Student presenting in front of the class, wearing a blue shirt and suit coat.

Rhetorical Communication Concentration

The rhetorical communication concentration is especially applicable to students interested in law, politics and the ministry.

Whether one seeks a career in broadcasting, journalism, public relations, advertising, government service, community development, law, business, teaching or the ministry, the ability to communicate is essential.

For more than 2000 years, the study of communication was the study of rhetoric. Our rhetorical communication track connects students to the roots of communication study while keeping the conversation relevant and current. Together, we apply rhetorical theory to contemporary forms of delivering messages.

The rhetorical communication major is designed to help students construct effective and ethically responsible messages appropriate to scholar-servants. In the church, workplace and community, such speakers play a critical role in creating solutions to problems, defending the rights of the oppressed and improving the lives of fellow humans.

Choosing to concentrate study in rhetorical communication means choosing to explore the rich past traditions and future inspirations of the field—the power of language and ideas to shape communities and nations. Rhetoric students wrestle with the principles of persuasion, reasoning and ethics as well as newly encountering the great rhetorical achievements of societies past and present. The study of rhetoric also helps students become more discerning message consumers.

Why Major in Rhetorical Communication?

  • Receive personal attention from faculty in small lab-media classes featuring Adobe Creative Cloud-based instruction.
  • Gain real-world experience through our solid internship program and other off-campus opportunities.
  • Develop your most compelling visual communication ideas with the best tools available in our state-of-the-art Macintosh Media Arts Lab.
  • Explore your gifts in a wide range of areas by employing the strong connections we have with other academic departments.
  • Dive deeper into your interests with opportunities for faculty/student collaboration on independent projects.

Major Requirements

Making Connections

The study of communication is all about bringing people together. Many communication majors at Houghton reflect this by connecting their communication majors to many other areas of interest with a double major. Houghton students have paired their communication studies with majors in art, business, global studies, ministry, biology, psychology, English, writing, political science, Spanish, equestrian studies, music, and education. The strong collaboration we have with other areas (art, business, writing, English, global studies, music) gives you the opportunity to explore your gifts in a range of areas while being supported by nurturing and caring faculty.

The Benn and Sally Forsyth Learning Commons

The Benn and Sally Forsyth Learning Commons is a creative, collaborative space open to all majors that houses our Macintosh Media Arts Lab. In addition to the computer workspaces in the classroom area of the Learning Commons, students also have access to individual media production workspaces for projects incorporating multiple digital technologies.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Houghton rhetorical communication students arrive at graduation with excellent preparation for the world of work. Through a combination of coursework and experience in theory and application, students will know not just how to do something but what to do to communicate effectively and why.