The Communication Arts Emphasis explores a range of communication interests including theory, principles and practices in mass media communications and speech communication. From interpersonal and group to public and mass media, the emphasis balances theory with “hands-on” practice through the media laboratory and the forensics laboratory and program. Students receive valuable intercollegiate competition in speaking, debate, and oral interpretation and may participate in Pi Kappa Delta, a national forensics society and the oldest honorary society on campus.

The curriculum emphasizes matters of faith and ethics along with creative stewardship and servant leadership, recognizing that human communication may be better understood in light of Christ’s revelation of God’s divine communication to humanity. The communication arts practicum places students in observation/work programs with professionals in fields such as advertising, broadcasting, journalism, public relations, and related areas.

Students may also participate for a semester at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center studying film, interning at a significant Hollywood company, interacting with Christian leaders in the film community, and learning and practicing a variety of filmmaking skills. Another significant program available is the Summer Institute of Journalism in Washington, DC, where students spend four weeks interacting with journalists, writing news stories, and enhancing portfolios and résumés. Both of these programs are offered through Sterling’s membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Communication Arts career possibilities include work in news media, public relations, personnel, advertising, marketing, training and development, management, sales, or any career that requires skills in public presentation; conferencing; group relations; organization; public relations; influencing/persuasion; education/instruction; intercultural relations; language; human services; research; investigation; and idea generation. Other careers include editing and writing, education, law, and ministry. Some of these career areas require advanced study beyond the baccalaureate degree.