The 411 on Majoring in Communication - Geneva College
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October 31, 2022

The 411 on Majoring in Communication

Communication is a major that is misunderstood by many. People who study communication are too familiar with the question, “So you learn how to talk?” While learning how to speak well and communicate clearly is part of what a communication major practices, this is just a small piece of the puzzle. In the book of Exodus, Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt into the wilderness. He complains that he could not speak well, and God appointed Aaron as Moses’ “prophet.” In this story, Aaron is seen as basically Moses’ spokesperson. As a spokesperson for Moses, Aaron was responsible for communicating the most important message there is: the messages of the Lord to teach the Israelites.

Those who study communication study reading, writing, speaking, and interpreting. All these together make up the basics of what a student in this major learns. Professor of Communication at Geneva, Dr. Ward, says “These are hard skills. People do not know how to read with good rhetorical faculty or swiftly. They do not know how to read and synthesize what they have learned into themes.” Dr. Ward provides the example of an alumnus of Geneva who works as a tier-one business analyst with a focus on graphic design. For part of their job, this alumnus is given 400-page documents and is to summarize them in PowerPoints for their coworkers to present. “Their job is to read and synthesize.” Continuing, he says, “Communication professionals are craftsmen, we craft messages. Craftmanship that is grounded biblically and done ethically, within a biblical worldview”, he explains.

A bonus to majoring in communication is the broad range of work it opens people up to. Every single company in any industry would benefit from having a communication professional. Many communication majors find themselves ending up in the following departments within an organization: marketing, talent acquisitions, public relations, and communication (internal and external). Geneva has current communication students interning at non-profits, Chick-fil-A, an aerospace company, and more. At each of these companies, the position falls under one of the previously mentioned departments.

            Studying communication is a great route to go, but why study it at Geneva? Professors of Communications at Geneva, Professor Schindel and Dr. Ward explain three features of Geneva’s communication program that sets it apart from other schools.

  1. Intentionally Biblically Grounded

The communication department at Geneva is not interested in working around Jesus, but rather, they are interested in working with Jesus. Ward explained further, “Jesus wants to be in, beside, and through...everything we do.” Faith integration is an integral aspect of the communication department, and the faculty are devoted to giving their students a Christ-centered education that goes beyond simply reading a few Bible verses in class.

  1. Philosophically Rich

“We do not back away from hard questions or hard ideas,” said Dr. Ward. Both him and Professor Schindel explained how facing hard topics promotes one’s interpretive faculty. They said, “To do good interpretive work, you need to have good thoughts. Good thoughts come from reading material that poses deep questions and offers substantial answers.”

  1. Academically Rigorous

The communication major at Geneva College is made difficult not for the sake of being hard, but to equip students well for when they leave. The rigor allows for accurate skill testing - one student may find through their learning that they are more skilled in one area of the discipline than another. When curriculums are on the easier side of things, many students can skate by, making it harder to tell what exactly they are skilled in. Every student that can successfully complete this major is qualified to move forward into the workforce or further studies.

The education that communication students receive in their time at Geneva not only helps them in their endeavors of becoming a communication professional, but are also valuable to living their everyday life. The thought-provoking questions communication students are faced with every day allow them to practice seeing the world as less black and white, and more on a grayscale. In life, problems are not always cut and dry. Having the ability to think deeply about situations is useful in any career, and this is what Geneva prepares their students for.