MCOM 2320 Christianity & the Media

Professor: Dr. Ecarma Office Phone: 977-7139
Office: Student Center, MC108 E-mail:
Office Hours: MW 12-1,TR 2:30-4:15 Web site:


Briner, B. (1993). Roaring lambs: A gentle plan to radically change your world. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

Ecarma, RE (2003). Beyond ideology: A case of egalitarian bias in the news? Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc.

Fisher, BE (2008). Media revolution. Ft. Lauderdale: Coral Ridge.

Recommended Materials:

1. Belz, J. ed. (2010). World. Asheville, NC [subscription order: (800) 951-6397 or e-mail or visit website @] Order issues for September 2 through December 2, 2010.
2. At least a 64 MB USB keychain drive for storing assignments
3. An e-mail account and access to the Internet.
4. Computer access to type assignments.

Course Description

According to the NGU catalog, this course is “[a]n analysis of the moral and social impact of media’s influence on society. The course investigates the cultural impact of media, conceptually evaluates media productions, examines the relationship between media and the Christian faith, and evaluates the impact of media technologies in ministry-based organizations.”

Learning Outcomes
Students will:
• Recognize, from a biblical and societal view, the media’s influence on society;
• Differentiate poor and excellent media productions in the various types of media venues;
• Understand the diversity of media genres, including film, television, cable, print and other areas;
• Distinguish the various worldviews behind the stories, productions and depictions;
• Recognize the relationship between media and the Christian faith while evaluating the impact of media technologies on culture, Christianity in general and ministry-based organizations in particularly within the United State and beyond;
• Explain the components of excellence in the media process;
• Explain the process of getting involved as a Christian in transmitting intercultural messages through media
• Achieve, in various degrees, competence in engaging the media culture with the claims of the Bible.

Grading: 1 Quiz 50 pts.
10 Short Papers (3 pages) 1000pts.
1 My Five Year Plan 50pts.
A=90% B=80% C=70% D=60% F=less than 60%

Expectations for students

1. Meet deadlines: All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date due. Late papers will receive one letter grade penalty for each day late. If a student is late for class more than 10 minutes on the date an assignment is due, that assignment will be marked as late.
2. Read assigned reading: Students should read the assigned reading before the class listed in order to be ready to discuss the material in class. Students should be ready to respond when called upon in class. If a student is consistently unprepared for class, they may receive a deduction from their participation grade.
3. Arrive on time for class: See attendance policies below.
4. Participate in discussion: Every student arrives in class with a different background and knowledge of different cultural practices. We will all benefit from a full, open discussion of any observations, comments or questions.

Attendance Policies

Students are expected to attend all classes. Only university-sponsored or medical emergency absences will be excused. All cell phones and pagers need to be turned off before entering class. Leaving class to answer either will be considered an unexcused absence. You will not be allowed to make up assignments missed during an unexcused absence. In accordance with the college’s XF policy, you will be dropped from the class after four unexcused absences, that is, after at the 5th absence, the student will be dropped.

If you must miss a class, please let me know PRIOR to the class period to be missed. The only way you will be excused is by emailing me of your pending absence and a doctor’s note or letter from your college activity sponsor upon your return. Failure to notify me by email prior to the absence will constitute an unexcused absence. Please do not phone me; only email is acceptable.

We will begin class promptly. Do not come to class late. Walking into class late is disruptive; coming to class late or leaving early will be counted as a partial absence. If you must arrive late or leave early, you must talk to the professor beforehand and provide a legitimate reason. If you are absent or tardy for any reason, you are responsible for the material covered and any announcements made while you were absent.

Academic Irregularity and Sanctions
Violations of the Student Conduct Code such as cheating or plagiarism will result in sanctions deemed appropriate for the offense. Possible sanctions include:
1. Assignment failures: a grade of “zero” for the assignment involved.
2. Course failure: a grade of “F” for the course in which the offense occurred.
3. Forced withdrawal: withdrawal without credit from the college for a period of one semester.
4. Expulsion: termination of student status for an indefinite period of time.
*Apply biblical, Christian and ethical standards in all that you do.

Policy Concerning Students with Disabilities
Any student having an identified learning disability or other handicap that might affect academic performance should complete the form available in the Learning Disabilities Liaison Office.
Portfolio Statement
Work in this class can be used for inclusion in a portfolio (required in MCOM 4395 – Mass Media Capstone) and for a prospective employer or graduate school.

Format of Papers

• Papers are to be stapled; do not put papers in binders, report folders or paper clips.
• Document all sources using APA style (manuals should be available in the library or at a bookstore).
• Grading will include grammar, spelling and punctuation.
• All papers turned in for a grade should be typed and proofread with any errors corrected.
• Double space, type on one side of the page only and number each page.
• Use 1-inch margins around the page and 12-point type.
• The title page should be the first page of the paper and labeled with the following information centered each vertically on the page: name, assignment title, Christianity and the Media.
• Sample Assignment Page Heading: Full Name
Assignment Title
Date Due: Month, Day, Year
COM 2320 Christianity and the Media
• Finally, your paper should follow the criteria as summarized below:
3 full pages, typed, double space, 12 font size, 1” margins, top/bottom and left/right; format:
Sections Pages 7 Point total (100)
Title Page 1 10
50 Word Abstract 1 10
Introductory page 1 10
Body with 3 main points 2 20
Extensive conclusion with summary 1 10
Grammar 10
Spelling 10
Punctuation 10
Bibliography 1 10
What is the ultimate purpose of each student? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever (from Westminster Catechism, Question #1.
How? Based on the Bible and through Christ, “do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

Tentative Class Schedule (professor reserves the right to change the syllabus and schedule)

Date Class Information Reading/Assignment
Wk 1 Introduction: Christianity, the Constitution and the Media Distribute syllabus


Wk 2 History Quiz, Roaring Lambs, pp. 9-26 Read World Magazine about media

View movie: Luther

Wk 3 Review movie assignment, research and writing criteria

Discuss Ch. 1


Roaring Lambs, read pp. 9-26; Review World magazine; Ch. 2

View movie #1 for paper #1: Facing the Giants

Wk 4 Paper #1 due: Weaknesses in Christian Media

Discuss Chapter 2 (Christian, Hollywood worldviews; differences and relationship between community and culture?

Chapter 3

View movie #2 for paper #2: Amazing Grace

Wk 5 Paper #2 due: How do we become salty Christians?


Chapter 4 Movies

View movie #3 for paper #3: Chariots of Fire

Wk 6 Paper #3 due: What happened to the Christians and Christian influence?

Ch. 4 Movies: videos

View movie #4 for paper #4: The Patriot
Wk 7 Paper #4 due: Is the Box Office Closed to Christians?

Ch. 4 Movies

View movie #5 for paper #5: Cinderella Man
Wk 8 Paper #5 due: My favorite “Christian” movie, discuss Ch. 5 about TV Chapter 5 Television/Cable/Satellite

View show for paper #6: Bella or To End All Wars

Wk 9 Fall Break; Paper #6 due: My favorite “Christian” TV show & relate to Ch. 5  
Wk 10 Television/Cable (discuss paper #7 Christian influence in Cable? Or my favorite “Christian” cable show Chapter 6

View movie for paper #7: The Blindside

Wk 11 Paper #7 due: Christian influence in literature Read Chapter 7-8 Visual Arts; Christian Academe
  Christian Academe (Discuss Ch. 8 and paper #8: Where are all the Christian colleges? View movie for paper #8 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed;

Chapter 9 A Final Word: Getting it done:

Wk 12 Paper #8 due: What happened to Christian Academe?  
Wk 13 Beyond Ideology Book Review  
Wk 14 Paper #10 due (Beyond Ideology); Media Revolution Book Review

Discuss Paper #9: How can we succeed in the media? Review World magazine

Discuss Final Paper (schedule pres.)

Wk 15 Paper #9 due (Media Revolution)

How can we reform and succeed in the media? Discuss Final paper again

Work on your 5 year life plan in relation to the media
Final TBA Final Paper due and Presentations: My 5 year plan  

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