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Dr. Mark Ward Sr.

Associate Professor of Communication

"When employers are asked what they look for in hiring new talent, strong communication skills and the ability to think critically are always at the top of list. Mastering these skills by earning a degree in communication will therefore prepare you to succeed in a wide range of careers."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design – Clemson University, 2010
  • M.A. in Communication – Spring Arbor University, 2007
  • B.A. in English Language and Literature – University of Virginia, 1980

Career Highlights:

Dr. Ward's research on popular religion and media has been published in numerous books, journals and chapters (for a bibliography see markwardphd.com), and he has been quoted by the New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg, Religion News Service, Associated Press and other media outlets. He is a winner of the Clifford G. Christians Ethics Research Award for his multivolume series, "The Electronic Church in the Digital Age: Cultural Impacts of Evangelical Mass Media," and of the David R. Maines Narrative Research Award and Religious Communication Association Article of the Year Award for his ethnographic research on American evangelical culture. In 2018 he was named UHV scholar of the year when he received the institution's Research and Scholarly Activity Excellence Award. Dr. Ward serves on the Executive Council of the Religious Communication Association and Editorial Board of the Journal of Communication and Religion. Before entering academia, Dr. Ward was communications director and journal editor for several national and international nonprofits and industry trade associations, and he continues to write regularly as an independent business journalist. Dr. Ward is director of the UHV Speech Program and a faculty senator representing the School of Arts & Sciences. His professional memberships include the National Communication Association, Religious Communication Association, Southern States Communication Association and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Links to share:

Dr. Ward's Personal Website: https://markwardphd.com

Dr. Ward's Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/markward.com

In which online bachelor's degree programs do you teach?

B.S. in Communication, B.A. in Communication

Which classes do you teach in the online?

COMM 1335: Introduction to Radio and Television; COMM 3311: Organizational Communication; COMM 4300: Special Topics; COMM 4313: Communication and Conflict

What should students take away from your classes? What do they learn?

Students in my courses are challenged not only to recall the concepts being taught but also to think critically in applying these concepts to solve problems. In this way, students become better communicators. While others around them are just speaking without thinking, Communication students will understand what's going on in a communication situation and thus be able to achieve their goals.

What advice would you give to those considering an online bachelor's degree program?

Realize that time management is all your own responsibility and then realistically plan to set aside enough time each week to do college-level coursework.

What is the value of a bachelor's degree? What are some of the skills students gain in this program?

When employers are asked what they look for in hiring new talent, strong communication skills and the ability to think critically are always at the top of list. Mastering these skills by earning a degree in Communication will therefore prepare you to succeed in a wide range of careers.

Why did you start teaching?

After years in corporate communications, publishing and broadcasting, a midlife career change to enter teaching offered me the opportunity to make a lasting contribution, investing myself in the lives of students by helping them learn vital skills in communication and critical thinking that have so deeply enriched my own life and career.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Because interfaith dialogue is such a pressing issue today in our communities and on our campuses, we should all take time to become familiar with the scriptures of the great world religions.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.

Having grown up and lived the first 40 years of my life in the Washington, D.C. area, I remain a rabid fan of the Washington R*dskins (yes, they should change the name), Washington Nationals, and Washington Wizards. Favorite hobbies are singing (church choirs, quartets, solos) and piano playing (gospel and jazz). I have five grandkids who call me Grandpa. Keep that image in mind and you can always be confident to contact me whenever you need any help or advice.


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