Apr 16, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Return to: Colleges and Institutes  

Norma J. Bond Burgess, Dean
Florah Mhlanga, Associate Dean

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest of the university’s ten colleges. The college includes the academic areas that constitute the university’s liberal arts core as well as several professional areas. The college provides students with the skills and critical perspectives necessary to become engaged learners that meet the challenges of a global society. Drawing upon the intellectual resources of thirteen departments, the college offers students opportunities in both traditional and innovative learning environments in languages and literature, psychology, communication, mathematics, natural sciences, history, politics and philosophy. Interdisciplinary programs are offered in sustainability, while a professional program is available in social work. Graduate programs in psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy, molecular biology and sustainability are also offered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The university’s highly respected and successful pre-med program is also housed there as well. 

Off-site learning experiences (i.e., clinical, practicum, internship, etc.) are required in many courses of study at Lipscomb. Successful completion of these experiential courses is required for graduation and/or licensure. Students should be aware that many experiential sites require satisfactory documentation of personal identification in the form of driver’s licenses, social security cards, passports, drug screening and background checks. Students should make sure that they are aware of and can meet all documentation requirements well in advance of the timeframe for admission into the respective program and placement into these sites. Failure to provide required documentation for successful entry into these experiential courses may result in failure to complete the desired program of study.

School of Communication and Social Sciences

Department of Communication and Journalism

Alan Griggs, Associate Professor and Department Chair
James F. McCollum Jr., Associate Professor
Aerial Ellis, Instructor
Paul Prill, Professor
Sarah Gibson, Associate Professor
Linda P. Schacht, Associate Professor
Jim L. Thomas, 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 two majors: journalism and new media, or strategic communication. 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, five 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 videostreaming 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. Journalists-in-residence teaching include these award-winning professionals: a newspaper columnist, editor and an environmental documentary filmmaker. 

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. 

Off-Campus Study

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

Professional Societies

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). 

Career Opportunities

  • Actor

  • Advertising director

  • Announcer

  • Audio/video specialist

  • Author

  • Bank officer

  • Book editor

  • Broadcast

  • Supervisor/technician

  • Camera operator

  • Campaign manager

  • Children’s book author

  • Circulation manager

  • Communications specialist

  • Copy editor/writer

  • Corporate communications

  • Director

  • Correspondent

  • Critic

  • Hospitality/hotel manager

  • Customer service

  • Representative

  • Darkroom technician

  • Director - fi video, theatre

  • Disc jockey

  • Dubbing editor

  • Editorial assistant

  • Electronic publishing

  • Specialist

  • Events planner

  • Feature writer

  • Filmmaker/documentary

  • Freelance reporter

  • Fundraiser

  • Government relations Specialist

  • Grant writer

  • Graphic artist

  • Human resources administrator

  • Illustrator

  • Indexer

  • Insurance agent/broker

  • Investigative reporter

  • Journalist

  • Lawyer

  • Legal assistant

  • Literary agent

  • Lobbyist

  • Magazine/newspaper editor

  • Media relations

  • Minister

  • Representative

  • Mediator

  • Motivational speaker

  • News anchor

  • Photojournalist/photographer

  • Press secretary

  • Print production manager

  • Public information officer

  • Public relations specialist

  • Publisher

  • Real estate broker/agent

  • Reporter

  • Speechwriter

  • Sportscaster/promoter

  • Station manager

  • Teacher

  • Technical writer

  • Wire editor  

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 two majors: journalism and new media, and strategic communication. In keeping with a convergence curriculum, five core courses are required for all majors, including a capstone class designed to produce a marketable portfolio. 

Core Courses for All Majors in Communication and Journalism

Total hours required - 17


Capstone Class

Program of Study Requirements



Department of Psychology, Counseling and Family Science

Shanna D. Ray, Professor and Chair
J. Dale Alden, Assistant Professor
Holly Catterton Allen, Professor
Justin Briggs, Assistant Professor
Norma J. Bond Burgess, Professor
John D. Conger, Professor
Christopher J. Gonzalez, Associate Professor
Nancy Magnusson Durham, Professor
David M. Morgan, Assistant Professor
Daniel P. Morris, Professor
Melanie Morris, Assistant Professor
Douglas C. A. Riberio, Assistant Professor
Frank H. Scott, Assistant Professor
Denis’ A. Thomas, Assistant Professor
Paul E. Turner, 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

Family Science

The primary purpose of the family science program is to offer a strong, general bachelor’s degree in family science. The curriculum in family science follows the guidelines set forth by the National Council in Family Relations Certified Family Life Education program. It follows a life-span approach, with courses that include information from pre-natal development to later life and aging. However, the content is always taught from a family systems perspective, applying the information learned in specific courses to the larger family unit as well as families in society. Students then use this education to seek careers serving families in a variety of areas, from child development settings to families with aged members. Many graduates go on to pursue graduate training in some specific area, or seek careers in agencies, churches and other settings that serve families. Lipscomb is fortunate to be in a community with numerous opportunities for internships and further study outside the classroom. In addition, many of the courses have a service component that further enhances and reinforces information gleaned from formal study. 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 National 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.

Career Opportunities

Family Science

  • Child life specialists
  • Early childhood and child development
  • Youth and adolescent development
  • Family service agencies
  • Advocacy and political action
  • Family life education
  • Religious settings
  • Government and international services to families
  • Agencies offering services to the aging
With graduate work, career opportunities include: careers in marriage and family therapy, law, agency leadership, higher education and business.


  • Human service agencies
  • Teaching
  • Management and business
  • Human resources
Pursuing graduate training for careers in:
  • Individual and family counseling
  • School counseling
  • Clinical psychology
  • Psychological research
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Education

Program of Study Requirements



Department of Social Work and Sociology

Hazel F. Arthur, Professor and Department Chair/Program Director
Amy Crossland, Assistant Professor
Cayce Watson, Assistant Professor and Practicum Coordinator

“From life’s beginning to its end, from the first cry to the last smile, social workers touch the world…and Christian social workers touch the world for God.”

The mission of the social work program is to prepare students to touch the world for God as competent, compassionate generalist social workers who exhibit Christ-likeness through interpersonal sensitivity, sacrificial service, academic excellence, professional passion and personal integrity.

The Department of Social Work and Sociology offers a major in social work, a minor in social welfare and a minor in sociology.

Social Work

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, rather than the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts 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 two field placements 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.

Career Opportunities

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
  • Hospitals
  • Preschools, day care, and school settings
  • Children’s homes
  • Foster care
  • Adoptions
  • 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 3632 , which are taken in the fall of the senior year. Applications for admission to the social work program are available from the social work program director. 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 taken with instructions provided by the University Counseling Center (without cost to the student).

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.

Program of Study Requirements



School of Humanities

Department of English and Modern Languages

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Department of History, Politics and Philosophy

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School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Medically-Related Preprofessional Programs

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Department of Biology

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Other Program of Study Requirements

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Department of Mathematics

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Department of Physics

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LIFE Program