Religion and Media
This degree concentration seeks to assist people of all faiths to reflect critically on the public expressions of their faith traditions. It explores the emerging ways in which people live out their relationship to God and each other; the ways in which people understand their role in creation and the global community; and the ways in which both individual Christians and the church witness to the gospel in the world. This concentration prepares public ministers to participate in communicative practices shaped by myriad forms of media.
The degree requires a total of 51 credits:
• 37.5 credits of course work, including
o 3 credits in the Keynote Course
o 15 credits in an area of concentration
o 9 credits in a secondary area
o 10.5 credits as free electives
• 1.5 Credits Practicum in Theological Research (prerequisite for thesis)
• 12 credits in a Capstone Experience, which could be either:
o Thesis research and writing (which would include a final, oral defense of the thesis)
o A project or internship (which would include a final assessment of work completed as pertains to the degree and the concentration outcomes)
The Keynote Course will be offered yearly during the last two weeks of August. It serves as an entrance to this concentration and an opportunity to form relationships important to collegial learning as well as an introduction to the program and to the critical role social media play in effective communications.
This course introduces the landscapes of media culture with an emphasis on active engagement in creation within those landscapes, and it also engages important theological issues raised by and in those relationships. It examines how spiritual formation and theological reflection occur within media cultures, and raises questions around the promotion of faith in public life through media.
The total program should normally be completed within two academic years, although Gettysburg Seminary recognizes that some students in this concentration will of necessity be part-time and take longer. If the total program is not completed within four years, the student must petition the faculty for continuance in the degree program. Some of the courses will be offered in an on-line or intensive format.
Upon completion of this degree, student will
• Demonstrate literacy in a variety of media, including:
o an awareness of the range and rapidly changing landscape of global media
o the capacity to discern differing levels of authority
o the ability to assess varying forms of authenticity
o and the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of media;
• Demonstrate an understanding of how social practices of story-telling, meaning-making, and the formation of identity and community are shaped by media;
• Be able to promote matters of faith in public life through media and provide leadership for doing so in their congregation or agency;
• Be able to support constructive discernment and spiritual formation in the midst of social media; and
• Reflect theologically on how media shapes the practices of their own theological tradition.