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Religion Communication (B.A.)

The religion communication major, starting in fall 2016, is a cooperative program offered through the Department of Communication and the Department of Religion. This joint venture includes a variety of courses in journalism, media and religion. Thiel College is the only college or university in the United States with an undergraduate major in either religion journalism or religious broadcasting, the two tracks within the B.A. degree in religion communication.

The purpose of this 55-credit major is to prepare students for professional positions in print, broadcast, and/or online journalism reporting on religion and religion-related news, or to prepare them for a career in religious broadcasting. Students would select one track of courses appropriate to their academic, career, and personal goals and interests.

A student who graduates from Thiel College with a major in Religion Communication will:

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of communication’s role in society and in mass culture, the role and uses of mass communication, and the uses of a range of specialized communication about or of religion.
  • Be aware of and understand the major legal and ethical issues that arise in the professional communicator’s communication about or of religion.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of work environments in, and ability to apply, at a level prepared for professional employment, the work requirements in religion journalism or religious broadcasting.

The required courses for the degree program are:

Religion Journalism Track* (55 CH)

  • COMM 220 Introduction to Journalism (3 CH)
  • COMM 280 Survey of Mass Communication (3 CH)
  • COMM 315 Advanced Journalism (3 CH)
  • COMM 325 Communication Ethics (3 CH)
  • COMM 350 Print Media Production or COMM 275 Special Topics (Religion Journalism—when there are enough majors to offer this) (3 CH)
  • COMM 360 Co-Curricular Practicum I: The Thielensian (1 CH)
  • COMM 365 Co-Curricular Practicum II: TCTV (1 CH)
  • COMM 370 Co-Curricular Practicum III: WXTC (1 CH)
  • COMM 455 Media Law and Regulation (3 CH)
  • COMM 470 Senior Seminar (research paper to be written on religion journalism) (3 CH)
  • COMM 480 Communication Internship (3 CH)
  • REL 110 Introduction to Religion (3 CH)
  • REL 125 Introduction to Theology (3 CH)
  • REL 140 History of Christianity (3 CH)
  • REL 160 Religion in the United States (3 CH)
  • REL 190 World Religions (3 CH)
  • REL 200 Contemporary Ethical Issues (3 CH)
  • REL 210 Religion and the Sciences (3 CH)
  • REL 250/PSY 362 Psychology of Religion (3 CH)
  • REL 330 Readings in Religious Studies (2 CH)
  • REL 340 Readings in Theology (2 CH)
  • Recommended: REL 200 or REL 210 if not otherwise completed

Note: Curriculum does not include REL 120 Interpreting the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, because all Thiel College students complete it as part of their general requirements.

Religious Broadcasting Track* (55 CH)

  • COMM 235 Announcing (3 CH)
  • COMM 282 Writing for Mass Media (3 CH)
  • COMM 301 Radio Broadcasting & Production (3 CH)
  • COMM 302 TV Studio Production (3 CH)
  • COMM 303 Field Production & Editing (3 CH)
  • COMM 325 Communication Ethics (3 CH)
  • COMM 360 Co-Curricular Practicum I: The Thielensian (1 CH)
  • COMM 365 Co-Curricular Practicum II: TCTV (1 CH)
  • COMM 370 Co-Curricular Practicum III: WXTC (1 CH)
  • COMM 455 Media Law & Regulation (3 CH)
  • COMM 470 Senior Seminar (3 CH) (research paper to be written about religious broadcasting)
  • REL 110 Introduction to Religion (3 CH)
  • REL 125 Introduction to Theology (3 CH)
  • REL 140 History of Christianity (3 CH)
  • REL 160 Religion in the United States (3 CH)
  • REL 180 Christian Worship (3 CH)
  • REL 190 World Religions (3 CH)
  • REL 200 Contemporary Ethical Issues (3 CH)
  • REL 250/PSY 362 Psychology of Religion (3 CH)
  • REL 330 Readings in Religious Studies (2 CH)
  • REL 340 Readings in Theology (2 CH)

Recommended: REL 130 Introduction to Ministry (3 CH)

Note: Curriculum does not include REL 120 Interpreting the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, because all Thiel College students complete it as part of their general requirements.