Upcoming June Workshops in Faith and Communication, Early Bird Registration Raffle

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Below is a list of five workshops in faith and communication offered by the CCSN beginning June 1. For a full list of July and August workshops, visit our workshop page here: https://www.theccsn.com/workshops/

Student and Pastor Discounts are available; group and institutional rates also available. Summer passes give you access to all 10 events at nearly a 50% discount.

If you are among the first 10 to register for a workshop, and you share the summer workshops online, you will be entered in a raffle for a $50.00 amazon gift card. (yes, that means if you are among the first 10 to register for all 10 workshops then your name gets entered into the raffle 10 times!)

No. 1

Title:  Integrating Family and Relational Communication Skill Training Activities into the Classroom

Presenters/FacilitatorsJonathan Pettigrew, Director of Doctoral Studies and Associate Professor of Communication, Arizona State University; Diane Badzinski, Chair and Professor of Communication, Colorado Christian University

Date/Time:  Thursday, June 1, 2023 | 11:30 – 3:00 pm EDT


Description: Christian universities produce people who have learned how to learn and to pursue God; but how well are we training our students to communicate authentically and with discernment? What skills are we imparting for winsome and rewarding relationships? Courses like family communication, interpersonal/relational communication, introduction to counseling, introduction to marriage, and family therapy are uniquely poised to train students in these “soft skills” that can serve them well throughout their lives. Join professors and authors Jonathan Pettigrew and Diane Badzinski for an engaging workshop on integrating family and relational communication skill training activities into the classroom.

Participants will experience sessions focused on activities for creating meaningful rituals, sharing encouragement, recognizing situational stress, and communicating forgiveness, to name several topics. Your hosts share relevant, transferable activities from their family-based intervention and CCSN column Let’s Talk Family and their recent book Family Communication and the Christian Faith: An Introduction and Exploration (Integratio Press, 2023). By the end of the workshop, participants will gain several practical skill-development activities they can integrate into their own teaching, mentoring, and personal relationships. The workshop also includes opportunities for participants to share their own experiences with and practices for teaching relationship-centered courses.

Jonathan Pettigrew (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is a Professor at Arizona State University who is devoted to seeing families and relationships thrive. He is co-editor of the book Professing Christ: Christian Tradition and Faith-learning Integration in Public Universities (Integratio Press, 2022) and has published in academic journals including Journal of Adolescent Research, Journal of Family Communication, Marriage & Family Review, and Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. Learn more about Jonathan here: https://search.asu.edu/profile/2692171

Diane M. Badzinski (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Department Chair and Professor of Communication at Colorado Christian University. She is co-author with Quentin Schultze of An Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication: Building Great Relationships with Skill, Faith and Virtue in the Age of Social Media (Baker Academic). Learn more about Diane here: https://www.ccu.edu/spotlights/faculty/dbadzinski/

Registration Fee: $50.00


No. 2

Title: Teaching C. S. Lewis: Chronicles of a Master Communicator

Presenter/FacilitatorSteven A. Beebe, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | 11:30 am – 3:00 pm EDT


Description: Steven Beebe has been teaching his course “C. S. Lewis: Chronicles of a Master Communicator” at both Texas State University and Oxford University since 2005. Drawing upon his teaching experience, this seminar presents strategies, examples, and suggestions for teaching communication principles and practices inspired by C. S. Lewis. Based on the communication principles presented in Dr. Beebe’s recently published book, C. S. Lewis and the Craft of Communication, this workshop offers practical approaches for including Lewis’s ideas about communication in your course, whether you are teaching Lewis from a communication, theological, or literary perspective. Learn why Lewis was a master communicator as well as how to be a master educator about C. S. Lewis’s craft of communication. This interactive seminar includes opportunities for questions and discussion. Whether you are developing your first course about C. S. Lewis or are looking for ways to freshen an existing course, the seminar offers new insights about C. S. Lewis’s communication principles and practices.

Steven A. Beebe (PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia) is Regents’ and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He served as Chair of his department at Texas State for 28 years and concurrently as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication for 25 years. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State, he was a tenured member of the Communication faculty at the University of Miami for 10 years. He is author and co-author of fourteen books (with editions totaling more than 75 books) that have been used at hundreds of colleges and universities (including international, Canadian, Russian, and Chinese editions) by several million students throughout the world. Steve’s research focuses on instructional communication and communication skill development. He is former president of the National Communication Association. His recent book, C. S. Lewis and the Craft of Communication (Peter Lang, 2020) reveals five communication principles that explain Lewis’s success as a communicator. Beebe made international headlines when conducting research at Oxford University when he discovered an unpublished manuscript written by C. S. Lewis that was the partial opening chapter of a book that was to be co-authored with J. R. R. Tolkien called Language and Human Nature. In 2016 and 2019 he also discovered unknown and unpublished poems by Lewis in the Oxford University Bodleian Library. Learn more about Dr. Beebe here: https://www.commstudies.txstate.edu/people/faculty/beebe.html

Registration Fee: $50.00


No. 3

Title: Crafting Compelling Book Proposals and Building Meaningful Platforms: What Aspiring Authors Need to Know About Publishing for General Audiences

Presenter/Facilitator: Al Hsu, PhD, associate editorial director, InterVarsity Press

Date/Time: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 | 11:30 am – 3:00 pm EDT


Description: You have an idea for a book. But what do you need to present your book proposal to a potential publisher? These days, it’s not just about the content of the book. It’s also about the overall package of who you are and what you bring to the publishing partnership. IVP associate editorial director Al Hsu provides a behind-the-scenes look into how acquisitions editors and publishing boards review and evaluate book proposals and what you can do to improve your proposal’s chances of acceptance for publication.

A key component of the proposal review process is the question of author platform. Every author has a platform of some sort. But how much platform is enough to make a book work? We will look beyond the usual metrics of social media fans and followers and explore a theology of platform as an expression of vocation and calling. There are three key dimensions of platform, and those attending this workshop will gain ideas for strengthening one’s platform for improved potential of proposal acceptance and successful book launch.

Participants are encouraged to bring actual potential book ideas/proposals to a “pitch session” included at the end of the workshop. Whether presenting your own or listening to others, participants will benefit from Dr. Hsu’s feedback and questions designed to refine the pitch.

Al Hsu (pronounced “shee”) is associate editorial director at InterVarsity Press, where he acquires and develops books in such areas as church, culture, mission, apologetics, and social issues. In over twenty-five years at IVP, he has worked with over 275 authors and published more than 400 titles, including award-winning books by Michael Card, Mark Charles, Andy Crouch, Makoto Fujimura, Dominique Gilliard, Os Guinness, Tara Beth Leach, Soong-Chan Rah, Sarah Shin, Rachel Marie Stone, Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Richard Twiss, and Sandra Van Opstal. He has published books in partnership with such organizations as the Billy Graham Center, the Christian Community Development Association, International Justice Mission, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Missio Alliance, Operation World, the Urbana Student Missions Conference, The Veritas Forum, and World Relief.

Al holds a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a master’s from Wheaton College Graduate School, and has served as a columnist for Christianity Today magazine. He is the author of three books: Grieving a Suicide, The Suburban Christian, and Singles at the Crossroads. He wrote and compiled material for the expanded edition of IVP’s history Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. on occasion of IVP’s 75th anniversary in 2022. He lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two sons.

Registration Fee: $65.00


No. 4

Title: Strategies for Cultivating a Writing and Publishing Agenda while Teaching Full-time

Presenter/Facilitator: Robert Woods, PhD (CCSN Executive Director, Visiting Scholar, Trinity Western University)

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 21, 2023 | 11:30 am – 3:00 pm EDT


Description: Faculty and administrators in Christian higher education who desire to write and publish are faced with unique challenges, including heavy teaching and student advising loads, limited resources, and a campus culture where classroom instruction is valued above research. How can individuals balance quality teaching and administration with a desire to do scholarship that integrates a Christian worldview and transforms lives? How do they “find time” to write when are faced with all the other things that go along with being a faculty member and administrator in Christian higher education?

Robert will share strategies from his own publishing experiences and conversations with more than 75 faculty from 50+ Christian colleges and universities about practical ways to cultivate a productive research and publishing agenda while carrying a full-time teaching load. Topics include motivations for writing, communication habits that help promote writing, and strategies for developing content for books. Outlining, writing schedules, and other strategies for bringing a project from concept to final publication will also be discussed. Participants will have an opportunity to connect with other authors and potential collaborators, and several Christian publishers.

Robert H. Woods Jr. (PhD, JD, Regent University) served as Professor of Communication and Media at Spring Arbor University for 20 years. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Christianity and Communication Studies Network (CCSN) (www.theccsn.com), a non-profit network providing resources and training on faith-learning integration in the field of communication studies. He is the editor-in-chief of the CCSN’s imprint, Integratio Press. Dr. Woods has served as the President of the Religious Communication Association (RCA) and was named Scholar of the Year by RCA. He is the recipient of multiple research and scholarship awards and the editor/author of over a dozen books. Most recently, Dr. Woods is the co-author with Paul Patton on Everyday Sabbath: How to Lead Your Dance with Media and Technology in Mindful and Sacred Ways and Professing Christ: Christian Tradition and Faith-learning Integration in Public Universities. His book co-authored with Kevin Healey (University of New Hampshire), titled Ethics and Religion in the Age of Social Media: Digital Proverbs for Responsible Citizens received the Book of the Year Award from RCA. Connect with Robert: www.roberthwoodsjr.com.

Registration Fee: $50.00


No. 5

Title: Strategic Leadership for Christian Higher Education Administrators: (1) Having Difficult Conversations, and (2) Onboarding New Faculty

Lead Facilitator/PresenterKevin Schut, PhD, Trinity Western University

Keynote Presenter: Tim Muehlhoff, PhD, Biola University

Roundtable DiscussantsSarah Drivdahl, Northwest University; Melinda Stephens, Geneva College; Diane Badzinski, Colorado Christian University; Tom Carmody, Vanguard University; Ken Waters, Pepperdine University; Dorie Shelby, Spring Arbor University

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 28, 2023 | 11:30 am – 3:00 pm EDT


Description: This half-day leadership workshop will feature conversations with veteran administrators at leading Christian colleges and universities. Short presentations followed by roundtable discussions and breakout sessions will be employed. The workshop concludes with an implementation session to produce individualized strategic development plans for the year ahead. This year our focus will be on two main topics: (1) Having Difficult Conversations, and (2) Onboarding New faculty.

As we passionately seek to live out the mission of Christian higher education and our callings as administrators and faculty, it is easy to clash with friends and fellow Christ-followers over issues large and small. When having difficult conversations, what strategies do we have that help us move from contentious debate to constructive dialogue? Insights from Scripture and communication theory provide practical ways to manage disagreements and resolve conflicts. We can disagree without being disagreeable. And we can even help another see different points of view and learn from one another.

Christ-centered institutions provide an education that integrates faith and learning in transformational ways. Such an experience is possible only if faculty and staff remain committed to the mission, fit well into the institution’s culture, and understand their purpose beyond “just teaching.” Successful onboarding helps set the tone for a successful employer/employee relationship and can foster a positive communication climate. If done well, it enhances the new hire’s individual satisfaction, productivity, and the institution’s overall retention rates. If done poorly, it may result in an exodus of early hires and increased recruitment costs. “Best practices” related to assessment, evaluation, and metrics will be considered.

Kevin Schut (PhD, University of Iowa) is a Game Studies scholar. He is a graduate of Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI; BA in Communication Arts & Sciences, History, 1996) and the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA; MA & PhD in Communication Studies, 2004). He wrote the book Of Games & God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games (2013). He writes about the intersection of communication, culture, media, technology and faith, primarily by talking about computer and video games. He has published articles or chapters on fantasy-role-playing computer games and masculinity, on computer games and myth, on the presentation of history in computer games, and on evangelicals and games. He is currently researching moral and ethical decisions in video games.

Kevin served as the Chair of the Department of Media + Communication, and he is the Lead for the Game Development program he founded in June 2019. He has also served as Associate Dean of the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. He teaches a range of courses on media and culture.

Kevin grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, and still cheers for the Oilers. After graduating from Calvin College, he married and taught overseas in schools for missionary kids in the Cote d’Ivoire and Hungary for three and a half years. He has three daughters who love playing board games, adventure games, Mario Kart, and Vive Virtual Reality with him. His favourite game series is Sid Meier’s Civilization.

Tim Muehlhoff (PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) is Professor of Communication at Biola University where he teaches classes in conflict resolution, apologetics, gender, and family communication. For over 30 years he served with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) in the campus ministry, short-term missions (Kenya, Russia, Lithuania), and with Keynote as a trainer for The Comm Lab—a center that trains Cru staff, pastors, and lay people in evangelistic speaking and apologetics. For the past 20 years Tim and his wife, Noreen, have been frequent speakers at Family Life Marriage Conferences. Tim currently is co-director of the Winsome Conviction Project which seeks to reintroduce civility and compassion into how we disagree in the public square. Tim is the co-host of the Winsome Conviction Podcast. His book Winsome Persuasion: Christian Influence in a Post-Christian World (with Biola University professor Rick Langer) received a merit award from Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year Awards in the category of apologetics/evangelism. His newest book, Winsome Conviction: Disagreeing without Dividing the Church (with Rick Langer) explores conflict between fellow Christ-followers. Connect with Tim: www.timmuehlhoff.com.

Registration fee: $65.00


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