Wheaton College’s Journalism Certificate Program: #kindofabigdeal


This is a spontaneous blog post to brag shamelessly about how amazing Wheaton College’s journalism certificate program students are. Professor Tim Morgan and I just wrapped up another round of end-of-semester conferences with our students, and I’m so happy I could cry. Over the past 15 months, not only have our journalism students written hundreds of noteworthy stories on topics ranging from social justice to marathons to culture shock to faith and music on our custom Millennial news website, MillennialInflux.com, but recent alumni of the program are now working as professional journalists in Portland, L.A., Vermont, and more at publications including Christianity Today, the Burlington Free Press, the Hollywood Reporter, WBEZ: Chicago, FOX News, and more. They’re also pseudo-masters of social media networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Here are a few quotes from our students’ end-of-semester summary papers:

“I was born a journalist. I have an insatiable desire to know the world around me, to master those things that baffle me, to hear the trials and joys of others and to share in their emotion with curiosity and compassion. I believe in the power of the pen (or, in this case, the power of WordPress), and view journalism as a tool that can bring about change, healing, passion, uproar, frustration, and revolution.”

“Journalism at Wheaton helped me discover what I believe God is calling me to do, and that is to use broadcast journalism as a way to glorify him and spread his name.”

“Journalism and production work are very rewarding and invigorating processes that require creativity, networking, knowledge of the industry and an adaptive attitude that requires me to always hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.”

Over 12 Wheaton students are now formally enrolled in Wheaton’s journalism certificate program, and the future is bright –  next semester, Tim and I will be co-teaching COMM 416: Global Journalism, throwing students into the deep end of long-form global justice reporting, and several students are looking forward to taking up internships in Costa Rica, Indonesia, Africa, and more.

This fall, we hosted a couple of notable guest speakers on campus, including Wheaton College alumnae Elizabeth Dias who came to campus for a lecture about her time spent as a TIME Magazine reporter, and ’08 alumnae Sarah Pulliam Bailey who currently writes for the Religion News Service. Both had insightful things to say about the current state of the media industry, and both encouraged our students to be fearless and make waves in conversations in both church and culture.

In my humble opinion, they’re well on their way to changing the world, one article, blog post, and Tweet at a time.

#PTL #wcj #Godissogood! 🙂

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