Bachelor of Arts in Communication

Alumni Success

The Department of Communication prepares students to read contexts and cultures, determining the best way to connect with others inside of those contexts.

Why Choose Communication at SDC?

Students developing analytical, speaking, and advocacy skills that allow for critical thought, as well as the ability to articulate clearly through writing, presentations, and technology. In this way, communication students are well poised to assume leadership positions inside their respective organizations.

Communication students learn to become more competent communicators, gaining a full understanding both how communication works and how to improve communication effectiveness across various contexts: in relationships, in the workplace, in group settings, in the context of health, and between and within various cultures.

The major in Communication is an interdisciplinary curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. It seeks to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the nature of human communication, the symbolic systems by which it functions, the environments in which it occurs, and its impact on society. Employing critical and empirical approaches, the major draws its resources from the social sciences, humanities, and the fine arts.

lisa-dunne-2“The mission of the Department of Communication is to challenge students to become competent, confident communicators, bringing words of life to a world without hope. Through a collaborative classroom environment, students will be challenged to reach their full potential as dynamic and engaging culture-shapers. My desire is for students to embrace excellence in every form of communication, from virtual to interpersonal. The Communication Department endeavors to help students hone their gifts and talents to make a lasting impact for Christ.”

~ Lisa Dunne, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Communication


Broadcast Journalism
This emphasis provides students with the foundation skills needed for news reporting and broadcast journalism. Students will gain reporting experience that prepares them for contributing meaningful story content to a culture inundated by trivia.

Interpersonal Communication
This emphasis provides students with a deeper understanding of the challenges and demands of interpersonal communication. Students will be better equipped to provide support and bring healing to the challenges within their personal and professional relationships.

Rhetorical Communication
This emphasis provides students with a theoretical & rhetorical foundation to communication, including a focus on advanced speech & debate skill & theories.

Film and Media
Students will have the opportunity to learn from film and media professionals on screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, marketing, distribution, and advanced storytelling techniques.


Required Courses for Communication Majors

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication will require a minimum of 126 credit hours:
General Education Credit Hours: 72
Core Credit Hours: 24
Emphasis Credit Hours: 15
General Elective credit Hours: 12
Required program specific Course: Credits

For a complete view of courses and descriptions, please click here.

Required Core Courses for All Communication Majors

COM 100 Introduction to Communication: 3
COM 210 Interpersonal Communication: 3
COM 220 Survey of Communication Theory & Research: 3
COM 300 Ethical Issues in Communication: 3
COM 495 Ethnography Capstone: 3
COM 499 Communication Internship 3
SS  210 Statistics for the Social Sciences: 3


Broadcast Journalism-choose 15 credits

This concentration provides students with the foundation skills needed for news reporting and broadcast journalism. Students will gain reporting experience that prepares them for contributing meaningful story content to a culture inundated by trivia.

Required Courses for Broadcast Journalism
BU 306 Social Media Marketing: 3
BU 336 Marketing Communication: 3
COM 215 Principles & Practices of Journalism: 3
COM 227 Journalism Practicum: 3
COM 299 Communication Internship: 1-3
COM 301 Mass Communication: 3
COM 302 Persuasion Theory: 3
COM 425 News Reporting: 3
COM 435 Broadcast Journalism: 3
MT 220 Improv: 3
MT 265 Acting 1: 3

Interpersonal Communication-choose 15 credits
This concentration provides students with a deeper understanding of the challenges and demands of interpersonal communication. Students will be better equipped to provide support and bring healing to the challenges within their personal and professional relationships.

Required Courses for Interpersonal Communication
COM 210 Interpersonal Communication: 3
COM 229 Communication Internship: 3
COM 302 Persuasion Theory: 3
COM 410 Applied Crisi Communication: 3
ICS 305 Intercultural Communication: 3
LDR 400 Conflict Resolution & Negotiation: 3
PD 202 Marriage & Family: 3
PSY 201 Introduction to Psychology: 3
PSY 304 Social Psychology: 3
PSY 322 Group Processes: Theory & Procedures: 3

Rhetorical Communication-choose 15 credits
This emphasis provides students with a theoretical & rhetorical foundation to communication, including a focus on advanced speech & debate skill & theories.

Required Courses for Rhetorical Communication
COM 202 Advanced Public Speaking: 3
COM 209 Argumentation and Debate: 3
COM 302 Persuasion Theory: 3
COM 309 Advanced Argumentation and Debate: 3
COM 321 Intercollegiate Forensics: 1-3
COM 400Rhetorical Criticism: 3
LDR 400 Conflict Resolution & Negotiation: 3

For course descriptions, please click here

Course Requirements for Communication Minor

Students who choose to minor in Communication will need to complete the following courses in conjunction with a major (18 credit hours): COM 100, 209, 220, 300,  and choose two from the following: COM 330, 340, 400, 410, 420, or 430. A minor in Communication will enhance any degree as it exposes students to effective methods of communication across many contexts of personal and professional life including business and industry, government, ministry, education, media, the arts, and the family.

Dr. Lisa Dunne: Department Chair

Dr. Dunne is an award-winning professor, author, and speaker. For the last 18 years, she has taught at the college and university levels in the fields of communication and psychology. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication from Regent University, a Master’s degree in Human and Organization Systems, and a Ph.D. in Human Development from Fielding University, She is the author of several books, including Emerge: Cracking the Cocoon of Media Socialization, SHIFT: Creating Cultural Change, Numb, co-authored with Pastor Francis Anfuso, and Relating through the Lifespan. Her most recent release is The Multigenerational Marketplace, a primer on creating workplace cultures of value and engagement. Dr. Dunne’s educational accolades include honors from Who’s Who among America’s Teachers, several national and state writing awards, and recognition from the City and County of San Francisco and the County of San Diego for her work in education. She has been married for 26 years to her British husband, Adrian, and they have two beloved teenagers, Ethan and Cymone. Dr. Dunne finds great joy in coaching and teaching students of all generations, helping them discover God’s purpose and plan for their lives. Learn more about Dr. Lisa Dunne.


Marc Hutchins: Film and Media
Professor Hutchins is an award-winning director and the founder of Alexander Films, a full-service production company specializing in narrative storytelling. He currently has two feature films streaming and two in international distribution. His recent releases include the police drama Crossing Streets and a romantic comedy Where Are You, Bobby Browning? In his role at SDC, Hutchins oversees the film and media division of the Department of Communication, training students in directing, producing, lighting, cinematography, marketing, distribution, and advanced storytelling techniques. He also directs and produces SDC’s annual feature film, with the goal of utilizing practical skills in supporting ministries, ushering in social change, and using media to positively impact the world. A father of eight, he served with the Marines in Desert Storm and taught for several years in Virginia prior to moving to San Diego with his wife, Suzannah. Professor Hutchins holds a Master’s degree in Film and Media from Full Sail University.


Philip Van Saun: Crisis Communication and Ethics

Phillip Van Saun is director of risk, security and resilience for the University of California Office of the President. His work, research and teaching focuses on vulnerability reduction, risk and threat management, risk sensing, gaming and decision-making. He developed coursework and serves as a lecturer in the UCLA enterprise risk and emergency management certificate programs and lectures in the research ethics and urban studies and planning programs at UCSD. Following military service, Phillip served as a consultant to the White House Military Office providing crisis management training and support to White House support personnel. In 1990 Phillip was awarded the Presidential Service Award for his service in the White House. Phillip is a board member of UCLA Extension and a member of the State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council, the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals and the Higher Education Case Managers Association. He holds an MA in communication from Trinity University, completed the executive program in crisis management at Harvard University and the scenarios program at Oxford University. He is the author of Failure Is An Option: A Primer and Guide for Managing Crises.

Renee Kohn: Journalism and Interpersonal Communication
Professor Renee Kohn joins our team after working as a meteorologist, feature reporter, and host for CW6 Bay City Television, and a meteorologist and entertainment reporter for KUSI TV, where she had the privilege of interviewing the late Robin Williams, Jennifer Anniston, Vince Vaughan, Ryan Reynolds, and other celebrities. She was also a freelance meteorologist for CBS News and Chief Meteorologist for KSWB-TV, Channel 5. In addition to teaching broadcast journalism and interpersonal communication at SDC, Professor Kohn is a life coach, a chaplain at Rady Children’s Hospital, an improvisational comedian, and the CEO of Empower Play, a transformational comedy program that presents healing through humor at schools, recovery centers, and corporations. She holds a CPE 1 (Clinical Pastoral Education) degree, a Life Coaching certification, a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, a certification in meteorology, and a Master’s degree in psychology. .


Colin McDonald: Communication Law
Colin McDonald is an Assistant United States Attorney in San Diego. He represents the United States in proceedings before the District Court for the Southern District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before joining the Justice Department, Professor McDonald served as a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Judge Michael M. Anello. His prior experience also includes stints with the California Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Civil Division, and the United States Magistrate Court. Professor McDonald graduated valedictorian from San Diego Christian in 2010. He later received his Juris Doctor with high honors from California Western School of Law.


Karla Rivera: Journalism
Professor Karla Rivera comes to SDC after working at the CW, the WB, 20th Century Fox, and Fox Broadcasting. She has interned with Good Day LA, Jay Leno, New Line Cinema, and American Idol, and she worked as a communication specialist for the City of Calexico. She also spent 8 years in media relations, sales management, outreach, and public relations, including the oversight and management of 200 food bank agencies dedicated to eradicating child hunger. Professor Rivera holds a degree in communication with an emphasis in broadcast journalism from California State Polytechnic University.


Over 95% of students at SDC receive financial assistance from a variety of sources.

An education at San Diego Christian is worth the investment. At our institution, students are not only investing in an excellent education, but also in their spiritual formation, leadership training and opportunities to make an impact in our local and global community for the kingdom of God. Our 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows our professors to give their students personal attention both academically and spiritually, and our students are a part of a thriving community of believers who are committed to servant leadership and growth.

That is why we believe SDC is worth your investment and our own. Through our comprehensive financial aid program, we are committed to offering an affordable, Christian liberal arts education to every student no matter their financial situation. We are here to assist you in making an informed decision as you plan a financing strategy for your college education.

For a listing of tuition and costs, financial aid options and resources for funding your education, click here

Many people who study communication often find themselves in leadership positions in their chosen fields. Why? Communication pervades our lives and those who understand what is going on in human interaction will be successful in knowing how to make these processes more effective, no matter the context.

Here are just some of the many careers that students of communication can aspire to:

Corporate/Management Consulting
Technical Writing
College Administration
Pastor/Youth Pastor
Political Speech Writing
Video Production
Training and Development
Missionary Work
Human Resources
Professional Speaking
Radio Production
Political Advisor
Organizational Assessment and Improvement
Event Planning
Public Relations
Entertainment Promotion
Human Resource Management
College Recruiter


(COM seniors share their ethnographic research projects in their final SDC presentations.)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Write and deliver a variety of oral presentations that incorporate principles of scholarly content, effective organization, and delivery.
  • Apply various communication theories to relational dynamics and current social issues in research, writing, and speaking processes.
  • Critically evaluate arguments, social issues, research results, public presentations, and persuasive appeals based on logic within a biblical framework.
  • Comprehend the dynamics of human relationships and be able to apply principles of effective communication in personal, group, organizational, and spiritual environments.
  • Write and analyze narratives and connect them to their contextual understanding of human communication in written and oral work.

“The communication department has developed much more than my knowledge on the art of communication and my ability to practice it. I learned about the importance and necessity of community and proper mentorship. Having smaller class sizes provides a natural format for discussion based learning where you are able to personally engage with your professor and hear from the perspective of each of your classmates, giving you an overall balanced and deeper understanding of each topic addressed.”
~ Chandler Corzine, 2012

“Studying communication at SDC gave me the preparation I needed to be successful in my graduate studies by equipping me with the tools to effectively communicate my thoughts and ideas, while also teaching me how to develop and utilize critical thinking skills. My professors inspired and motivated me to strive for excellence, preparing me to feel competent in interacting with the world around me while connecting the Gospel to everything I do.”
~ Esther Pulcipher, 2005 graduate

“If ever a cliche rang true in my life it would be, ‘With great freedom, comes great responsibility’. And growing into a young adult who has formed, and continues to form, her personal convictions, is exactly what my four years at San Diego Christian have taught me. I realize that, at just one month shy of 23, I still have so much more to learn. But SDC was a huge stepping stone in teaching me about myself and who I truly want to be in life. I have had the opportunity to develop both the work and life skills I need in order to continue growing. As of June, I accepted a position as Admissions Coordinator for the Adult and Online Studies at SDC. I work with our Education Advisors to ensure that prospective students have all their paperwork completed and submitted to us with the goal of accepting them.”
~ Veronica Martinez, 2009 graduate

“During my time at SDC, I became very involved in the school and local ministry. I competed as captain of the speech and debate team, was the Communication Teaching Assistant, and served as president of Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society for communication majors. I was recruited to the Associated Student Body, where I served for three years, ultimately becoming Student Body President. In this role, I helped students transition to the new campus and worked with the ASB team to create the student discount card. As often as possible I served in the community by feeding the homeless, volunteering at church, and church planting in Tijuana. Since graduating from SDC, I have been working at Pratt and Whitney as a Material Program Manager. Additionally, I am currently interning for Avion Consulting, and researching for an upcoming book on leadership. I am currently studying for the GMAT and plan to pursue an MBA.”
~ David Diaso, 2015 graduate

“The study and practice of law demands an ability to articulate clearly and concisely, both in the written and spoken word. An accomplished advocate is able to recognize truth, organize thoughts, and present those thoughts in a persuasive manner. I have full confidence that no other life experience prepared me as well for the practice of law than my time in speech and debate as a communication major at San Diego Christian College. This activity forced me to articulate my thoughts, to find my voice, and to recognize truth from fiction. Because of this, I am a more capable advocate.”
~ Colin McDonald, 2009 graduate, Assistant United States Attorney