THE DIPLOMA in Christian Communication, validated by Trinity and All Saints College (affiliated with the University of Leeds) has now been running successfully for five years. The course is designed for those who are already involved in communication work and have had some previous communication training. In the course of a year's work, participants will be studying in three different centres in Britain and will be offered practical experience of widely different media fields as well as an understanding of the principles of communication and theology which they will need in their work.
The course has been found especially helpful for those who are preparing themselves for new responsibilities in media production or in the organisation of communication at district, national or regional level.
The course work is conducted in English, and participants must therefore be fluent in spoken and written English. They must have a professional qualification, such as in Theology, Education, Youth, Community or Social Work. They must have practised for at least two years.
Over the years, participants have come from many different countries such as India, USA, Australia, Solomon Islands, Ghana, Zambia, Swaziland, UK, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan, South Korea, Philippines, Burma, Pakistan and Nepal. Therefore one of the attractions of the course is the opportunity of working with and learning from people of different cultures.
The first term is spent at Trinity and All Saints College Leeds which is a Catholic College of Higher Education. The College has been involved in teaching communication courses for 15 years, including undergraduate degree courses in communication study and public media, as well as specialised programmes for representatives from Church organisations all over the world.
During this term, participants learn some of the basic principles of communication, organisational communication and communication in society. The students examine the characteristics of different media and the ways in which they are used. They have the opportunity to learn about photography, take photographs and process film, and learn some basic principles in sound recording, video and editing. The students are also introduced to micro-processing and its use in the Church.
The second term is spent at the National Catholic Radio and Television Centre, Hatch End, Middlesex. The centre is in a quiet London suburb, and is equipped for training in radio, television and audio-visual production. It is open to members of all churches. In addition to the permanent tutorial staff, the centre draws on professional producers and broadcasters from the BBC and independent television companies.
During this term, students study the nature and aims of religious broadcasting, and devise and make their own radio programme, tape and slide sequence and television programme.
In the third term the Diploma course moves to the Selly Oak College in the southern suburbs of Birmingham. The CrossCultural Communications Centre has been teaohing students from many different countries for 14 years.
The term's work concentrates on group communication and the use of small media in groups.
Practical project work gives students opportunities to try out styles, methods of group communication and evaluate their success. The course also includes sessions on aspects of Biblical Theology and Communication and on Multifaith encounters.
The students live in one of the nine colleges in a community which usually includes people from over 50 different countries.
The course is assessed by both essays and projects at the end of each term.
Dr A W McLellan
Dr A W McLellan is Head of the Public Media Department at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds.