Trinity Western University

School of the Arts, Media and Culture


Department of Communications

Dr. Kevin Schut, Chair

Communications is the study of how people understand, influence, and relate to each other through the creation and co-creation of messages in diverse contexts and situations. Students in this program examine and gain experience in the power, creativity, and responsibilities of media communication, leadership communication, and professional writing. The Department offers opportunity for on- and off-campus practica and co-op work opportunities to help students bridge the gap between university and career-related professional experience. The program is rooted in critical thinking and Christian ethics with the goal to develop leaders of integrity, wisdom, and honesty.

The Department of Communications features a liberal arts curriculum that emphasizes and assists students to think, create, write, lead, and speak well and which offers the opportunity for skill development in numerous communication contexts.

The Department offers:

  1. A major in Communications with a choice of three streams: Media Communication, Leadership Communication, and Professional Writing, leading to a B.A. degree
  2. A concentration in Communications
  3. A concentration in Communications: Film Studies
  4. A minor in Communications
  5. A minor in Communications: Film Studies
  6. A minor in Communications: Professional Writing

Program Checklists and Requirements:

Major in Communications, B.A. Degree

Concentration and Minor in Communications

Concentration and Minor in Communications: Film Studies

Minor in Communications: Professional Writing

Programs, Activities, and Facilities

Practica Program

Provides part-time work during the regular school year and summer in a communications job that earns the student credit towards his or her degree. Students typically work in public relations, journalism, media production, or technical writing. Practicum options include the opportunity to work on the student newspaper (Mars’ Hill), student yearbook (The Pillar), or video yearbook (The Reel). Students may also do practica abroad. A maximum of 8 sem. hrs. may be taken as practica credit, of which 3 sem. hrs. apply to the major requirements and 5 sem. hrs. may apply to University electives.

Co-op Education Program

Provides paid full-time employment during work semesters in the communications field. Three work semesters earn the student a co-op designation on the B.A. degree. For a complete co-op description, see the Additional Curricular Information: Co-operative Education section of this Calendar.

Leadership Communication in Guatemala

This travel study program places students in the World Heritage City of Antigua, Tikal, the Mayan highlands, and Caribbean coast of Belize and Guatemala. Students explore the historical and contemporary cultural contexts of the Maya, the Ladino, and the Garifuna (Black Caribs) and how these identities shape communication and leadership. On a personal level, students experience cultural adaptation and cross-cultural interaction. On a community level, students interact with leaders who are empowering nationals to develop their own communities. Courses may include COMM 302; 452 and 451 (IDIS 450) with cross-lists in Anthropology and Linguistics.

Leadership Communication in Kenya

This travel study program offers courses in which students examine issues raised by the diverse tribal, linguistic, religious, economic, and environmental contexts of East Africa. Students also engage with various organizations devoted to addressing these issues. These organizations include bodies such as the United Nations, governments (Kenyan and foreign), and religious and humanitarian groups. Perhaps most meaningful is student involvement with communities and the application of transformational leadership principles for effective community development. Courses may include COMM 302; 452 and 451 (IDIS 450) with cross-lists in Anthropology and Linguistics, and courses in Geography.

Laurentian Leadership Centre of TWU (Ottawa)

Communications students earn 9 sem. hrs. in Political Studies and 6 sem. hrs. in Communications practicum while living in the nation’s capital for a semester (fall or spring). Entrance is by application and acceptance. Note: all 6 sem. hrs. of Communications practicum from the LLC may be counted towards the Communications major. Past practica placements have included journalism posts at the Ottawa Citizen and communication assistant roles for Members of Parliament.

Los Angeles Film Studies Center

In conjunction with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), this program offers, within a Christian liberal arts perspective, one semester of film courses and production courses from industry professionals, resulting in 16 sem. hrs. of Communications credit at Trinity Western.

Multi-Media Computer Lab

The multi-media computer lab, located in the Vernon Strombeck Building, features five fully loaded Final Cut Pro workstations, several digital video cameras and a full complement of lighting and digital film production equipment. Students who learn these technologies are likely candidates for practica positions that serve clients on and off campus.

The TWU Recording Studio

The TWU Recording Studio is a digital music and audio post-production facility. It features Cubase 4 and Reason on a Macintosh platform with a collection of professional audio production equipment. Students who learn these technologies are likely candidates for practica positions that serve clients on and off campus.

Digital Gaming Lab

This extensive collection of historic and contemporary video game systems, older computers, and games is housed in the Vernon Strombeck Building during the semesters COMM 380 is taught. The lab enables students to interact with the history of digital games.

Instructional Computing Lab

The Communications Department provides opportunity for students to learn digital layout and design in the University’s instructional computing lab, providing a sound foundation for further digital production studies.

Job Opportunities

Communications graduates have pursued careers in journalism, broadcasting, corporate communications, film production, marketing, and ministry. In addition, the program has assisted students who have entered law school and graduate school.

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This page contains official TWU academic program information.