Department of Communication and Journalism
Alan Griggs, Chair, Associate Professor
James F. McCollum Jr., Professor
Aerial Ellis, Assistant Professor
Sarah Gibson, Associate Professor
Paul Prill, Professor
Jim L. Thomas, Professor
Robert C. Chandler, Graduate Programs and Professional Development, Visiting Professor
Faculty and students in the Department of Communication and Journalism explore the revolution that is reshaping global communications. The department’s mission is to provide students with an outstanding education as they study and practice ethical communications in a global society. The department prides itself on small classes with scholars and practitioners that enable student learning by putting theory into practice, beginning in students’ first courses and continuing through their final portfolios. The department’s teaching mission reflects not only time-tested journalism and communication fundamentals, but also the rapid changes in the way we exchange, process and reflect on information in today’s society. The department’s curriculum equips graduates to communicate ethically and effectively in all media and across all platforms. This way, students enter the journalism or communication profession as: responsive and responsible communicators, listeners and critical thinkers; leaders who use communication to affect attitudes and behavior for a better world; and responsible citizens who understand the role and use of technology as it continues to unfold in changing our world.
Students choose from four majors: advertising, journalism and new media, public relations, or sports media. An individual majoring in communication and journalism concentrates on both the social sciences and the humanities. At its core, the study of communication is the study of human interaction at the levels of interpersonal, small group, public, organizational and mass communication. In addition to technical skills in audio, video and online production, students enjoy opportunities to develop transferable skills in such areas as writing, public speaking, conflict and relationship management, interviewing and reporting, leadership, small-group dynamics, persuasion, decision making and problem solving, negotiation, audience analysis, message and communication campaign development and speech writing, among others.
Distinctives of the Communication and Journalism Department
The Department of Communication and Journalism is home to an award-winning television station and radio station as recognized by the Southeast Journalism Conference and the Society of Professional Journalists. Its facilities include a fully equipped focus group room and the Mullican Studios, a 6,000-square-foot communication complex housing television and radio studios, control room, three multi-media production suites, voice-over booth and a newsroom/lab. This complex is home to Lumination Network, the student media network of Lipscomb University (www.luminationnetwork.com). Lumination provides television, radio, print and online opportunities for student journalists. Communication and journalism majors also may assist with coverage of athletic events using the ESPN3 control room in Allen Arena as well as through a video streaming partnership between Turner Broadcasting and universities of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Executives and Journalists in Residence
In addition to a communication and journalism faculty known for its work in conflict management, leadership, corporate and government communications, video and radio production, and journalism, several outstanding practitioners bring a depth of experience to the classroom each year. An award-winning journalist serves as a journalist-in-residence.
Department Speaker Series and Programs
Throughout the year, the department hosts a series of Media Master evenings with highly accomplished and respected professionals. These professionals lead important discussions of current events and trends in the industry.
Every major in the Department of Communication and Journalism is required to complete at least one internship. Lipscomb communication majors have interned at dozens of locations in the last several years, including the following: The Buntin Group, Bridgestone, Clear Channel, CMT, Country Music Association, “Dateline:NBC,” The Dave Ramsey Show, the Dell Corporation, the Disney Corporation, E! Radio, The Emmys, Firestone, Fox 17, the Golf Channel, Gospel Music Association, Governor of Tennessee, McNeely Pigott & Fox, Nashville Predators, Nashville Public Television, The Nashville Scene, Nashville Zoo, Provident Music, Seigenthaler Public Relations, Southern Hills Medical Center, Tennessee Titans, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Titans Radio Network, The Tennessean, Universal Music Group, United States Senator representing Tennessee, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, 95.5 WSM, WKRN-TV, WPLN-Radio, WSMV-TV, WTVF-TV, Youth Encouragement Services and 104.5 The Zone.
Lipscomb University offers a number of global learning opportunities valuable to communication and journalism majors, including programs in London, Vienna, Chile, China, Washington, D.C., and New York. Opportunities for off-campus study also are available through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and the D.C.-based Summer Institute of Journalism programs. More information can be found at www.bestsemester.org.
Communication majors are automatically members of the department’s Communication Majors and Minors Association (COMMA); they are encouraged to join the campus chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
- Account executive
- Advertising copywriter
- Audio/video specialist
- Bank officer
- Book editor
- Camera operator
- Campaign manager
- Children’s book author
- Circulation manager
- Communications specialist
- Copy editor
- Documentary producer
- Film critic
- Hospitality/hotel manager
- Customer service
- Director - film, video, theatre
- Disc jockey
- Dubbing editor
- Editorial assistant
- Electronic publishing
- Event planner
- Feature writer
- Freelance reporter
- Government relations specialist
- Grant writer
- Graphic artist
- Human resources administrator
- Insurance agent/broker
- Investigative reporter
- Legal assistant
- Literary agent
- Magazine/newspaper editor
- Media relations manager
- Motivational speaker
- News anchor
- Press secretary
- Public information officer
- Public relations specialist
- Real estate broker/agent
- Sales representative
- Social media manager
- Sports information director
- Sports reporter
- Station manager
- Technical writer
The majors in communication and journalism are flexible degrees. Many employers cite written and oral communication skills and an understanding of communication processes as the basic skills for a variety of positions.
Requirements for Majors
The Department of Communication and Journalism offers four majors: advertising, journalism and new media, public relations, and sports media.
Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Science
Shanna D. Ray
, Chair, Professor
Katie Osborn Spirko, Lead Faculty for Psychology, Assistant Professor
Hunter Stanfield, Lead Faculty for Family Science, Assistant Professor
J. Dale Alden, Assistant Professor
Holly Catterton Allen, Professor
Justin Briggs, Assistant Professor
Norma J. Bond Burgess, Professor
Christopher J. Gonzalez, Associate Professor
Kasie Lee, Assistant Professor
David M. Morgan, Associate Professor
Daniel P. Morris, Professor
Melanie Morris, Associate Professor
Douglas C. A. Riberio, Associate Professor
Jaclyn Spivey, Associate Professor
Denis’ A. Thomas, Associate Professor
DeAndrea Witherspoon Nash, Assistant Professor
The mission of the Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Science is to aid the student in understanding self and others better in an appreciation of origin, nature, and process of individual difference; equipping students with the knowledge needed by graduates for participation in careers which serve individuals and families in a variety of settings; in preparing for graduate work in psychology, counseling, family therapy, family science, and other related disciplines; and in preparing for greater service in the home, congregation, community, nation and world. This faculty believes that knowledge about individuals and families has practical application in all areas and activities of life.
Distinctives of the Psychology, Counseling and Family Science Department
Families are society’s most vital institution. The primary purpose of the family science program is to offer a degree program with specific tracks that can help aid students in their professional and career pursuits. These tracks include the following: Child and Family Services; Child and Family Spiritual Formation; Child Life Specialist; Family Life Education; and Mental Health Professions. The curriculum follows the guidelines set forth by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) for the Certified Family Life Education (CFLE) credential. The program follows a lifespan approach, with courses that include topics ranging from pre-natal development to relationships in later life as well as a family systems perspective that applies course material to the larger family unit and families in society. Students can use these tracks to enter into careers serving families in a variety of areas such as child development centers, long-term care facilities, community agencies, churches and faith-based organizations, and other organizations that partner with families. Since Lipscomb is located in the Nashville area, there are numerous opportunities for students to complete internships and for learning experiences outside the classroom. Also, many of the courses have a service component that further enhances and reinforces information gleaned from course. Students are also encouraged to participate in professional organizations that offer opportunities for networking and leadership development.
Seniors choosing this program coordinate and present the annual Lipscomb Conference on Family Wellness, which brings national scholars, writers, practitioners and programs to campus for public audiences.
The Caroline J. Cross chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences was established in 1997 to provide enrichment opportunities to students in this field. It provides financial resources to support and attract noted and distinguished lecturers, scholars and special programs to the Lipscomb campus.
The psychology curriculum focuses broadly on the scientific study of human behavior and experience, along with application of that knowledge to mental health and other applied settings. The undergraduate program in psychology strives to be a student-focused environment with faculty who are known for excellence in teaching and advising. We provide our students with a variety of opportunities to excel not only inside but also outside the classroom. For example, students are regularly engaged in internship experiences, work alongside faculty members to conduct psychological research, attend and present research at local conferences, and participate in the activities of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.
Our department also offers graduate programs in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling, providing a setting for students to pursue professional training as a counselor or psychologist after the completion of their bachelor’s degree. Students who wish to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology can apply to the bridge program, allowing them to complete the B.S. and M.S. in Psychology in 4-5 years.
Child Life Specialist
Early childhood and child development
Youth and adolescent development
Family service agencies
- Research and family policy initiatives
Advocacy and political action
Family Life Education
Religious and faith-based organizations
Government and international services to families
Agencies offering services to the aging
With graduate work, career opportunities include marriage and family therapy, law, agency leadership, higher education, and business.
- Human service agencies
- Management and business
- Human resources
Pursuing graduate training for careers in:
- Individual and family counseling
- School counseling
- Clinical psychology
- Psychological research
- Speech-language pathology
Department of Social Work and Sociology
Rebecca Clark, Academic Chair, Associate Professor
Amy Crossland, Associate Professor
Cayce Watson, Associate Professor and Field Education Coordinator
Grounded in a Christian perspective and core social work values, the BSW program educates and empowers students with professional knowledge, values, and skills to become compassionate, competent leaders and change agents who provide ethical generalist social work practice, integrate personal faith with scientific inquiry, and engage respectfully and purposefully to advance the dignity, equity, and well-being of diverse populations across systems.
The Department of Social Work and Sociology offers a major in social work, a minor in social welfare and a minor in sociology.
Lipscomb’s social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the only national accrediting body for social work education. Because of this accreditation, students are eligible to apply for Advanced Standing Master of Science in Social Work programs.
Lipscomb students earn the Bachelor of Social Work degree.Thus, social work students take the math, science, and humanities required for general education. They do not need additional hours of math or science required for the B.S. or language required for the B.A. degree. Lipscomb social work students do not need additional hours of math or science beyond the general education requirements for the B.S. or music, art or philosophy for the B.A. degree. Lipscomb social work graduates’ credentials are evident on their degrees, making applying and interviewing for employment a simpler process.
Lipscomb students earn over 500 hours of supervised practice experience during their time in the program. This is earned in service learning experiences, as well as in field placement as seniors. The social work program has relationships with numerous agencies in the Nashville and surrounding area. Recent Lipscomb social work students have been placed in schools, hospitals, counseling agencies, foster care and adoption agencies, long-term care or nursing facilities, crisis pregnancy services, teen shelters, juvenile court, domestic violence shelters and others.
Lipscomb social work faculty and students have participated in mission efforts across the state, across the country and countries around the world. In recent years, social work students have participated in or led international mission trips to Guatemala, Africa, Australia and Honduras. In addition to teaching about Christ, students on these trips have served children in orphanages, elderly people, poor families and people in need of medical care.
The social work program is housed in Lipscomb’s Ezell Center. Students benefit from classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including an Interviewing and Recording Skills Lab with stationary recording equipment and two-way mirror for observation.
According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, social workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health providers. Federal law and the National Institute of Health consider social work as one of five core mental health professions. Over 40 percent of all disaster mental health volunteers trained by the Red Cross are social workers.
Sociology courses are available primarily in support of general education requirements, as well as nursing, social work, and education majors. These courses are designed to acquaint students with the nature of human relations and society, as well as provide them an understanding of society’s essential structures and processes.
Social work graduates provide counseling, crisis intervention, case management and support services to individuals, families, groups and communities through employment in:
- Child and family service agencies
- Nursing homes
- Senior citizen centers
- Preschools, day care, and school settings
- Children’s homes
- Foster care
- Residential treatment
- Home health care
- Administrative and sales work
- Personnel work with public and private organizations
- Agencies providing child and adult protective services
- Pursuit of advanced degrees in the medical, legal and business fields
Admission to the Social Work Program
In accordance with CSWE accreditation standards, the social work program has a formal admission process, which typically occurs in the student’s junior year, after the completion of SW 1103 , SW 2313 and SW 3533 .
Admission must be obtained prior to a student’s entry into SW 3623 and SW 3633 , which are taken in the fall of the senior year. Applications for admission to the social work program are available in the Social Work offices. A completed admission packet includes an application; a brief autobiography utilizing the outline contained in the application; references from three non-social work faculty, staff or administrators (or approved employers or faculty from transfer institutions); and the summary results of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory.
Prerequisites: Social Work course descriptions listed on the following pages include required prerequisites. Because of course sequencing, students are advised to complete SW 1103 , Introduction to Social Work, prior to the fall of their junior year. Failure to do so may delay a student’s graduation. Since most Lipscomb students have several elective hours, students interested in the helping professions (psychology, family studies, education, counseling, nursing, family ministry, etc.) should consider enrolling in the SW 1103 course as an elective during their freshman or sophomore year. Doing so would prevent a graduation delay in the event the student later wished to change majors and earn the B.S.W. degree.