Apr 21, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Communication and Journalism

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Alan Griggs, Associate Professor and Department Chair
James F. McCollum Jr., 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


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