University



    Point Loma Nazarene University offers four baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Many of the 50+ major programs also offer in-depth concentrations.

    If a second major area of study is desired, all requirements for both majors must be met with a minimum of 24 units distinguishing the two areas of study. While working on a single baccalaureate degree, the maximum number of pursuits is two majors and two minors.

    Students should review the majors and minors list in the catalog.


     Optional minors are offered in several schools and departments. The requirements governing minors are as follows:

    • Only minors that appear in the student’s catalog of record may be earned at the point of graduation;
    • A minor is at least 16 units and is under the direct auspices of the respective school/department;
    • Students must earn a 2.000 cumulative GPA in the minor for it to be granted;
    • The minor must show a minimum of nine (9) units in residence;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, nine (9) must be distinct from and not counted in the major;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, 12 must be at the upper-division level;
    • The pass/no credit option is not available for courses within the minor; and
    • A second minor, when feasible, requires a minimum of nine (9) units distinct from and not counted either in the major or in the first minor.


      CommunicationLos Angeles Film Studies Center Courses

      The Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC) is a selective, off-campus cooperative program sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) in partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University. Students must meet academic requirements and exhibit Christian commitment in order to be recommended to the program by PLNU, and the final selection is made by LAFSC. The program is open to students from any field of study and credits may be counted toward completion of the Media Communication major.

      The following courses are offered at LAFSC only and are available to full-time students who have been accepted into the off-campus program:


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