Rapidly-changing technologies, such as the rise of the digital media, have had a dramatic impact on our culture. Preparing students to respond is the goal of Redeemer’s new Media and Communication Studies (MCS) program. Launched in September 2015, the program will equip students to interpret, assess and engage in culture-making in this new landscape. On November 5, faculty and students were joined by professionals from a range of media outlets and communications firms at a reception celebrating the program’s launch.
Media and Communication Studies includes streams in Professional Writing, Media and Culture and Digital Media and Production. All three combine the strength’s of Redeemer’s broad faith-based liberal arts curriculum with applied courses in media and communications. The practical aspect of this program will be enhanced through experiential internship opportunities, giving students the chance to learn from both scholars and practitioners in the field.
Dr. Naaman Wood is the first full-time professor in the program and he recognizes the importance of Christians engaging in this field. “We must discern, with great wisdom and patience, the contours of mediated life,” he says. “Our response should reflect both gospel healing and words of prophetic critique, and it should speak not only to our fellow Christians, but to the wider world.”
That need for a Christian voice is also emphasized by Stephen Lazarus. He is a writer and producer on Context with Lorna Dueck, a weekly, half-hour, independently-produced television program offering analysis of news and current affairs. At the reception celebrating the program launch, Lazarus talked about how so many young professionals he knows – at Context, but also at CBC News – are “cheering you on with this new venture. Because we all know how significant it truly is.”
The media studies program is one of the outcomes of Redeemer 2020, a strategic plan that is exploring how to best work out the mission and vision of Redeemer in a new context. “Launching this program is a reason to celebrate,” noted President Hubert Krygsman. “It is another example of the kind of transformational education that Redeemer students receive, preparing them to impact our culture.”