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communication in church organizations

The purpose of the communication in church organizations program at Bluffton University is to prepare students for leadership in Christian church, mission, and other ministry institutions through an interdisciplinary program combining training in the communication arts and the disciplines of church history, theology, and ministry. Of central importance to this training at Bluffton University is the peace-building commitment rooted in a Christian theology of love for enemies and solidarity with outsiders. This particular theological identity is developed in a thorough study of the scriptures, of Anabaptist theology, and of the ethics of nonviolence, and is then applied to the practical communication problems associated with contemporary organizations in their various missional settings.

The communication in church organizations program will train persons for a variety of leadership roles in Christian organizations while not replacing either the need for graduate education in preparation for pastoral leadership or the need for managerial training in preparation for other advanced leadership roles.

All students enrolled in the communication in church organizations program will declare a major in either communication or religion. By completing the requirements for their major, they will also complete the requirements in one of the lists below. To complete the program, then, they will also need to successfully complete each of the courses listed in the department in which they are not pursuing the major.

Core course:
(for all students completing the program, 3 hours)
COM/REL 360 Leadership in Church-related Oraganizations (3)

Communication courses:
(for religion majors, 23 hours)

COM 185 Public Speaking (3)
COM 195 Interpersonal Communication (3)
COM 220 Communication & Conflict Transformation (3)
COM 275 Organizational Communication (3)
or COM 277 Public Relations (3)
COM 320 Classical Theories (3)
COM 340 Religious Communication (3)
COM 417 COMMUNICATION ETHICS (3)

Religion courses:
(for communication majors, 24 hours)

REL 230 Christian Worship (2)
REL 311 Jesus (3)
or REL 320 Historical and Theological Studies (3)
REL 322 Methods of Biblical Interpretation (3)
or REL 312 Exegetical Studies (3)
REL 313 Catholic History and Thought (3)
or REL 359 Mennonite History and Thought (3)
REL 325 Sacred and Civil Religion in America (3)
REL 334 Foundations of Christian Ministry (3)
REL 373 War, Peace and Nonviolence (3)