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Learning Media through a Christian Lens
February 10, 2012 | by Kalie Lowrie
Dallas, TX – To be successful in the media industry, there are certain essentials that all students studying the field must learn. While Dallas Baptist University students will graduate as broadcast professionals in a competitive media market, they will also leave with an understanding of the impact their field of specialty can have on the Kingdom of God.
“We teach our courses from a Christian perspective,” said Greg Hollabaugh, assistant professor of communication. “We are preparing students to influence the world for Christ through media, which is at the heart of everything we teach.”
Regardless of the discipline – broadcast, graphic design, or communication theory – all students are taught to view their calling in media through a Christian worldview.
Greg Hollabaugh, assistant professor of communication, works with students from Dallas Baptist University in the Mac lab, located in the newly dedicated Horner Hall.
Senior Joanna Barnes, a broadcast communication major from Flower Mound, loves the school for this reason. “I chose to come to DBU for my broadcast degree because of the care and intentionality that comes with a Christian perspective,” she said. “Other schools that teach this degree may not factor in the values of Christ, and what is good and bad to broadcast to others. DBU is the exception, where the students are taught the ethical values alongside the technical aspect of broadcast.”
Reflecting on the difficulties of teaching a subject that is engrossed in a secular culture, Hollabaugh has the goal of preparing his students to be trendsetters in the ever-changing industry, rather than trying to mimic what is already being done.
“I challenge my students to anticipate the trends and tell them ‘You be the trend-setters so people will follow you’ instead of the other way around,” he emphasized. “The goal of our department is to teach students about delivering products that still reach the target audience without compromising their moral and ethical standards.”
Zac Simmons, a senior graphic design major from Grapevine, echoed, “If we, as Christians, can produce something that is quality, entertaining, and relevant then I believe it will make a huge impact on nonbelievers and help grow the Kingdom.”
One of the greatest changes in the industry that Hollabaugh has noticed is the evolution of technology. Production previously required a room full of equipment, but it now can be done with a few pieces of equipment and a computer.
DBU’s newly dedicated Horner Hall houses the communication and music business offices and provides training areas for students to gain hands-on experience with professional equipment. The new facility features a state-of-the-art music recording studio, as well as a multi-purpose classroom that can be converted into a television production studio, a video control room, and a 26-bay Mac lab. These tools help aid students who are preparing to enter a highly-competitive industry.
“We are allowing our students to get their hands on related technology in order for us to teach how we reach the world for Christ,” Hollabaugh expressed.
The future of the entertainment industry is ever-changing. It may look completely different in the next three to five years. But, students at DBU are learning principles that will help them stay relevant in the competitive industry.
“I want to stand out and catch the attention of people by telling stories that have great meaning and purpose, always evangelizing in the name of Jesus to a generation who desperately need to hear it,” Simmons explained.